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Primary School Appeal - Clutching at Straws

(26 Posts)
ks25 Tue 24-May-16 16:42:28


I am hoping that anyone who knows about primary school appeals can help me if possible, as the deadline for appeals are this week and quite honestly, I think i'm clutching at straws here.

Basically my son didnt get into his 1st choice school, he missed out by one place, he is first on the waiting list, I've looked into all (as far as I can see) areas of appeal and dont really think there are any grounds for me to appeal, but dont want to miss any chances either.

The PAN is 30 and they have admitted 30 so I know the chances are slim, but if I post the info I requested from the school/LEA and the response I get, if anybody could read it and see any grounds for appeal I would be so grateful. I have tried to deal with the school and LEA as much as possible, but I cant help but feel they are deliberately dragging their feet in getting back to me, I understand they are busy at this time of year, but on average its taking 2 weeks to respond to my emails, and there are still questions they are “waiting on information” for but the deadline is Thursday

So the questions I asked are…...

1. How many appeals have been made within the last 3 years?
Information to follow

2. How many appeals were successful?
Information to follow

3. Has a place been offered to a child on the waiting list within the last 3 years?
Information to follow

4. What were the final Reception class admission numbers for the years
(a) 2014/2015 -30
(b) 2013/2014 -30
(c) 2012/2013 -30

5. How many places were allocated under each of the admission criteria?
(a) Looked after Children -1
(b) Baptised children whose parent(s)/carer(s) are in regular attendance at churches within the Parish -0
(c) Children who will have an older brother or sister attending the school at the time of their admission -12
(d) Baptised or dedicated children whose parent(s)/carer(s) are in regular attendance at Church -0
(e) Children whose parent(s)/carer(s) are members of another recognised religious faith and who desire a faith setting for their child’s education -0
(f) Any other children -17

6. Why would 2 places be offered to applicants who chose St Margaret's as their 2nd preference rather than to one who chose it as their 1st preference?
Children are ranked against each of the schools they choose regardless of their order of preference.
i.e. With a Published Admission Number of 30 children – if the child is ranked within the first 30 they would be offered a place.
However if that child is ranked 31 for the first school of choice they could not be offered so if they were then ranked 10 for the second school – they would therefore be allocated the 2nd preference. This is because they are ranked within the available number of places.
If a child was ranked 30 for the first school but 1st for their second preference they would be offered the place at the first school because they were within the ranking for that 1st school even if they are ranked much higher in their second preference.

7. How is the distance from school to home address measured?
(a) What is the furthest distance you have allocated a place to this year? -0.553
(b) How far have we been measured from the school? -0.557

8. Would a child whose parent(s)/carer(s) are members of another recognised religious faith rank higher than a child who was Baptised at St. Margaret's?
Information to follow

Thank you so much to anyone who has made it to the bottom here and has any help/advice to offer

t4gnut Tue 24-May-16 16:47:39

Its reception therefore an ICS appeal - most of the info that you're waiting to receive has no real bearing. In essence to get in on appeal for class size in excess of 30 you have to show the local authority made a mistake in applying admission criteria based on information provided at the time, so chances are less than slim.

Number 8 should be easily found out from the admission criteria the school posts on their website.

situatedknowledge Tue 24-May-16 16:48:50

There are many experts on here, and I am not one. But with it being so close, and you being top of the waiting list, I'm sure you'll get a place very soon.

ijustwannadance Tue 24-May-16 16:55:38

All this info is completely pointless and will not help you in an appeal.
You are 1st on the waiting list so at the moment you are in the best position possible to get a space if someone moves/leaves.
Unless you have an exceptional reason why your child should've had priorty over another then you are wasting your time.
They do not care if you attend church/live closer blah blah.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 24-May-16 16:57:52

What case are you trying to make for appeal? I can't see anything in either the information you have or the info you are still waiting for that will help you.

As this is an infant class size appeal (the class sizes are multiples of 30) I don't think the number of appeals that have been won previously will be relevant.

You need to show that the admissions authority have made a mistake or have made a decision that is completely unreasonable. What category did you think you were applying under?

AHellOfABird Tue 24-May-16 17:06:50

Number 6 is correct - the preference is nothing to do with it.

On number 8, I would say that you fall into category (b) or (d) if you are baptised AND regular attendees, not if you are just the former. There's no priority for baptised alone.

Were you hoping to be in (d)? Or (e)?or (b)?

Sounds like you are in (f) and therefore it's just about distance.

With an entry of 30, you may not get a place from the list -depends if another child gets a higher preference school offered.

Separately, I'm quite surprised with that set of criteria that no one seems to have been admitted on religious grounds.

meditrina Tue 24-May-16 17:09:30

So, basically, it's an admissions number of 30, so an ICS appeal.

You live further away from the school than the last distance admitted,which is why you did not receive an offer.

I can't see (from the questions asked/answered) that there is any realistic grounds for an appeal. 1 and 2 are irrelevant (as appeals are individual and set no precedent), 3 is irrelevant to an appeal (though I can see why you would want to know).

Answers to 4, 5 and 6 are clear and sound normal, but I can't see how they would help an appeal.

7 shows why you did not qualify, on distance grounds. Do you think there has been an error in the measurement? This might be grounds to appeal.

