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In Year Transfer Appeal in Wales - Year 3

(21 Posts)
crazygirluk Sun 09-Apr-17 21:55:04

We applied for an in transfer place in the Vale of Glamorgan for my son is who currently in Year 3. We've had a letter stating that our chosen schools are full, but their suggestion is a school that is 6.1 miles away. I'm assuming that free transport will be provided.

He is on the waiting list for several schools. He's 6th place for two of the schools and 2nd place for the other two schools on the list (including the one that we want him to go to).

One of the preferences that was on our form is 430ft from the house and ideally is the one that we want our son to go to (WL - 2nd place). So therefore, if we do appeal, what grounds could we appeal on.

I'm assuming that the only course of action is to determine whether they've allowed classes to go above the class limit.

How do you find out PAN numbers?

Based on the 192 website. The 2015 Census is 202 pupils spread over 7 classes.

The options we have are:

1) Home school him till the start of the summer holidays. By the time, September comes around, people may have moved (as they do not want to disrupt their child's education) and he'll get into one of the preferred schools.

2) Send him to a welsh medium school (not to sure about this, he'll be new to the area + have to learn a new language).

3) Appeal for our chosen school

4) Send him to the school that does have a place. Although not convinced about that, as:

* The school has only an adequate rating (I know this does not matter for appeals, this is just a parental feeling).

* He's new to the area so it would be beneficial for him to establish local roots within the area rather than have his potential social circle in the next town over (Not sure if this is relevant, probably not).

* Based on the above, it would be hard for him to integrate with the after school clubs as it would be hard for him to stay and then come back to our area. If he want to the local school, he'll be able to participate.

As you can see, not to sure on what grounds would make a strong case. I have a feeling that the homeschool + movement of waiting list is going to be our best bet.

Thoughts.

prh47bridge Mon 10-Apr-17 00:50:02

I'm assuming that the only course of action is to determine whether they've allowed classes to go above the class limit

No it isn't. That may help but it is unlikely to win your appeal on its own. You need to show that your son will be disadvantaged if he doesn't go to this school. The appeal panel may be sympathetic to the social issues you raise so they are worth including but I wouldn't rely on them. Look for things the school you want offers that are missing from the school that has been offered and that you can show will be particularly beneficial for your son.

In terms of finding out information, the admission authority must answer any reasonable questions you ask to help you prepare for your appeal. So if you want to know the admissions number, all you have to do is ask.

prh47bridge Mon 10-Apr-17 00:53:11

Sorry - forgot to mention that it would be worth establishing how long the journey to and from school will take if you accept the allocated place. If it is more than 45 minutes each way you can argue that it is unreasonable to send your son to a school that far away and that he needs a place at a nearer school.

crazygirluk Mon 10-Apr-17 07:45:28

Look for things the school you want offers that are missing from the school that has been offered and that you can show will be particularly beneficial for your son.

That's what I've been doing, although it's quite hard to do a comparison as the information for the other school is lacking in detail. (no prospectus, minimal information on website, the mobile app that they recommend to use doesn't work at the moment, ).

Sorry - forgot to mention that it would be worth establishing how long the journey to and from school will take if you accept the allocated place. If it is more than 45 minutes each way you can argue that it is unreasonable to send your son to a school that far away and that he needs a place at a nearer school.

If they provide a taxi, then using google maps, it's ~15 minutes. If for some reason, that is not provided, then it turns into a ~45 minute journey by combined bus/train/walk.

What happens if we say no to the option that they've recommended and choose a school that is over two miles away, is it up to us to fund the transport or will they still provide (reading it, I think they still do).

Berthatydfil Mon 10-Apr-17 08:10:35

You have to prove that the disadvantage to the school if they admit him will be less than the disadvantage to him if they do not.
So the school should have 7 year groups although nursery is 50%. Do you know their admission number? The max will be 30 per year but it might be less if ifs a school with smaller classrooms etc.
Let's assume admission no is 30 so the maximum number in the school should be 210 so there are technically 5 places in the school although not in the corrrect year.

I think you would have a good chance at appeal. I'm a governor in S Wales not in the VOG though, and my school has admitted children over year group numbers many times where total school numbers are below max. We have never gone to appeal in the circumstances you describe as we have always admitted the child/ren.

