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Appeal - primary school - distance - help

(30 Posts)
cejh2017 Mon 24-Apr-17 21:52:28

Hi all, my son didn't get his first choice which is a real pain. He's been going to the nursery which sits in the school since two and my youngest will also be attending there when he is two. I've been doing some research as to see if I can appeal. I found out one child got into the school who lives further away than me and doesn't even attend the nursery. There is no linkage from the nursery but it does say it should go on distance (straight line). Anyone got any tips?
Thanks all

Sirzy Mon 24-Apr-17 21:56:28

What is the admission criteria for the school?

Things like looked after children, specific needs (Sen/medical) and siblings are often higher priority than distance.

LIZS Mon 24-Apr-17 21:56:33

Was that child in the same admissions category? You need to be careful that they were not admitted as a higher priority such as SEN or a Looked After Child, neither of which might be self evident. If the class is full you can only succeed if a mistake has been made which denied your child a place, but citing this example may not be appropriate.

PansyGiraffe Mon 24-Apr-17 21:58:01

What are the admissions criteria exactly? Does the other child have siblings there for example, or they could fall into another, higher, category (and you may not have this info). Are you happy you were in the right category or that the distance is correct?

PansyGiraffe Mon 24-Apr-17 21:59:49

Triple cross post.

Also how does your LA measure distance? Sometimes can give odd results if walking distance means the long way round but as the crow flies is shorter.

ahgreenie Mon 24-Apr-17 22:02:14

We got our 4th choice! Only 2% of the borough didn't get a place in one of their top 3. I have found out that people who put our first choice as their second choice got in and we did not. I think this is unfair but not sure I can appeal. If that person was SEN, sibling etc, surely they would have got their first choice?!

PansyGiraffe Mon 24-Apr-17 22:09:47

It doesn't work like that. Every application counts, whether you've put the school first, second or eleventy-billionth - all the applications for each school get ranked in order of the admissions criteria, and they initially allocate places to the top however many spaces there are. If you have got more than two places on the first cut, you get offered the preference you put highest, the other application(s) is released and goes to the next person on that school's ranked list, and so on until all the places are allocated.

PansyGiraffe Mon 24-Apr-17 22:11:19

At least in England anyway. Not sure about Wales!

cantkeepawayforever Mon 24-Apr-17 22:11:19


That is exactly how admissions work everywhere.

What happens is that, for each school on your list, where you fit into their admissions criteria is evaluated, to decide whether you are given a place.

You are then offered a place at the top school on your list that has a place for you.

The same happens for everyone else. so if they put your 1st choice 4th, but they meet the admissions criteria better than you (e.g. they meet a faith criterion, or they are closer to that school, or have a sibling there), and aren't given a place at their first 3 choices, they get a place at that school and you don't.

You are not ranked higher because you put the school higher on your list. The order you placed schools in your list is ONLY used to decide which school to give you a place at, should you meet the admissions criteria for more than 1.

cantkeepawayforever Mon 24-Apr-17 22:11:55

cross post, sorry.

ahgreenie Mon 24-Apr-17 22:14:21

why the cross post? This is all new to me and I am
Just seeking advice and clarity.

cejh2017 Mon 24-Apr-17 22:15:52

So as far as I'm aware, that person falls into the same admission criteria as me, no siblings etc so would go on distance. Its states it should be as the crow flies so straight lines.

cantkeepawayforever Mon 24-Apr-17 22:17:07

Cross post means i posted at the same time as a previous poster with the same information, and I was apologising for the duplication - cross as in 'crossroads' not cross as in angry!

ahgreenie Mon 24-Apr-17 22:19:14

Haha sorry I'm a bit prickly about it all at the mo! Sorry for confusion and thanks for advice! Will not bother appealing I don't think

ahgreenie Mon 24-Apr-17 22:19:27

(Bit new to forums)

AwaywiththePixies27 Mon 24-Apr-17 22:32:40

If that person was SEN, sibling etc, surely they would have got their first choice?!

It doesn't work like that. Most schools have taken away the sinking link now. We did double school runs for six months before we won our appeal to get DD into the same school as DS.

Distance thing: Well, it depends, for instance where we are it doesn't matter, if you're first on the list you're first on the list, and if a space becomes available in the relevant class then the first on the list gets it, whether they live two doors down from the school or 20 minutes away. This can go up and down all the time too. Looked after children will always take priority, and rightly so.

There is no linkage from the nursery but it does say it should go on distance (straight line)

Its not about the link though. If the child has any SNs for example it will be deemed as the school best to suit his needs. Distance doesn't come into it. There was no linkage for DS. BUT he has SNs and the school we applied for was the one we felt could best suit his complex needs. We were right too. They are absolutely brilliant with him.

