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In-Year Primary Admissions. Stalling De-registration of child? Admissions Advice Please?

(7 Posts)
thisisafulltimejob Thu 11-Feb-16 15:21:35

Hi there,

Some advice from Admissions experts would be great, please!

We are on In-year Admissions waiting list for Primary School (A), number 1 position (currently no child with greater need above ours).
Admissions are handled by LA.
Vacancy at School A but we are not being offered it:

History is:

A child did not return to School A at beginning of January term.
Child is under Compulsory School Age.
Mother informed school A on day 1 of term, that child would not be returning, verbally but, we think, not in writing.
24 days between child not attending School A and LA In-year Allocation Date.
School A told LA no places available (no mention of this 'un-attending' child).
School A have been aware of where child is now attending (temporarily attending an OFSTED registered early years provider).
Child also now been offered school place at new school (B) by same LA Admissions team at day 24 (!!)
Mother informed School A by email of new school details on day 26.
Now 29 days. (Allocation date 24 days).

Questions:
1. At what point (days) should the School A have deregistered the child, or if they could not, because no formal (written) notification of parent not wanting place, what action should School A have taken in the meantime, to clarify the situation, given the child was not attending school?

2. When (at latest, if at all) should LA have been notified by School A of available school place in this timeline?

School Admissions Code / Attendance Regs seem sketchy on process/timeline regarding non-compulsory school age children.

Upshot is that we are (so far) not being offered the place despite it being 'unfilled' and risk being leapfrogged on waiting list if we have to wait until next allocation date (3 week cycles), by others (that we have been made aware of) moving into area (closer) and/or with siblings in school.

School are not returning our calls - or LA's (!). Admissions have been quite reasonable in listening to what has happened etc. (they didn't know), but haven't done anything yet. We'd like to be informed for further discussions, if not resolved when I next get through to the LA on the phone (a challenge in itself ...)

Many thanks.

prh47bridge Thu 11-Feb-16 15:37:47

If the mother intends to return the child to school A when they reach compulsory school age there is no vacancy.

As the child is not of compulsory school age the normal regulations regarding deletion from the register do not apply. However if the school is aware that the child is not going to return they clearly have a vacancy which must be allocated to your child as you are at the head of the waiting list.

What type of school is this? Community, VA, VC, free school or academy?

thisisafulltimejob Thu 11-Feb-16 16:39:40

Dear prh47bridge

Thank you for the advice.

The mum has definitely not deferred.

She definitely wanted to stop sending her child to School A and verbally notified the school on the first day of term by going in and telling them and not returning her child to school that term. (But we think she didn't put it in writing).

It is a community school.

School A confirmed the child had left when I telephoned a few days after the beginning of the term, but said they had a process to follow prior to deregistering (including contacting the school the child is going to go onto etc.), which we accepted and assumed there was a legal timeline attached to this regarding safeguarding etc.

On telephoning LA Admissions on Allocation Day, approx 3 weeks later, we found out that they had been advised 2 days before by School A that there were no vacancies (they have to notify on a weekly cycle apparently). Admissions were therefore surprised to hear about the child from us (and even more surprised to hear that the same department had offered the child a place at another school which the mother is in the process of accepting - admissions interview this week). LA Admissions have been trying to contact the School A Administrator but so far, apparently, not been able to etc.

We then realised that this de-registration process (which has a maximum of 20 days in any case before being escalated triggering automatic de-registration?) does not apply to under compulsory-age children in any case.

Mother informed School A by email of new school details on day 26 in any case.

Sorry if I'm not using the right jargon ...
Thanks for your advice.

Ragusa Thu 11-Feb-16 21:31:20

Hi there OP, is this in England? The mention of an admissions interview in relation to the child currently on roll sounds a bit odd... state schools in England can't interview to determine whether a place should be offered.

prh47bridge Thu 11-Feb-16 22:35:11

state schools in England can't interview to determine whether a place should be offered.

No they can't but the OP tells us the place has already been offered. There is nothing wrong with having a discussion with parents (although I wouldn't use the term "interview") after the place has been offered provided the school does not attempt to withdraw the offer following this discussion.

which the mother is in the process of accepting

That may be the crucial piece of information. The school may be holding the place until the child is registered at another school. That won't happen until the mother actually accepts the offer. This is obviously not ideal from your point of view but I don't think it is unreasonable. Having said that, if your child ends up missing out because of this I would appeal and argue that the place should have been offered to you.

Ragusa Thu 11-Feb-16 22:42:43

The thing is, we don't know the circumstances of the other child. Who knows? this could be a child with an EHC plan, vulnerable child, anything. There could be any number of reasons for the process not going as fast as you might expect.

OP I don't think there's much you can do except hold fire, keep on the LA's case, and appeal if it all goes wrong.

thisisafulltimejob Thu 11-Feb-16 23:48:10

Thanks very much for the advice

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