So if you're not Welsh and your dc have had no incidental Welsh in education previously, unless you want Welsh medium you could argue successfully that offer should be discounted, due to language difficulties lack of prior knowledge and understanding etc and I suspect the panel would not disagree.
A school 5 under numbers particularly in primary should be able to accommodate the extras easily if they are spread over the other year groups. There might be a problem if say it's all one class or if there was a 20, 15, 40 40 35 sort of arrangement where the net difference is small but class sizes vary considerably. Can you find this out as if it's a 29, 29, 29, 29, 29, 30 arrangement it will be much easier to accommodate.
Also can you find out the current yr6 number and number planned for nursery intake for September 17 if there is a net reduction then you can argue that the impact of your child will be temporary.
I would argue that as you're new to the area you feel it's very beneficial to your child that they attend a local school to support their transition into the local community where you live. Good luck

Berthatydfil Mon 10-Apr-17 08:13:12

Gosh I've realised an error in my maths it's 6 @admission no plus nursery at 0.5@admission no unless it's a f/t nursery

prh47bridge Mon 10-Apr-17 08:16:24

What happens if we say no to the option that they've recommended and choose a school that is over two miles away, is it up to us to fund the transport or will they still provide

The LA only has to provide free transport if you have sent your child to the nearest suitable school with places available. If you choose a school that is further away than the one they have offered you will have to cover transport costs yourself.

reallyanotherone Mon 10-Apr-17 08:28:02

If it is more than 45 minutes each way you can argue that it is unreasonable to send your son to a school that far away and that he needs a place at a nearer school.

We used this argument. Allocated school was an hour+ on two buses, including 30 mins walking between buses. The appeal panel said because i can drive i had the option to travel by car - despite not owning a car.

the 25 min drive is an utter pita. We are tied to it, i am struggling for work as i have to drive to and from school. A taxi can be provided but only normal school hours, so i can't use before/ after school clubs.

My experience of the appeal system is crap. Yes, theoretically my dc is not disadvantaged by the school, it's a good school. But the impact it's had on our family as a whole is awful- having to use savings to buy a car, struggling with jobs- time and financially we've taken a huge hit. But apparently that's irrelevant.

crazygirluk Mon 10-Apr-17 10:01:18

So if you're not Welsh and your dc have had no incidental Welsh in education previously, unless you want Welsh medium you could argue successfully that offer should be discounted, due to language difficulties lack of prior knowledge and understanding etc and I suspect the panel would not disagree.

The suggested school was an English Medium, apologises for the welsh medium part (That was just another avenue that I had considered).

Berthatydfil Mon 10-Apr-17 10:07:16

Ah sorry

crazygirluk Mon 10-Apr-17 10:45:34

Guess, I'm going to have to do some deep research. Trying to get through to the council to get the numbers for reception through to year 6.

Going through the documentation. I think he'll be benefit because

* It's a value based curriculum which his current school is, so he's used to that way of learning.
* They have the provision to deal with able and talented pupils
* They have a school council which my son was part of and would love to do that again. Plus all the clubs that they put on (music, sport, welsh clubs).
* They also seem to have a good focus on the Mathematical development (he loves his mathematics), welsh language development and the physical development of the children.

Berthatydfil Mon 10-Apr-17 10:59:26

To be honest thats not so relevant - they will say the other school has a school council, has MAT provision, etc etc etc.
You have to say it's my catchment (I assume if it's so close) school. For his well being it's the best school for him for settling into the area, making friends and being part of the community in the longer term. The school has the spaces in total - even if he was admitted it wouldn't be full, so it will have the resources to cope with this extra pupil easily. However the disadvantage to him for going to a further away school may impact him for 3 or more years.
Stick to the numbers issue.

crazygirluk Mon 10-Apr-17 11:20:49

*To be honest thats not so relevant - they will say the other school has a school council, has MAT provision, etc etc etc.
You have to say it's my catchment (I assume if it's so close) school. For his well being it's the best school for him for settling into the area, making friends and being part of the community in the longer term. The school has the spaces in total - even if he was admitted it wouldn't be full, so it will have the resources to cope with this extra pupil easily. However the disadvantage to him for going to a further away school may impact him for 3 or more years.
Stick to the numbers issue.*

That's what I thought, but that's why I'm posting here, sorting the wheat from chaff and know what is relevant and what is not. I did think that about the long term -> If he goes to the local one, they have a good transition into the secondary otherwise he'll have to go to a secondary in the next town over. Not good in the long run. However, I will concentrate on the numbers issue.

