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Appeal as all other schools area are CofE?

(9 Posts)
PeanutMacaroon Thu 27-Apr-17 20:46:17

We have just completed an in-year application and been rejected as the school has become full since we went for a tour in March (DD age 10). (We are moving at short notice due to a Forces posting) I realise that most if not all state schools have general Christian values etc, but every other school in the area is a small village CofE school, i.e. largely funded/controlled by the village church. I spoke to the headteacher today and she said to appeal, as we should get in then. On what grounds I am not sure, I should have asked, although she probably isn't supposed to say!

We are not a CofE family, whilst I think it is important to learn about different religions, we don't practice any religion at home. Does anyone have any experience of appealing against a rejection based on religion? I have looked at the other school websites - they are pretty full on. The children attend Sunday services at Easter, Mothering Sunday etc (and other services throughout the year) as a school. DD is currently in an average sized city suburbs school, I haven't come across small village schools like this before.

Aside from that my only other reason to appeal is that out of 10 or so schools across quite a wide area, the one we applied to is large, but the others have only 50-120 pupils across the whole of KS1 and KS2. The secondary school that DD will attend in Sept 2018 has 1250 pupils! I feel this would be too much of a leap for DD, going from a average school to a tiny school for a year and then back to an even larger school. She will have had enough upheaval as it is! Even reading it back, it doesn't sound that strong a reason hmm I guess the other kids in those schools will be in the same boat, albeit probably by their parent's choice.

Thanks for listening! smile

mpsw Thu 27-Apr-17 20:53:13

An appeal based on the faith status of the school won't get anywhere, I'm afraid.

However, you might find it worth getting on to the relevant Families Federation. There may be reasons related to mitigating the adverse effects of frequent school moves which would strengthen a case at appeal. It's certainly mentioned in the Military Covenant, but I'm less sure how it's working out in practice.

NoSquirrels Thu 27-Apr-17 20:53:45

If it's KS2, and you are Firces, I think you would get in on appeal for Yr 6 - it's only one year for the school, so not a massive big deal I assume. I was under the impression that a Forces placement bumped you to the top of the queue anyway?

I think grounds are a) religious preference (I.e. your family are atheists and do not find a CofE school suitable b) final SATS year and change to a small village school from an inner city very hard to come into a small year-group as new girl (I.e. emotional well being & education) and c) Forces priority (no choice about timing)

What secondary will she go to? Are all the schools feeder schools to that one or would a village primary put you at a disadvantage there too?

PeanutMacaroon Thu 27-Apr-17 21:06:51

Thank you mpsw I will look into the Families Federation. I have heard of the military covenant, but don't know much about it. Now is the time to find out I guess!

And thank you NoSquirrels, your points certainly give me a place to start smile. The village schools are all feeder schools to the secondary so I don't think that would result in a disadvantage, but that is assuming one of them has a place. I haven't actually been offered another school as I didn't put one on the application. So I am assuming if we don't win the appeal, we just have to start the application process again.

prh47bridge Thu 27-Apr-17 21:11:11

No, a forces placement doesn't necessarily put you at the top of the queue. However, they do have some advantages, one of which is that they are excepted for ICS purposes, although that won't help in this case as the daughter is 10.

OP, you need to show that the disadvantage to your daughter in not being given a place at your preferred school outweighs the problems they will face through having to cope with an additional child. You need to figure out what this school offers your daughter that isn't available from other schools. Religious preferences won't sway the appeal panel and could alienate them so you need to look for other things. Remember that you are appealing for this school, not against other schools.

The fact you are a service family will help. Admission authorities are supposed to help remove the disadvantages that service children face. So do bring up the circumstances around your move.

The school can't directly support your appeal but the head's comments suggest the school won't fight this appeal too hard. That will help.

NoSquirrels Thu 27-Apr-17 21:14:42

Other posters know more than me, OP - listen to them! But yes, appeal for that school not against the others sounds like the way forward.

PeanutMacaroon Thu 27-Apr-17 21:23:21

That is a very good point prh47bridge I did wonder about possibly alienating people. Will give that some thought.

We are going to be living in the town very close to the school that is full. DD needs to be able to walk to school by herself by next September, something she already does, but in a different area. Me having to drive her from town to a village school will be a step backwards in terms of independence. Perhaps this is something I could focus on as well. Lots of food for thought.

Yes I thought it was interesting that the head had told us to appeal. I am kicking myself that I didn't ask her to expand. I was quite blindsided at the time, I was convinced she was going to tell me it must be a mistake due to our address (which isn't local yet) or something. But she certainly seemed interested in the Pupil Premium at the tour!

Campfiresmoke Thu 27-Apr-17 21:27:02

At our school Forces children are excepted and we had to go over the PAN to admit them.

prh47bridge Thu 27-Apr-17 22:05:00

Forces children are excepted for ICS regulations everywhere. Unfortunately that only helps directly if they are in Reception, Y1 or Y2. However, along with the other special provision for service children in the Admissions Code, it does suggest that appeal panels ought to look favourably on service children if they can.

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