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Can I argue that admissions criteria is unfair?

(49 Posts)
Luckymummy22 Sat 23-Apr-16 12:04:08

My child got none of our 3 choices of school. I did not put down her cathment school so she never got that either. My gamble I know. I didn't like her catchment school, wasn't keen on headmistress, not good Ofsted etc etc.

However my 1st choice is 0.25 miles from our home but we are just out of catchment. We actually live close than some of the catchment area. It's a 60 intake local authority school. Catchment area is very small. Only 2 out of catchment non sibling children got a place.

My argument is that 16 out of catchment siblings got a place. So 25 % of the intake. This is preventing local children going to local schools. The furthest sibling now lives over 2.7 miles away. It's a small city so it really is a completely different area of the city. So we'll probably pass them in the car to driving our children to school.

My argument is that the sibling preference is unfair when it involved a family a distance away.

I know it's difficult to get 2 children to the same school at different times, but if you move out of catchment then that's a gamble you need to take or you should be able to move your child to your local school.

Everything is stacked against a 1st child.

Also I now have real concerns that my 2nd child won't get into the school that my daughter has been allocated because we are so far out of catchment. So we will fall way down the list of out of catchment siblings.

I know there are at times mitigating circumstances for a move & in these instances councils should be able to use discretion but it's time that children should be able to walk to school again.

Choice is good, but some postcodes like mine don't really have a choice as we only have 1 local school which is not available to us (catchment school is not local).

I doubt I can do much apart from write to the council & complain to my MP but just wondering if anyone has appealed on this basis before & been successful ?

meditrina Sat 23-Apr-16 12:11:25

You may think it is unfair but it complies with the Admissions Code and so will not win an ICS appeal.

There has to be something that is not compliant with the Code (eg giving priority to groups they are not allowed to, or not giving priority to those they must such as LAC) and for that to have deprived your DC of a place for it to be winnable.

Giving siblings in/out of catchment priority is compliant, as is having a wriggly catchment area. The only times a catchment area can be struck down is if it can be shown it was jerrymandered to the extent it was covert selection. But even if you could show that, it would not necessarily win you a place (it's more likely to force changes for subsequent intakes) as there are no guarantees where the new boundary would be placed.

GiddyOnZackHunt Sat 23-Apr-16 12:21:57

That's the way a lot of LA criteria are set. The order of precedence is clearly set out in the admissions documentation. You gambled as you say and lost. It's unfortunate for you but not appeal worthy.

BertrandRussell Sat 23-Apr-16 12:24:13

So what school have you got?

Luckymummy22 Sat 23-Apr-16 12:25:24

Yeah I definitely can't argue that it's covert selection as we're probably considered a middle class area.
I actually do want to follow it up for future years. Won't benefit me or my kids.
If I do manage to get my daughter in on waiting lists (not a lot of movement I suspect) I guess I will benefit for getting my son in with rules the way they are.
But if they were taken away he would still get in on distance.
It's just frustrating.
We have real issues in my city this year (massive baby boom) & a lot of the issues are caused by out of catchment siblings.
Schools we would have got into last year are not available this year.
The council should have seen it coming yet they continue to build new houses & add new school places in the wrong areas confused

Luckymummy22 Sat 23-Apr-16 12:34:53

What does it matter what school I have got? It's not the school I would have picked as it's a drive from home, & if I were to use public transport I would need to pass the school I want to get the bus.
But I'm undecided yet if it's worse than the catchment school.
It's an academy so was previously failing but seems to be doing better now. It's Ofsted rated Good so I can't complain in that aspect.
But it's not near my house but then neither was the catchment school. Probably only a couple of mins distance driving distance between this school or catchment school.

IWantMyMumSheWouldBeProud Sat 23-Apr-16 12:39:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Shapebandit Sat 23-Apr-16 12:42:11

So you want out of catchment siblings to not get places in order for out of catchment new pupils (you) to get their first choice?

Luckymummy22 Sat 23-Apr-16 12:45:34

No I want local children to get a place.
If my child got a 0lace & we then moved I would not expect my son to get a place.
I want a fair chance for all.

