Lovely admissions experts, junior appeal help needed.

(5 Posts)
Stopyourmessingaround Tue 19-Apr-16 17:19:12

So, unfortunately, my son didn't get a yr3 place at our very oversubscribed junior school. We're planning to appeal and although the admissions team have been really helpful in explaining the process, when I asked what sort of docs/argument should I put forward to argue our case, all they could say was whatever you feel is necessary.
Our main reason for wanting this school is its pastoral care and academic reputation, in particular its maths provision as our son is already accessing the yr5 and 6 curriculum - the school he's been offered is an academy that only opened in September with only a yr3 intake so would we be able to argue that the provision for yr5/6 curriculum at that school is not there/untested, thus being detrimental to our son? Other than the fact that it is our catchment school and he won't know anyone at the allocated school, we don't have much else to back our case, and I'm not sure these would hold much weight either.
As it stands we are 14th on the waiting list, but as our favoured school has a PAN of 180, how many children are likely to win an appeal, especially as it isn't subject to infant class size?
Sorry, this has ended up an essay x

tiggytape Tue 19-Apr-16 17:41:52

The appeal will not be infant class size as it is for Year 3 so will be a standard appeal where the panel consider whether prejudice (meaning harm or disadvantage) to your child through not being admitted to the school outweighs the prejudice the school will face through being forced to admit another pupil.

As for how many (or if indeed any) appeals succeed though, that depends partly on how many people appeal, how strong all of their cases are and how much of an argument the school has for proving that it is already full and cannot cope with any extra children. If the PAN of 180 is split between 6 classes of 30 and the classrooms are large and the school well equipped and the lunch hall and grounds quite big, the panel may decide each class could take 1 more for example but it is impossible to guess - the school may have a very strong case to show they are full.

At appeal, you should concentrate on anything about the preferred school which best meets your child’s needs or interests. Anything that shows how well they meet the needs of children gifted at maths for example would help (maths clubs, maths challenge participation) and how much your child would benefit from that.

You do need to be careful not to be negative about the allocated school though - you are appealing for one school not against the allocated one. Whilst they may not have a Year 5 or 6, they would certainly say that the staff are more than able to differentiate and teach Year 6 level.

Stopyourmessingaround Tue 19-Apr-16 18:07:37

Thanks, this is really helpful. Yes, you're right, I need to be careful about slating other school. Thanks for the clarification about maths provision - they do indeed have extra maths clubs, code club and chess and usually win the district maths challenges ahead of all the independents, and their ofsted report highlights the outstanding maths teaching. I think this needs to be our focus and hope it's enough.

According to friends I've spoken to, last year 20 out of 25 appeals were successful and I know from talking to the council they routinely go over PAN. Obviously I want to rely on fact rather than hearsay, so is there any way of getting hold of this information? Do the school or council have to disclose it if I ask?

tiggytape Tue 19-Apr-16 18:28:35

Yes - they will be able to tell you. You can ask anything in fact that you may need to know when preparing your appeal (within reason - nothing about other pupils etc of course).

admission Tue 19-Apr-16 22:31:34

Absolutely agree with tiggytape to argue that the school you prefer will be best because of maths etc, that is the right way to go.

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