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Been refused school place (reason included) do I have a hope at appeal?

(27 Posts)
usernjdhkvdgkb Tue 28-Mar-17 21:34:10

Trying to change dd primary school to put local catchment school

Many reasons mostly ongoing friendship issues/mild bullying since year 2, concerned about her lack of progress and a breakdown of relationship between myself and head after he awfully let down my other dd in regards to her SENDS

The school I'm apply for currently have 2 spaces in the year I'm applying for year 5 but have refused place on grounds that come September when the current year 4 move up they will have a class of 35

Yet the following September when the next group move up they will have a class of 41 so this really doesn't make sense.

I'm really struggling to word my appeal and wondered if anyone can give any advice on what rout me to go down or even if I have a chance at appeal or if I'm wasting my time

usernjdhkvdgkb Tue 28-Mar-17 21:35:21

Reason for refusal

BastardBernie Tue 28-Mar-17 21:36:18

35 children in one class?! 41?!
Blimey, I don't think I'd move for them class sizes shock

ExplodedCloud Tue 28-Mar-17 21:39:20

Didn't you already ask about this? And were told that they can't hold places open for these circumstances? And even if they could, they've admitted in the years below aware that they'll have a class of 41 so why can't they do 35 next year.

usernjdhkvdgkb Tue 28-Mar-17 21:44:05

ExplodedCloud I did ask a few weeks ago but can't seem to find that thread anywhere!

I'm really rubbish at wording things and really struggling to get a decent appeal letter put in to challenge this decision so was just hoping for as much fresh info I can get as I'm running out of time to get my appeal in

Smartiepants79 Tue 28-Mar-17 21:48:23

I'm confused. The current year 5 ( so not your childs year group?) have spaces but the yr 4 ( the year group your child is currently in?) is basically very full? They've got classes of 41??? That is huge! I can umderstand why they would be doing all they can to stop any more children coming in?
Can I ask why you think a place with such large classes would be an improvement?

ExplodedCloud Tue 28-Mar-17 21:56:03

Here you go:

As I said above, they're planning for a subsequent year to have 41 children already. If they are planning for a year with 41 children in it then how can they argue that admitting your child causing next year to have 35 cause more prejudice than the plans they already have?

They can't argue reasons of space.

usernjdhkvdgkb Tue 28-Mar-17 21:59:06

No currently in year 5 they have 13 children there numbers allow 15 so there is actually 2 spaces, currently in year 4 there is 22

The classes are grouped

Currently in the class I want (5/6) there is only 25 children in it but come September when those year 6 leave and current year 4 move up they will have a class of 35

But one of my arguments is that due to them going so over there numbers of other years groups the following year they will have a class of 41 in the year 5/6 class

trinitybleu Tue 28-Mar-17 22:02:59

I suspect they'll be planning to do a split of 3 years across 2 classes ... so year 6 and top of year 5 in one class and bottom of year 5 with year 4?

ExplodedCloud Tue 28-Mar-17 22:03:35

So you argue that they're planning in 2019 to have a class of 41
They're planning for 2018 to have 35 (or 36 including your dd)
They currently have 25 or (26) if your dd gets a place.

usernjdhkvdgkb Tue 28-Mar-17 22:04:44

Gosh this is all making my brain hurt sad I actually just have no idea all this info just seems to swim around my head and makes no sense

I don't have a hope of putting together a decent appeal

usernjdhkvdgkb Tue 28-Mar-17 22:07:47

ExplodedCloud thank you that makes some sense and hopefully I can get something decent down to support that!

This decision to change schools hadn't been taken lightly and I'm just finding the whole thing so stressful

Smartiepants79 Tue 28-Mar-17 22:08:05

Ah, that makes a bit more sense but those are still very large classes and especially challenging with the mixed ages. Is this school your only option as I would worry your simply moving from one set of issues to another.
Would an extra child take them over their PAN as this is a different issue ( i believe) and my be harder to argue against. ie their overall school numbers can't exceed more than 105.

ExplodedCloud Tue 28-Mar-17 22:08:30

I'm pretty sure though that they can't keep 2 spaces free for 18 months if they have a PAN of say 18 for Y5 and only have 16 people. It doesn't work like that.

Your appeal hinges around their PAN and the spaces. If they have a problem then the LA should have reduced their PAN.

ExplodedCloud Tue 28-Mar-17 22:12:08

Is Y3/4 at 41 currently?

Sorry I'm forgetting that PAN is the whole school number. But if the admissions people think there are 2 spaces and the school won't take them then something odd's going on. It is Local Authority and not an Academy isn't it? Are they taking on less children in Reception next year to reduce the roll?

usernjdhkvdgkb Tue 28-Mar-17 22:18:50

No I understand that they are still taking 15 in September

usernjdhkvdgkb Tue 28-Mar-17 22:21:16

As far as I can tell the year 3/4 class has 41, unless they have held some back into year 1/2 .... could they even do that can keep juniors with reception?

rollonthesummer Tue 28-Mar-17 22:24:34

I can totally understand why they don't want to accept your child-those class sizes are unmanageable.

ExplodedCloud Tue 28-Mar-17 22:28:20

It would be easier to do that in 2019 than now for the group.
Anyway, if they we so worried about numbers in other years affecting the current total numbers wouldn't they have taken less in at some point after they realised they had a problem?

Witchend Tue 28-Mar-17 22:33:29

Isn't that something called "future prejudice" or something?