If you can afford it, have a chat with and then hire an education solicitor who'll probably know more about the school etc. When we hired ours, it turned out they were doing a full week of appeals for the same school and every single one was allowed smile

Appeal, but grab all the facts first and at least then if you still get told no you know you've tried your hardest.

AwaywiththePixies27 Mon 24-Apr-17 22:33:43

Sinking link! 🙈 I meant sibling link obviously!

prh47bridge Mon 24-Apr-17 22:43:09

Whether or not people children have attended the nursery is irrelevant.

There are several reasons this child could have been admitted before yours:

- this child could have an EHCP naming the school. If that is the case the child is admitted automatically

- this child could have been in local authority care at some point. This makes them a former looked after child and gives them priority

- there could be some other reason why this child is in a higher admissions category

- the admission authority may be measuring from a different point on the school premises to you and this child lives closer to that point than you

- the parents of this child gave a false address for admissions purposes, in which case their place at this school could be removed

- the admission authority made a mistake and measured distances incorrectly

You could appeal on the basis that this child was admitted despite living further away and you believe a mistake was made. You may not find out why this child got a place and yours didn't but at least you will know that the appeal panel looked at it and made sure it was correct. And, if a mistake was made, your child should get a place.

cejh2017 Mon 24-Apr-17 22:44:34

The child that I found out who is accepted in the school is exactly the same category as me and so the admissions state it should go on distance straight line. They are further away than me, therefore I wondered if I have any grounds to appeal. It does have a knock on effect for my youngest due to being in different directions for the school he has been accepted and where the nursery is and childcare issues but I'm aware there isn't much case for this unless you get a sympathetic panel. Thanks

cejh2017 Mon 24-Apr-17 22:47:31

Thanks prh47bridge, just read your post. I'm sure i've got it correct and maybe your right if i bring it to there attention maybe he will get a place, who knows. Very stressful all this school lark, I just want the best for them like we all do and its a shame there's no some sort of link from the nursery as its brilliant and I really don't want to put my youngest any where else.

Middleoftheroad Mon 24-Apr-17 23:00:19

But just in case hat child genuinely meets criteria and there is no mistake, your appeal needs to focus on why that school is the best fit for YOUR DC regardless of others.

It's not enough to assume you are equal and that the other child has your place. You have to present a case as to why your child should be admitted.Unless a mistake was made. There's too much emphasis on the other child. Of cpurse it's unfair if you meet the criteria more, but without knowing otherwise, focus on other strong arguments.

Unfortunately, attending the nursery does not guarantee a place at school.

Don't give up though. Appeals are both won and lost.

Mamabear12 Tue 25-Apr-17 07:31:24

Don't give up. Appeal, if you think or know you are at a closer distance. The worst thing I believe is to listen to people who give you more doubts from trying. The worst thing is you can lose the appeal, or u could actually win! I would also be in touch w the school to find out what position you are on waiting list. If I had listened to people and not bothered applying to a highly sought after school, my daughter wouldn't be going there now! We didn't have the apeal situation, but many told me it's impossible to get in etc. It is very difficult and everyone that I know who applied did not get in. But nothing is impossible, so try. And a separate situation for my son the school even said their nursery was full. I said I will apply anyway to put him on waiting list. A week later he was offered a spot. Good luck!

louisejxxx Tue 25-Apr-17 07:35:10

Have you gone on the waiting list and been given your position for your first choice school?

AwaywiththePixies27 Tue 25-Apr-17 07:42:21

OP. You said nursery which makes me assume its a reception place you're after/originally wanted. Then the Infant Class Sizes apply, they're set in stone, quite literally and usually only broken under exceptional circumstances.
If this is the case, and I'm more than happy to be corrected, you'll need to show a lot more than 'well x got in and they live further away than I do'.

Our appeal was a little easier as DD was in her last year of primary so the ICS rules didnt apply, however the panel still concluded that the LA applied the law to the letter, we were successful because the LAs argument was still that they didn't possibly have the space so we had to argue, and we did successfully, that the prejudice against DD would be greater if she wasn't admitted than the school would be. We had a wealth of evidence to help us too though, DD was being bullied badly and we had letters from counsellors, the lot.

PatriciaHolm Tue 25-Apr-17 07:51:08

"you'll need to show a lot more than 'well x got in and they live further away than I do'. "

Well, one of the few permitted reasons for an ICS appeal to succeed is if the Admissions Authority made a mistake. If they, for example, have the OP's address wrong and thus have the incorrect distance for her, that is a clear reason for an ICS appeal to succeed.

In fact if that is the case and OP discovers it now, she shouldn't have to go to appeal at all, but it's likely that the LEA would take it to appeal anyway unfortunately.

Of course, it may well not be a mistake, as prh has already said there are a number of reasons that OP would know nothing about why a child living further away would get a place. However, OP needs to make sure that the LEA have used the correct distance for herself, and put her in the right admissions category.

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