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Can a local authority refuse to allow a child to move schools?

(9 Posts)
gallicgirl Tue 03-Jan-17 22:28:03

Not for me but curious.
I don't know any details or background but a mother tells me she removed her year 5 child from school due to bullying. The LA have supposedly refused to give the child a place elsewhere.
If there is a space in another school, can parents request a move and can a move be refused by either the LA or the school?

Gallavich Tue 03-Jan-17 22:30:10

I believe they can, so a teacher told me recently.

prh47bridge Tue 03-Jan-17 23:10:08

Assuming this is in England, no they cannot. In most cases, if a school has a place available it must be offered to anyone who applies. The teacher who told Gallavich otherwise is wrong. If a child is refused a place in this situation it should be an easy win if the parents appeal.

The LA does not have to make a place available if all schools are full in the relevant age group. If there are no schools with places available the parents can still appeal. Success would not be guaranteed in this situation but good evidence of the bullying issue would help.

TinselTwins Tue 03-Jan-17 23:14:12

yes and no, they have to find the child A place if the child is already removed from the other school and they want a new school, but, it most likely will not be the school the family want and may be miles away,

To move to a school they chose/is reasonably near, they may need to go on loooooong waiting lists. Could be years.

gallicgirl Tue 03-Jan-17 23:18:01

Thank you. We live in a crowded area so it's not unfeasible that there's not a space available.
I'll pass the information on though and hope it helps. It seems perverse to me that a child should be forced to attend a school where bullying is not being resolved.

TinselTwins Tue 03-Jan-17 23:20:43

She can still remove the child and home educate. But in an over subscribed area she'll be unlikely to request a particular school to move to if she wants a new school right now. The LA will find her a place somewhere if not immediately but soon but it could be not even busable - could be a taxi job!

The LA can't stop her from going on waiting lists though for ones she likes / are reasonably near, but it's worth asking how long the lists are before chosing which to go on.

prh47bridge Wed 04-Jan-17 01:50:06

yes and no, they have to find the child A place if the child is already removed from the other school and they want a new school, but, it most likely will not be the school the family want and may be miles away

Just to clarify, if the school the family want has a place available in the appropriate age group it must be offered. However, if there are no spaces available they could offer another school as TinselTwins says.

As well as going on waiting lists, the family can appeal for the schools they want once the LA has told them there are no spaces available. An appeal panel can force a school to take on an additional pupil even though it is already full. If the school is already full to overflowing an appeal probably won't succeed but if there are only 30 or 31 per class in Y5 an appeal has a reasonable chance unless the classrooms are particularly small.

admission Wed 04-Jan-17 16:31:52

Is there some confusion of what the rules are here. As the parent withdrew the child from school, the LA do not have to find them another school, it is for the parent to do this. Has the parent misunderstood what the LA have said?
As others have said the parent can apply for any school they wish and if there is a place in the year cohort they have to be given the place. Alternatively you need to go through the process of being rejected as it is full and then appeal for a place. But you do need to be sensible about the schools that are possible and practical, I would suggest that the first request and appeal should be for the school that is closest in distance, assuming that is not the school that they have left.
Also when it comes to appeals, the panel will have heard parents say that bullying was the reason for a school move many times before. For it to have significance with the panel, the parent needs written evidence of bullying and what the parent has done with the school to try and solve the issue.

gallicgirl Wed 04-Jan-17 21:09:05

Thanks Admission.
I know very few details so no idea if there's a back story or misunderstanding on the part of the parent. The parent had no idea how to resolve the situation and although I am familiar enough with reception admission and appeal procedures (thanks to you folks), I'd not seen any information about in year transfers for older children.
I've given the parent a link to this thread so hopefully it's a start to getting the child back into school.

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