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School appeal process

(32 Posts)
LittleDyn1982 Wed 19-Apr-17 07:51:45

Hi all.

We were unlucky and didn't get any of the 4 schools we requested.

Has anyone done a successful school appeal? If so, what reasons did you give on the form?


HSMMaCM Wed 19-Apr-17 07:54:55

You have to make a compelling case why that is the only school suitable for your child. It's not easy. You can't comment on why you don't like the other schools, or that it's not on your way to work, or anything like that.

Also make sure you get on the waiting lists for the schools you chose.

LittleDyn1982 Wed 19-Apr-17 08:01:02

That's my problem, I have no idea what to say. I just really didn't like the school we were given and not sure how to make a compelling case.....

This is so tough. Examples would be really helpful!

Feeling overwhelmed

LIZS Wed 19-Apr-17 08:07:35

If it is for Reception, presumably all your preferences are full so you would only succeed if a mistake was made in the admissions process unfairly denying you a place. You can go on waiting lists though. Were your preferred schools realistic choices?

meditrina Wed 19-Apr-17 08:09:33

What age is your DC?

"You have to make a compelling case why that is the only school suitable for your child" is not a permissible grounds for appeal if Infant Class Size rules apply.

Is this for a reception place, and is the admissions number 30 (or multiple thereof, or perhaps 15 or even another number if there is split year teaching anywhere in years R-2 inclisive)? If so, then it'll be ICS, which limit class size to 30 per teacher.

You can win an ICS appeal on three grounds only:
a) error which deprived your DC of a place they would have been offered had there been no mistake - have you checked your DC was placed in the correct category, and that the distance from school (if that was the tie-break) looks right
b) unlawful entrance criteria (eg giving priority to a group that they shouldn't, it not giving it to a group where they must)
c) so unreasonable it is legally perverse (eg child protection issues)

HSMMaCM Wed 19-Apr-17 08:19:27

Sorry yes meditrina is right. The reasons for getting into infant school are correctly stricter than higher years.

meditrina Wed 19-Apr-17 08:25:49

But, HSMMaCM you're completely correct for all other appeals.

(If it turns out this is not ICS (maybe class sizes of 25 which stay 25 throughout the school) than making that argument will be important. In which case it is looking for things about that particular school which are especially important for your DC and not offered by other schools nearby. Not transport or before/afterschool care on site though. It's about your DC needs educationally (occasionally socially) not the logistics of the family day).

unfortunateevents Wed 19-Apr-17 08:28:50

People who fail to get a preferred school place are often glibly advised to appeal. The sad reality is that very often there aren't grounds for appeal. Meditrina has written a good post on the grounds for appealing for a reception place which are limited. If you don't fit into any of those categories, it may well be a case of accepting the place offered and remaining on the waiting lists for all other schools which you like. Depending on the area in which you live (and you are best placed to know this) there may be a large number of children who go to private schools and turn down their state place, there may be a lot of movement before September with people moving etc. Obviously you can decide to appeal and present any reasons you wish but you have to be realistic about the time and effort invested versus the outcome if you don't fall into any of the grounds listed above.

SenoritaViva Wed 19-Apr-17 08:32:09

Please remember that every appeal costs the school money so if you are appealing with no grounds it's a wasted admin fee, it cuts into school's budgets (c. £70 an appeal).

Make sure you're on the continued interest list for all your preferred schools, if you don't register you won't be offered a place if it comes up.

SavoyCabbage Wed 19-Apr-17 08:32:21

I've successfully appealed but it was a year four place and my daughter was not given any school place at all for three months. Even then, it was a long hard road.

I appealed for my catchment school so I had that in my favour but I also read all about the school and mentioned the ways that this school would benefit my daughter. E.g. It is a very sporty school and this would help my dd settle into it as she already does a lot of sport.

The appeal from my side was that she didn't have a school place, give her a school place and from their side it was about fire exits, square footage, chairs and teaching assistants. It was very technical. They asked me a lot of questions in the appeal itself.

You can't appeal on non-factual things. If you can't think of a compelling case it's because you haven't got one.

Looneytune253 Wed 19-Apr-17 08:32:24

You can only really appeal if they made an error and should have got into that school. Dont waste your time unless you have an excellent reason. Get yourself on the waiting lists and hope for the best.

