Advanced search

Appeal-what to expect and say.

(13 Posts)
SavoyCabbage Fri 08-Jan-16 18:12:44


I have an appeal date for next week for my year four dd. We moved back to the UK at the end of last year.

I applied at the start of December to our catchment school. It's full so we were rejected. For want of a better word!

The admissions people sent me a list of schools with spaces in year four in a three mile radius. Applied for one of those-rejected again.

I rang all of the other schools that were on the list (we got a new list up to six miles as the crow flies with the second rejection). All of them were full.

One school which admissions said had a space, were oddly cagey. The lady own the office said she couldn't tell me I would have to ask the head. Then the head was never there and would ring me back but it never happened.

In the meantime I appealed the two schools. The appeal for the catchment school is next week and the other one two weeks after that.

The school teaches it's 3/4 dc together and it's 5/6 dc together.

The PAN is 45.
There are 46 dc in year 3
There are 46 dc in year 4
They are in 3 classes for 30, 31 and 31.

There are 46 dc in year 5
There are 41 dc in year 6.
They are in 3 classes of 29 each.

The Net capacity assessment is 180 and there are 170 dc in the school.

I have submitted my statement but what will happen on the day? What am I supposed to say?

Also what is 'Fair Access Protocol'?

prh47bridge Fri 08-Jan-16 18:46:05

As you are going for a Y4 place infant class size rules don't apply. You can therefore win by showing that the prejudice to your child through not being awarded a place outweighs the prejudice to the school through having to take an additional pupil. If you haven't been offered a place at any other school that should be relatively easy to show since the alternative to this school is no school at all. However, don't be surprised if the LA come up with an offer at the last minute.

On the day you will go into the room where the hearing will take place with the admission authority's representative. After introductions the admission authority will present their case for refusing admission. If you haven't had it already you should receive their written case before the hearing. When they have finished you will have a chance to question them. You should use your questions to highlight any weaknesses in their case. The panel may also ask some questions.

Once this stage is over you will be asked to present your case. Don't read your written case - the panel will have read it already. Use the opportunity to emphasise the strong points in your case. The admission authority's representative and the panel will then ask you some questions. They won't be trying to trip you up. They will just explore the strengths and weaknesses of your case.

The admission authority's representative will then sum up their case and you will sum up yours. Keep it short. You and the admission authority's representative will then leave the room and the hearing will be over.

I would concentrate your argument on the fact that you haven't been offered a place at all (assuming that is still the case at the time of the hearing) and your daughter needs to get back into education. I would also detail any aspects of the school that make it particularly suitable for your daughter. So, for example, if she is interested in music and the school has a lot of extra curricular musical activities that is worth mentioning.

The Fair Access Protocol is something the LA use to find school places for pupils who are hard to place for any reason. If your daughter is out of school for long enough the LA should use the FAP to find a place.

SavoyCabbage Fri 08-Jan-16 19:16:20

Thanks prh, I really appreciate your help.

She hasn't been offered a place. My other dd was going into year 7 and I applied for a place for her and that school was full so they gave her a place at a school that I hadn't applied to. This didn't happen with dd2. Why is that do you think?

Dd2 hasn't been to school since October. She must be hard to place as they haven't placed her!

When I phone admissions they just say things like 'you need to speak to Julie and she's not in till tomorrow but she will give you a ring'. Then she doesn't.

admission Fri 08-Jan-16 21:31:50

The comments you have just made about the admissions office need to come out in the appeal hearing because the appeal panel will not be happy that someone has been out of school since October because the LA have not offered a place. Though as PRH says do not be surprised if you get an offer of a place sometime before the hearing.
I would phrase the comments in terms of you cannot understand why when the admissions office have know since October they have not used the Fair Access Protocol to offer a place. It is simply not good enough that I keep contacting the office, am told somebody else is dealing with it and there is then no response. If you have any emails that show you have contacted then, then you should submit all of them as clear evidence that the admissions office have failed in their legal duties to offer a school place.

SavoyCabbage Fri 08-Jan-16 21:59:15

Thanks. So I should say something like 'I feel that the fair access protocol should be utilised in this case so that dd can go to her catchment school as the LEA have been unable to offer her a place elsewhere'

Have they been unable? I'd be amazed if they did offer her a place before the appeal. It's on Thursday and they have totally ignored her so far.

prh47bridge Sat 09-Jan-16 00:00:50

I would say a bit more than that. Make all the points Admission has. It is completely unacceptable that your child has been without a place since October.

No, they haven't been unable. Even if there are no schools with places they can force a school to take your daughter. They simply haven't bothered.

I'm afraid I would not be amazed if a place is offered. There have been cases where the LA has turned up to the appeal and said they are about to offer a place, thereby undermining the parents completely. Worse, there have been occasions where LAs have done this and have then not made an offer. If the LA tells the panel they are going to make an offer I would recommend that you ask the panel to adjourn for half an hour to allow the LA to produce a written offer or, failing that, to proceed on the basis that the LA has not made an offer and there is no offer in prospect.

SavoyCabbage Sun 10-Jan-16 11:27:51

Thank you. I hadn't even thought of them making an offer or saying they are going to make an offer at the actual appeal.

I'm ridiculously nervous now as I haven't really got a plan b. Apart from the one school that was on the list as having a place that wouldn't give me a straight answer. Otherwise I'm going to be offered a place that is over six miles away as the crow flies.

prh47bridge Mon 11-Jan-16 00:28:55

If they offer a place that far away they will have to provide free transport to and from school for your daughter. And if the journey would take more than 45 minutes each way you can argue that, according to government guidance, this is unreasonable and your daughter should be given a place at a nearer school.

Try to relax. Given the LA's failure to come up with a place I believe you have a good case.

GiddyOnZackHunt Mon 11-Jan-16 00:47:06

My advice as an appeal winning parent who took advice from the luminaries here ,(thanks again) is to be very straightforward and concentrate on things you can demonstrate. If they offer you a place on Wednesday stress that they've come up with a place after three months. Ask why a school with 31 in 2 out of three classes cannot take an extra child to balance the classes. Stress the isolation of your child with no local friends.

SavoyCabbage Thu 14-Jan-16 16:51:44


She got a place.

I'm so relieved. It was quite overwhelming, the whole thing and I cried in the toilets afterwards. The admissions chap said the onus was on the parents to find a place. He said there were places at xyz school and I said that there weren't as I had contacted them. Fortunately the panel believed me. My initial application was on 2nd November so it's been a hell of a ride.

Thanks everyone for the advice.

prh47bridge Thu 14-Jan-16 20:23:01

I'm really pleased for you. Well done.

I suspect the admissions rep lost the case when he said the onus was on the parents to find a place. That is a completely unacceptable approach to take when a child has been out of education for 3 months.

TheWomanInTheWall Thu 14-Jan-16 20:28:42

Well done. That rep sounds like an utter Numpty which is only in your favour, luckily.

Hope your child has a great time at school x

GiddyOnZackHunt Thu 14-Jan-16 22:16:52

Hurray grin

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now