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Appeals Help/Advice

(8 Posts)
Karenhibbert2 Tue 26-Apr-16 12:39:07

Ok, so the shock of not getting my first preferred school for my daughter' s in now over I think. I was more shocked she was the only pupil in the Pre-School she attends that did not get into the Reception class, so as you can imagine I was a bit upset as I now have to explain to her why she is leaving a school she loves, her friends, her teachers and her before and after school carer to attend another school?

I have spoken with the School and the first thing they said was "We thought that your daughter was going to another school she wa not on our list" well she is not on there because she didn't get into this one! Apparently she missed out on the admission criteria by 1 place as the last pupil admitted was from Pre-School was up to 2.7 miles away and we live 3.2 miles away.

I asked what I could do (This is a Foundation School ) but the the local LEA apply the admission places set out by the Governors of the School. They advised to put her on the waiting List (as she is top of the list) and appeal my case. First I was not going to bother to appeal beacuse it comes under Infant Class Size (ICS) and its very hard to pursuade a panel. I spoke with the Appeals Department and they were very helpful and encouraged me to appeal, but I still think this is going to be a waste of eveyone's time unless I can convince the Panel why my daughter should go to this school and why they should breach the ICS.

The only reasons I can think of are as follows:
1.The Pre-School Admissions clearly states that their is one intake in September but I know the school had an intake in January as I was at the Parent tour for Reception when a Pre-School parent was being shown around the Pre-School (Ironically it was the Nursery Manager's son from my daughter's previous Nursery!). So my daughter missed out on her place because their was a January Intake, the Appeals Department said that the admissions rules were breached and I could use this as a reason.

2.They also suggested putting down about her emotional well being as at the moment she has before and after school care with a Childminder who's daughter also attends the Pre-School (who got a Reception Place) and the effect this is going to have on my Daughters emotional state (i.e being taken away from the School and all her friends and Chilminder who she has had a close bond with for the past 2 years, plus the before and after School care will continue if she went to Reception).

3.I also know that there are enough Teachers at the School to cover the 30 pupil class limit. (This is a very large school of 4 classes per year group) the Average pupil to Teacher ratio is 21 and they also have 17 teaching Assistants throughout the School and pupils on the register are 413 which is on average 103 pupils per year (Pre-School/Reception,Yr1/Yr 2).

Can anyone give any advice please and my chances of getting her into the School if I use the above Reasons.

PatriciaHolm Tue 26-Apr-16 13:30:08

As you seem to be aware, it will be an ICS appeal and these can only be won on the grounds that -

- the admissions criteria are unlawful
- the admissions authority made a mistake
- the decision not to admit was so perverse that no sensible person would have made it.

None of your points so far are reasons for a successful appeal, i'm sorry to say. On your points -

1- nursery admissions have no bearing on school reception admissions. I don't see how another child being taken into nursery has a bearing. Does the school give preference to those attending nursery? Even if it does, admitting to a child to nursery part way through the year is fine, they aren't constrained legally to having one intake. What exactly did Admissions say was the breach?

if the school gives preference to those attending the nursery (most don't) it must do so in a way that also makes it fair to those who don't attend. However, your daughter does, so I don't see how it makes any difference here.

2 - This is irrelevant when it comes to ICS I'm afraid.

3 -Again, for ICS the way the wider school is laid out is irrelevant, unless they make the decision to add another teacher to reception and make another class altogether. Assuming there are 4 teachers in reception, the maximum reception can have is 120 pupils in 4 classes of 30.

I'm sorry, but I can't see that you have a case, unless there was something amiss in how they have measured your distance, for example.

However, if you are first on the waiting list for a 4 entry school, I would think you stand a very good chance of getting in pretty soon anyway. (Of course other people can come onto the list and may jump ahead of you if they meet the criteria better).

Karenhibbert2 Tue 26-Apr-16 13:34:31

Patriciaholm Thanks for your advice and help. I think I will just hold fire and play the waiting game.

NynaevesSister Tue 26-Apr-16 14:40:37

Please wait Karen and see what the experts in here say. Admission, PanelChair, TiggyTape and Prh37bridge will be able to give you expert opinions on your case.

PatriciaHolm Tue 26-Apr-16 14:51:58

OP has another longer thread in Education where she has more advice. (I also sit on appeals panels)

admission Tue 26-Apr-16 15:10:34

I agree with PatriciaHolm on the face of it there is nothing that seems to fit the criteria for winning an infant class size regs case.
The only thing I wondered about, given the comments on the pre-school, was whether the admission criteria had something about attendance at pre-school in it which might alter things.
I suspect that your best course of action is to make sure that you are on the waiting list and hope that there is movement on it. My reaction is always that it is worth in these circumstances appealing, as long as you recognise the very low level of possibility of success, as you never know when something can come out of the woodwork that can aid your case. If you don't appeal you are never going to know.

PatriciaHolm Tue 26-Apr-16 15:47:19

Admission - there is more detail in OP's other thread, but pre-school comes below catchment and siblings in the admissions criteria so I don't think there is anything amiss.

NynaevesSister Tue 26-Apr-16 16:35:59

Ah good to know Patricia thank you.

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