I would assume with the 41 they either will have an extra teacher or some will be held back. That's not manageable (although that was smaller than dsis' form back in the 80s)

35/36 would be upper limit I'd have thought without splitting it further, so I can see where they're coming from. One local school has 30/class pan in infants, but goes up to 33/class pan juniors and that did put me off even looking at what was, at the time, the most desirable school in the area.
Mind you, they've just received a OFSED oops what went wrong here (answer everything) report so I think class sizes might be the least of their worry at present.

Wondermoomin Tue 28-Mar-17 22:36:38

You're assuming that the numbers currently in Y4 and Y5 will flow through to a Y5/6 class of 41 children in time. There's been no indication in their communication that this will actually happen. If they believe that taking Y5/6 over 35 will be detrimental, then they will be planning something else for future years, not a Y5/6 class of 41. Perhaps, like a PP said, a Y5/6 and a Y4/5. I don't think you can appeal based on a "fact" that you've arrived at by extrapolating data yourself (and possibly coming up with the wrong answer).

BrieAndChilli Tue 28-Mar-17 22:42:43

The most important number is he overall PAN number of the school.
If PAN is 210 (so for ease will normally be divided into 30 per year) and then the school for whatever reason has 40 in one class and 20 in another that doesn't mean there are 10 free spaces - overall the school still can't take anymore

PAN is calculated on square footage of classrooms and teaching areas, the size of the school hall, amount of toilets etc etc

The school can obviously see the bigger picture with regards to space available.

usernjdhkvdgkb Tue 28-Mar-17 22:51:53

I will double check tomorrow the overall PAN for the school and also double check how the class are split I know there are only 4 classrooms overall so can't see how they can accommodate a spilt the following year

prh47bridge Wed 29-Mar-17 08:52:10

Just realised there are two threads. As most responses are here I am reposting my response from the other thread. But please read this. I'm afraid some of the responses on this thread are misleading and I have added to my response as a result.

As they are below PAN in the year an appeal has a good chance of success. The problem in September clearly comes about because they have admitted beyond PAN in Y4. The fact that the class will be even bigger next year is a point in your favour.

The first point in your appeal should be that they are below PAN in the relevant year and therefore they should admit your daughter as there are places available. You should also point out the numbers next year to counter their argument about what happens in September.

You should also explain why your daughter will be disadvantaged if she doesn't attend this school. Don't be negative about her current school unless you have documented evidence of the school failing to meet her needs, e.g. not taking effective action against bullying. Concentrate on the positives of the school you want.

Turning to comments on this thread, there appears to be confusion about PAN. It is NOT a whole school number. There is no such thing as an overall PAN for the school. PAN is the number that will be admitted to Reception in the normal admissions round. Technically PAN only applies to Reception but it is normally regarded as following the year group as it progresses through the school. For most schools PAN is the same for all years but it can be different if, for example, the school had a bulge class in Reception one year. For this particular school it sounds like PAN is 15 for all years.

There is a number for the whole school but that is called net capacity, not PAN. It is the number of pupils the school can theoretically accommodate based on the size of the buildings. If the school is over capacity it gives some strength to their argument but not much if they have created the problem themselves. An appeal panel should take the view that when the school admitted beyond PAN in other years they should have anticipated and planned for any problems that would be caused if any years that were below PAN at the time filled up to PAN. In general a school cannot refuse admission to a year that is below PAN.

I agree with Admission on your original thread. It seems unlikely that the additional pupils in Y4 and Y3 were all admitted on appeal so the school has created its own problem by admitting substantially beyond PAN in those years. That means an argument that they should not admit to Y5 when it is currently below PAN is quite weak. Unless there is something we are missing here I would be pretty confident of success in your position.

As far as I can tell the year 3/4 class has 41, unless they have held some back into year 1/2 .... could they even do that can keep juniors with reception

They could teach Y3 pupils in a Y1/Y2 class provided there are no more than 30 in the class overall. It is worth checking (and you should also check to see if they have put any of the Y4 pupils in the Y5/Y6 class) but I suspect you will find that the Y3/Y4 class has 41 pupils.

You're assuming that the numbers currently in Y4 and Y5 will flow through to a Y5/6 class of 41 children in time. There's been no indication in their communication that this will actually happen

Unless the school says that something else will happen and has made decisions as to what that will be the OP and the appeal panel must assume that the 41 pupils currently in Y3/Y4 will become a class of 41 in Y5/Y6. It is likely that they are already a class of 41 if there is only one Y3/Y4 class.

usernjdhkvdgkb - If you are having trouble wording your appeal feel free to PM me. I will be happy to take a look at whatever you have written and suggest improvements. If you PM me it would be helpful to know the name of the school and the LA.

admission Wed 29-Mar-17 22:40:23

The other thing that I had not thought about until now is that the school has recently (their words) moved to being a primary school from an infant school.
With a PAN of 15, the obvious way of accommodating 7 year groups of 15 is a reception class of 15, year 1/2, year 3/4 and year 5/6 all of 30. So from their data they actually have 47 in the infant end of the school when they should only have 45 if they are taking to the PAN. Whilst they may have taken 2 on appeal, it is another point to make at appeal that even at the bottom end of the school they are exceeding the PAN on occasions.
The issue about the potential class of 41 is relevant to the school in the future but not necessarily to this appeal because the appeal is for year 6 in September and they will not be in the school by the time the 41 class is on the horizon. The panel therefore do not need to consider this in theory.
However it is worth asking the question what was the situation when current year 4 and 5 were together last year. Was it a class of 41? If the answer is yes it was a class of 41, then your reply is so if you have coped with 41 then you can cope with 36 by admitting my child. If they say there were not that many in the year groups at that time, then you can reply, so you have over the last 12 months deliberately exceeded the PAN when you knew that there would be this very large class and have disadvantaged my child when the year group is not even up to PAN.

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