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Primary application appeal

(56 Posts)
monkeytree Wed 08-Feb-17 19:54:23

This is a bit of a long shot; I don't think many mothers would have found themselves in this situation (I hope not anyway).

To cut a long story short I had a late mc and we have been trying to move away from the area to give me a fresh start but have not yet managed to find a new house. One women in the village had a child a week after my late ds was due and every time I see her child I am reminded of what I have lost and become distressed; hence plan A = to move. This constant reminder is almost like having flashbacks. My eldest DC is due to start grammar school shortly but my youngest DC is due to start school in Sept 2018. I know it is early but I am dreading my youngest DC starting school where this woman already takes her eldest child and her youngest child will start the year after (so young dc will be sandwiched between the two of them). Plus they mix classes so it is likely that my dc will be in her dc's year at some point. Occasionally I see this woman around the village occasionally but the thought of having to do the school run and have the physical reminder on a daily basis is affecting my mood. Unsurprisingly, young DC currently goes to a pre-school in the next village and is thriving there. The problem is the other school is very small and there are already high percentage of siblings there. I know a woman from my village who did get her child into the other school but it is such a gamble and there are very few places available..
My question is would the LEA take into consideration the state of my mental health, given that I take AD's and can probably get a supporting letter from GP. Is there any way the school can create an extra space do you think? Obviously my mental health impacts on my children too. It's quite an unusual request I know but it would make an enormous difference to our daily life. It's not just the school run it is about me being involved with the school too and feeling comfortable in class assembly etc. The school in our direct catchment is outstanding and over subscribed eldest dd attended and did well. Other school is equally good in my opinion so I'm not requesting this because one school is better than the other. Any advice greatly appreciated.

HelenDenver Wed 08-Feb-17 20:21:06

I am very sorry for your loss, but I don't think the LA could accommodate this.

Is there any way someone else could do the school run?

Would you consider accessing counselling?

triskele Wed 08-Feb-17 20:26:03

I think the bigger issue here is addressing your mental health as you're making a big thing over avoiding this woman because of what she reminds you of.

JennyOnAPlate Wed 08-Feb-17 20:30:41

I'm very sorry for your loss flowers

The LA won't create an extra space for you, no.

monkeytree Wed 08-Feb-17 20:38:02

Can I just ask if any of the above respondents have direct experience to admissions/appeals experience?
Also, triskele thank you for comment about making a big thing over avoidance, you are qualified to make this comment I assume having had the same experience? And yes have received a years worth of bereavement counselling but thank you anyway for your considered advice.

Venusflytwat Wed 08-Feb-17 20:40:20

I have professional experience in this field and I'm sorry but this is just not something that an LA or an appeal panel could take into account when when applying the admission rules.

I'm very sorry for your loss and I understand your pain.

HelenDenver Wed 08-Feb-17 20:43:45


There are very specific rules around social and medical reasons in an application. If one of these applied, it wouldn't cause the LA to create an extra place, just move your child to that category in the admissions. ICS (infant class size) rules are very strict to keep classes at 30.

The exceptions would usually be things like a child in a wheelchair accessing a school all on one floor, rather than two. It's rarely allowed even for, say, parents with physical disabilities that would make one school easier to access.

I am not an admissions expert, but I have followed this board for many years and know what kinds of things the experts post. One will be along in due course, I expect.

HelenDenver Wed 08-Feb-17 20:44:06

X post with Venus

LunaticFringe Wed 08-Feb-17 20:45:29

My dd2 was stillborn. Due within days of my friends baby. We have stayed friends. I had to deal with it. I do agree with people saying you can't live your life avoiding women who had babies when you should. flowers

awishes Wed 08-Feb-17 20:46:01

Hello unfortunately schools are unable by law to go over 30 in a class from Reception year through to Year 2.

monkeytree Wed 08-Feb-17 20:46:34

Thank you for your prompt responses Helen and Venus

GraceGrape Wed 08-Feb-17 20:47:09

Sorry to hear this, but other posters are correct, parental health has no bearing on school applications. For example, if a parent suffered from a disability which made it difficult to travel to a school, this still wouldn't affect the application. Are there any other school options available in your area?

cantkeepawayforever Wed 08-Feb-17 20:48:01

What are the oversubscription (admissions) criteria for the school that you would like your DC to attend? (Look at their website under 'Admissions' - it may well link to an LEA document or it may be directly on the website.

These are what they will take into account when allocating places - by law, they HAVE to follow these and they CAN'T prioritise admissions to someone unless it is in line with these criteria.

Most schools have a fairly standard set of these criteria e.g.
- Children with a statement of SEN naming the school.
- Looked after or previously looked after children.
- Siblings of those who will be in the school at the time of admission
- All others by distance

Some schools have faith criteria, others have a fixed catchment or priority admissions area, iothers e.g. junior schools give priority to pupils who have attended a linked infant school.