I'm not sure of the relevance of 8 (as baptism is not sufficient, it needs to be baptism and attendance) and other faiths are included in criterion e

meditrina Tue 24-May-16 17:10:06

Separately, I'm quite surprised with that set of criteria that no one seems to have been admitted on religious grounds.

Me too

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 24-May-16 17:16:04

I thought the same. Especially since baptised children in parish ranks above siblings. What they are saying is there are no children at all either siblings or first borns who live and worship within the parish.

t4gnut Tue 24-May-16 17:23:56

I'm guessing C of E and probably quite rural then if no-one on faith grounds.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 24-May-16 17:25:27

Unless it's a village primary that's always been CofE but mostly just serves the village it's in I suppose.

meditrina Tue 24-May-16 17:26:40

it's the absence of applicants under d) and e) that really puzzled me.

(I assumed b) had some sort of editing or cut and paste garble, because as written it's a bit of a nonsense in terms of church structure)

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 24-May-16 18:02:14

I assumed it was something similar to our local one e.g.
1) baptised CofE children living and worshiping in Parish X
2) baptised children living and worshiping in other CofE churches (i.e, outside of parush x)
3) children worshiping at other Churches Together churches
4) children of other faiths

with b) in the OP corresponding to 1) and d) to 2.

But writing that down, it doesn't make sense. d) would have to correspond to 2) and 3) unless they include other Christian denominations as other faiths. Which would be strange.

Seems odd in an oversubscribed school that no one at all thought 'we might be a bit borderline on distance, we might need to go to church for a bit.'

LittleBearPad Tue 24-May-16 18:12:29

Only 7 is relevant and I think question 6 shows you've misunderstood how the admissions work. I don't see any reason for an appeal unless you live closer than 0.553 and they've cocked this up. Sorry

Pico2 Tue 24-May-16 18:42:53

Are there huge numbers of appeals made with no real grounds to appeal? This sounds like one (unless the OP comes back with some new information) and it sounds like a waste of time for all involved.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 24-May-16 19:01:04

Lots, probably, pico2.

Everyone has a right to make an appeal on whatever grounds they like. Which is as it should be. But I'm not sure they all realise that in an ICS appeal you can only win on very limited grounds so people end up going into it with much higher expectations than they ought to.

It's why you sometimes find people complaining that the system is unfair and fixed because the % of successful ICS appeals is very small.

ijustwannadance Tue 24-May-16 19:14:23

It is your legal right to appeal but they just throw the class size argument at you knowing there is sod all you can do.

I think the op is very, very lucky to be first in line if a space becomes available.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 24-May-16 19:33:10

They don't just throw the class size argument at you. It's either an ICS appeal or it isn't.

The right to appeal is because the other option is probably having the admission authority decide first whether you have a strong enough case for appeal before allowing you to have one. Which would be widely open to abuse.

ijustwannadance Tue 24-May-16 20:32:06

I obviously worded that badly. I meant that if they turned you down due to class size there is very little you can do about it.

admission Tue 24-May-16 21:13:44

Looking at the information, I do not think you really have a case for appeal but I would always say appeal because you never know what my come out of the woodwork at an appeal.
As it is an ICS Regs case you have to prove that you were disadvantaged and if the admission process had been properly instigated you would have been offered a place.
Given that you are at present first on the waiting list and only 0.004 miles further than the last person offered a place, to me your only possibility is to consider whether that distance measurement is wrong. I would use that as your reason for appeal, that you are not convinced that the distance is correct. So questions to be considering are
1) assuming it is straight line distance measurement, does the figure of 0.557 seem reasonable
2) what does the admission criteria say about the measuring point on the school? Is it the front gate, the nearest entrance, the "seed point" or what. Obviously if it is the front gate and there is more than one gate that throws up a potential line of concern

If you want me to look at the admission criteria for any thing that may give you some lines of inquiry, PM me the school name and Local Authority

Pico2 Tue 24-May-16 21:18:28

Yes, I see that having the right to appeal is a vital check in the system and the alternative wouldn't be sufficiently transparent.

I just feel for the time taken on both sides for those fruitless cases. Though I suppose that a school/local authority covering the school with very many appeals like that would prepare for the majority of those appeals en masse.

ijustwannadance Tue 24-May-16 21:37:38

Our LA does all the appeals for school A on one day, school B on a different day etc etc. They speak to everyone as a group first and school rep explains why they can't take any more kids etc, then the parents each get their time with the panel to make their case.

ks25 Tue 24-May-16 22:16:16

Thank you all for taking the time to reply, i hold my hands up that i have absolutely no idea about the appeals process and the questions i asked were based on internet searches of people who claimed to have succesfully appealed in the past.

I didnt want to waste anyones time and appeal without any valid reasons to, i foolishly thought being baptised and occasional church attenders would be enough to get us a place but was a major error on my part blush

Thanks again for your help

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 25-May-16 07:30:54

What does the admission criteria say about church attendance?

Does it state clearly how often and for how long you have to attend for?

ks25 Wed 25-May-16 09:17:29

The criteria specifically states a minimum of every fornight for a year, which we havent done unfortunately due to one thing and another. Suppose im irritated more than anything because noone else has been admitted on any religious criteria.

I didnt realise school have their own criteria that can be different/more specific than the LA guidance, having to treat it as a lesson learned now, and will have to decide once my twins are ready for school do they follow their brother to his school (assuming he settles in well), or do i try again for our 1st choice with them and uproot him and try to move him over.

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