LittleDyn1982 Wed 19-Apr-17 08:34:06

Thank you ladies. Yes everyone automatically says appeal but have no idea what's involved although I know they're just trying to help

meditrina Wed 19-Apr-17 08:43:03

I think you need to check if ICS rules apply, then decide.

Dizzycow79 Wed 19-Apr-17 08:53:48

Hope this is ok to ask here - I have twins. One is disabled (cerebral palsy affecting all four limbs) - she goes to a specialist school. He twin brother has been allocated a school that does make it more difficult for me to do drop offs - the school allocated is out of the way and as far as I can see does not have parking. I would have to leave my daughter in the care while taking ds into school, parking outside the grounds. Would that be grounds for appealing?

Just to add, the school was not one of the 4 choices on our list.

HorridHenrietta5 Wed 19-Apr-17 08:55:55

So sorry to hear that, it must be very stressful.
As others have said it really doesn't seem like appealing is the best way forward for you.
Put your name down on all four waiting lists and check how high you are on each, there's a good chance you'll get offered something before September.
I'd also recommend going back to look at the school again and take a list of questions, you can form a negative opinion for a variety of subjective reasons and it may not be as bad as you think.
Finally, our LA publishes a list of schools where places are still available, maybe see if you can get a similar list then research the schools on it and see if you'd be happy to apply for a place there.
Good luck

Hoppinggreen Wed 19-Apr-17 09:43:24

dizzy it might be better to start your own thread but as far as I'm aware logistical difficulties aren't grounds for appeal

Looneytune253 Wed 19-Apr-17 11:10:27

@dizzy would your other child not qualify for transport. Special schools often have taxi travel for disabled children then you would only have the other one to get to school?

prh47bridge Wed 19-Apr-17 13:52:18

You have the right to appeal. If you want to have a go you should. It is a one way bet. If you win your child gets a place. If you lose you are in exactly the same situation as you are now - hoping to get a place through the waiting list. Even if you don't think you have a case, you never know what will happen. Occasionally something emerges during the hearing that shows a mistake has been made. But, if you don't have evidence of a mistake, you need to be realistic about your chances. It would be a long shot but you never know.

ShowOfHands Wed 19-Apr-17 19:38:18

I appealed twice with significant safeguarding issues making our situation beyond perverse. Our child was at risk of harm.

The appeal panel were horrified but could not help. The authority are using our case as an example of why ICS appeals can be dangerously impossible to win.

LittleDyn1982 Thu 20-Apr-17 06:33:33

Oh my, I'm so sorry ShowOfHands. Did you get your child into another school another way?

shouldwestayorshouldwego Thu 20-Apr-17 06:50:17

It is at least worth doing some digging to check facts and it might add impetus for a bulge class if for example the PAN has decreased at some point you can show that the school has capacity for more. You need to accept that the odds are very low and your best chance is from the waiting list. Waiting lists often do move and going on losts of lists is your best chance. Also if you live on outskirts of town ring village schools further away but driveable to see if they have space or look across county boundaries.

ShowOfHands Thu 20-Apr-17 09:02:00

We had to sell our house and move.

MrsJamin Fri 21-Apr-17 00:24:23

If you don't know on what basis you'd appeal, please don't appeal. It costs the school and local authority money when you do. Unless an error was made by either of them, you won't get a place in your desired school. Just deal with it. Sorry but that's the truth.

ExplodedCloud Fri 21-Apr-17 00:37:51

I won an appeal in Y3 but thanks to admissions types here I knew whether it was worth appealing and, when it was, what to focus on.
My view as a parent is that it's procedural stuff in the YR to Y2 bracket and then compelling stuff after that.
I had good advice off board to ensure that you raise or respond to any issues in writing from the start. I was able to produce relevant correspondence from the date of allocation in order to support my case 3 years later.

MrsJamin Fri 21-Apr-17 00:55:40

Y3 admission is totally different. I'm not sure what you mean by 'procedural', explodedcloud, but appeals are 99% only accepted for a reception place if an error has been made by the admissions authority or school, because of the 30-limit being legally adhered to.

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