Luckymummy22 Sat 23-Apr-16 12:48:01

I did not like Catchment school. I am not upset I never got it.
As I've said I may prefer the school she has been given to catchment school. Have yet to visit.

If I had liked catchment school when I visited then I would have put it down.
However in previous years it has been very undersubscribed.
I'm sure I would get catchment school if I went on waiting list so no concern there at all. As said it's not a popular or good school.

IWantMyMumSheWouldBeProud Sat 23-Apr-16 12:50:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SquirmOfEels Sat 23-Apr-16 12:50:36

So essentially you want a bigger catchment area?

Because it does sound as if they are prioritising local children, as in-catchment joiners come before all out-of-catchment siblings.

It does sound as if your issue is simply that you don't live in the catchment of the school you find most desirable.

merlottime Sat 23-Apr-16 12:51:23

I sympathise, but for all you know, the out of catchment siblings may live so far from the school not because their parents moved further away after first children were admitted, but because they were potentially allocated that school from their current address for that first child. I appreciate what you are saying, but it would be just as hard to penalise families where their circumstances haven't changed.

Luckymummy22 Sat 23-Apr-16 12:58:00

I prefer the school because it's close. I prefer the school because it's a better quality of life for my kids being able to walk to school.
It's the only school in walking distance.
You would never have got a child into this school if you lived 2.7 miles away.
But I do agree that if you live perhaps 0.5 miles away & you got your child in from that distance then they should take priority over other out of catchment children.
But i think you should have to live in the local community.

clarrylove Sat 23-Apr-16 13:19:47

You are contradicting yourself many times. Many people get allocated an out of catchment school against their wishes. It would be even harsher if that then school did not step up and take the younger sibling.

Luckymummy22 Sat 23-Apr-16 13:24:18

When I was younger you went to your local school. People moved areas - they changed shool.
There was no Ofsted etc you just went local. You could walk (or in my case we got a free bus).
It was in Scotland though so maybe that's why it was different. Doesn't seem a bad system though!!

Luckymummy22 Sat 23-Apr-16 13:26:08

I'm not contradicting myself. The school is always oversubscribed so no one would get allocated that school unexpectedly.
Unless you know where I live & the school then you don't know how it is here.

Luckymummy22 Sat 23-Apr-16 13:30:43

And I also did say that discretion should be used if rules change. If that's the case then council should prioritise higher than out of catchment children.
But people move into an area & then move out just to get a school. That's not fair.

CoolforKittyCats Sat 23-Apr-16 13:30:46

Unless you know where I live & the school then you don't know how it is here.

Then why bother asking? People are giving you their knowledge and opinion.

Luckymummy22 Sat 23-Apr-16 13:33:37

I asked if I could argue that admissions criteria was unfair. A couple of people have kindly answered that question.
Whether people agree with me or not was not the original question.

FanDabbyFloozy Sat 23-Apr-16 13:34:50

Some London schools have changed the rules stating that if you are in a different address to the original one you had when applying to the school but are now out of catchment, you don't get a sibling place.

Problem solved?

Not at all - landlords can force a move, families can grow out of houses, parents divorce..

The only way that is actually fair is to force all children to go to their nearest school but no-one would want that of course.

FanDabbyFloozy Sat 23-Apr-16 13:36:34

A system will only be considered fair if it goes our way.

Actually a lottery may be fairer - but Brighton have tried that and it hasn't been popular.

CrotchetQuaverMinim Sat 23-Apr-16 13:44:09

As an aside to your main question - sometimes if you are allocated (rather than chose) a school out of catchment, siblings can be treated as in-catchment in later years - so as you say you are worried about not getting your son into the school your daughter has been allocated, you might check about whether that applies in your area.

allegretto Sat 23-Apr-16 13:47:51

Having two (or more siblings) in different schools is far more difficult to manage than having to go to a school a bit further away so I don't think the criteria are wrong.

Luckymummy22 Sat 23-Apr-16 13:50:05

Thank you, yes that's a question I am going to ask.
Not sure what the policy is now but think things will need to change locally as there is a whole class worth of kids who didn't get the chosen catchment school in one specific area or any local school. ( not any of my preferred schools or my area of city)

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