Berthatydfil Mon 10-Apr-17 13:20:21

No dc will be expected to go to catchment secondary unless you chose otherwise or it's oversubscribed and they allocate it to you.
They operate clusters of several primaries to one secondary school in Wales for admin training days etc. But it will have no bearing on secondary allocation. So more reason why you need to get into catchment if the allocated school is in cluster for a out of catchment secondary for you. If you accept the offered out of catchment primary now( and get transport assistance) and then chose the out of catchment secondary because of friendships etc you will get no help with transport costs for secondary.
Yet another reason to get into your catchment primary.

crazygirluk Mon 10-Apr-17 15:07:41

Still waiting for the official figures, but a look around as shown that the school has increased it's numbers over the years.

2006 - 193
2012 - 191
2015 - 202
and I've seen a 206 (but don't know what year that applies to).

admission Mon 10-Apr-17 17:30:11

Normally I would say this is a school with a published admission number of 30 but because the Welsh Government works out the PAN slightly different from England, you can get silly numbers like 28.
If you look on the school website and at the prospectus then the admission number should be there. Alternatively if you send me a PM with the school name then I will look it up for you.

As a year 3 pupil there is no restriction on pupil numbers in the classroom

What is not clear is whether you are moving within the Vale of Glamorgan or whether you are moving in from another LA. If the move is within then the LA may be much more reticent to provide free transport no matter what the school is. If you are moving into the LA then they must provide the transport.

However I would appeal for the school near to you, you really have nothing to loose by appealing now at the start of the summer term and actually if there are others looking to get into the school who might be waiting for the new school year, then it is positive advantage to get in first. You will still be on the waiting list.

crazygirluk Mon 10-Apr-17 20:29:07

What is not clear is whether you are moving within the Vale of Glamorgan or whether you are moving in from another LA. If the move is within then the LA may be much more reticent to provide free transport no matter what the school is. If you are moving into the LA then they must provide the transport.

We're moving from one LA to another.

crazygirluk Fri 14-Apr-17 17:56:01

Just found this article (https://penarthnews.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/empty-places-at-all-vale-secondary-schools-except-stanwell/)

I know it doesn't help me directly, but I did find it interesting. (esp. considering that the article is ~ 2 months old.

PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN PENARTH

The figures also show that primary Schools in Penarth are coming under increasing pressure and are running out of school places.

Evenlode Primary School – with 452 pupils – not only has no empty places – but has 32 more pupils than it should have.

It’s a similar picture in St Joseph’s R.C.Primary School where there are 191 pupils on the school roll – 7 in excess of the school’s authorised 184 places

Albert Primary School – with 382 pupils – has just 3 unfilled places

Cogan Primary has a capacity of 210 – and just 4 unfilled places

Fairfield Primary has 292 pupils and 23 unfilled places

Victoria Primary has 420 pupils and 45 unfilled places

Ysgol Pen y Garth [the Welsh-medium primary school] has a capacity for 420 pupils and has 350 on the school roll and so is 16.67% under-capacity.

crazygirluk Tue 18-Apr-17 14:23:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

crazygirluk Tue 18-Apr-17 14:25:13

Well got the numbers and they are one below PAN. Also got the appeal papers today, so have to plan what to put down and report back on what happens.

Also, does anyone know what happens if you choose not to attend the appeal hearing and they conduct it in your absence?

prh47bridge Tue 18-Apr-17 16:49:37

PAN is a per year number, not a number for the whole school. They are below capacity which is a slightly different thing. It means that, in theory, they have space for your child but it will push them over PAN in that year. It will also mean the school will go over capacity if the spare places in Y5 are taken.

If you choose not to attend the hearing the panel will decide based purely on the written cases. I would strongly recommend attending.

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