A few have 'Social / Medical needs' as an admission criteria - does the school that you are interested in? If so, it is almost always the social / medical needs of the child, not the parent, that are taken into consideration in deciding whether any priority is given, but very occasionally the needs of a parent are mentioned (or not excluded) by the criteria.

IF the school has 'Social / Medical needs' as a category within the admissions, and if these include needs of the parent (not just of the child) then it is possible to constrict a scenario in which your situation might be taken into account. However, if the oversubscription criteria are the 'standard' ones above, or the standard ones + faith, then there simply isn't any leeway for the LEA to over-ride the determined admissions arrangements for that school to give you priority for a place.

monkeytree Wed 08-Feb-17 20:48:36

So sorry to hear of your loss lunatic. I guess we all handle things differently though x

HelenDenver Wed 08-Feb-17 20:49:19

Good post, cantkeep

cantkeepawayforever Wed 08-Feb-17 20:49:34

Apologies, massive cross post,. I would emphasise again that social / medical criteria are rare, and those that are phrased so that they can take parental needs into account almost vanishingly so.

meditrina Wed 08-Feb-17 20:49:40

I think you might be able to sustain an objection to being offered a place in the school, you would find distressing.

Indeed, as you say it is oversubscribed, simply by pong listing it on your form would pretty much guarantee no offer.

What you cannot do is then specify that another school just give you a place. You list the ones you are OK with, and hope you get one of them.

HelenDenver Wed 08-Feb-17 20:50:45

Do you mean "simply by not listing it", medi?

cantkeepawayforever Wed 08-Feb-17 20:51:52

The only thing that you can do, if your catchment school is not a possibility for you, is to seek out an undersubscribed school elsewhere to make your first choice on your application - yes, it would potentially be much further away, and might not be a good school, but it would give you what you seek in terms of being distant from this other family.

HelenDenver Wed 08-Feb-17 20:52:00

Op, as you are looking for a new house, it's still quite possible the move will happen in time, right?

meditrina Wed 08-Feb-17 20:57:04

School application forms give you the opportunity to list your preferred schools.

If you do not include the school you do not want your DC to attend on that list, and that school is normally oversubscribed, then you simply won't be offered a place there, as it will be filled but those families who have listed it.

Now, this won't help someone get an offer from one if their other preferred schools. That will still come down to how well they fit the criteria.

But remember that if it comes to appeal, then you are appealing for a school, not -against the undesirable one. And there is a close to sure-fire way to avoid the undesirable one. So OP needs to be realistic about the limits of th 'not this school' approach.

Itscurtainsforyou Wed 08-Feb-17 21:00:03

Op - I'm so sorry. When I had a late loss it seemed that most of my friends announced pregnancies within days - I have a whole group of children who are celebrating their third birthdays soon, when my children are just a memory to me.

It is very hard, but my experience has been to grit my teeth and put up with it, mainly because if it's not this woman and her child, it will be something else (for example, I lost twins and ever since I see twins absolutely everywhere).

I hope you manage to find a way forward.

cantkeepawayforever Wed 08-Feb-17 21:01:53

Exactly, Meditrina.

The OP can (easily) avoid the school she does not want.

However, this does not mean that she can be given any priority at the school she does want (unless it happens to have a very rare oversubscription criterion that she could then successfully argue that she comes under). What she can do is to apply to other schools that she MIGHT get, and might want slightly more than the final 'council decided' allocation that she might get if she puts only 1 highly oversubscribed school on her application form.

monkeytree Wed 08-Feb-17 21:06:43

Yes exactly meditrina; i need to be realistic and know what I'm dealing with now.
Yes could afford to buy a second home in this other area but may not guarantee a place even if I go to these lengths (was looking at buying an investment property for two dc's anyway) but properties don't come up that often in such a small place. Then we would ideally need to rent out our home because we need to make the other home our first property if you see what I mean and although I'm prepared to do this, I don't see a way of doing without losing money though it is possible for a short while. We should be able to rent out our five bed home fairly easily I would have thought but it is all the upheaval involved and would very likely need to move back as second home would be smaller. I am not bothered if people judge me for doing this not in least; if I thought I could do I would. I just might. Life after all is not fair.

monkeytree Wed 08-Feb-17 21:12:31

Oh Curtains, so very sorry for your loss and thank you for taking the time to reply. You are very right about separating myself from the other lady and her child. I had fertility issues as well so double whammy. I feel I could really do with a change though, I have a spare room waiting that will never be occupied that sort of thing and I have never been one hundred percent happy with the house itself for various reasons. Having said that I have some lovely friends here too and there are some positives

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