Missed primary application deadline - what now?(84 Posts)
Bit of history - I have 3 children, DD1 (12) and DS (8) have both attended the same nursery and primary school. Their names were down for nursery shortly after birth, they had their early years nursery place plus some private wrap around care in the primary school. They then went up to primary school and DS is still there in year 4. DD2 (nearly 4) had her name down for nursery from birth. She was offered a nursery place but they couldn't accommodate the wrap around care days we needed (DH and I both work full time). We were forced to send her to a different nursery, but always assumed she would still go to the original primary school alongside her siblings.
Fast forward to two weeks ago, dropping DD2 off at the private nursery, room manager asks if we got our first choice? I was completely oblivious to the fact that we had missed primary application deadlines - it hadn't even been on our radar! When I dropped DS off at primary I asked the receptionist if I had missed it and she said she thought DD2 would have a place, then checked and said no she hadn't. She was as shocked as I was and said that the private nursery should have reminded me and the local authority should have sent me a letter. I phoned the education office and explained the situation. They said it wasn't their responsibility to write to every household with a 3 year old! They said the nursery should have informed me. They sent out a late application form but told me my preferred school was full. I filled out the application form and took it straight back by hand the next day.
On Friday I received a letter telling me DD2 has a place at the primary school in our street. This school has no afterschool club. It has just had its ofsted rating 'needs improvement' and less than 10% of its pupils are at the required standard of reading, writing or maths!
I am in total despair. We are going to appeal on the grounds of we need a school with afterschool care and her sibling attends there but I know my chances are slim.
My questions are: how was I supposed to know the deadline dates? (Obviously I need to take some responsibility for not applying but surely the local education or the school or the nursery should have alerted me?)
Any tips to maximise my chances at appeal?
And what do I do if I lose the appeal? The only option I can see at the moment is DH giving up his job - no one else could pick her up and mind her five days a week.
Totally pulling my hair out at the moment.
The deadlines around here are well advertised, through social media, libraries, nurseries, school noticeboards, doctors' surgeries etc. Surely having had 2 children go through you should have been aware that you needed to apply. Yours will be a late application and if the class is already at 30 you are very unlikely to succeed. Where would you be on their waiting list, does a sibling link apply from junior to infant?
I suspect you won't have that much chance at appeal. Everyone else managed to get their applications in on time and your after school childcare provisions are not the concern of the lea.
What you can do is get your name down on the waiting list of your preferred school asap and find out whereabouts you are on that list. With sibling link you might be quite high if sibling link is a higher priority than catchment (it isn't in all areas though).
There can be a lot of movement between now and sept so you might still get a place.
When you say no one can pick her up, is there a SN reason for that? Have you looked at childminders or even an after school nanny? Could they be a temporary options until such time as she gets a place at the school with her sibling?
The education authority said the sibling rule would apply on the waiting list. I didn't see any mention of the deadlines approaching. I have managed to get the previous two children in no problem. I can only assume that when they were in the school nursery the school informed us of the need to apply and provided us with the forms. I consider myself to be an intelligent person and most days I am in a school and a nursery so if there had been any reasonable level of advertising around the application process I think I would have noticed it.
Childminders or afterschool nanny would be too expensive. Afterschool club costs £15 per day and DH picks the kids up on foot after work. I know that my childcare issues are not the concern of anyone else but only mentioned it to explain why the school offered was not viable.
Yes everyone else managed to get their application is but my question is how would they know they needed to do that? Especially if their previous children had managed to get in without any fuss?
You won't win an appeal for any of the reasons you have mentioned.
An infant appeal is generally only won if the LEA have made an error with your application, seeing as you did not make an application they have made no error!
Childcare before and after school is not a reason to appeal. You will need to go on the waiting list and hope a place comes up.
Private nurserys have nothing to do with schools. They may well end up sending children onto many many schools. I used work in a private nursery we were never given applications forms to give out. It was all done via local councils. A line in newsletter or something but they expect you to know the deadlines. You can't even put children names down from birth, they only go in set years they are born. Every school nursery I know is seperate there is no set place on reception so even if child was at school nursery they may not get a place. Let's hope they don't have a long waiting list.
When we were applying for DD we were:
Sent a letter by her nursery
Sent a letter by the council
Reminded by the HV
Advertising in local press
Talking to other parents
Being aware that we needed to apply for school that year and checking the dates.
(That's in answer to your question "how did you know to do it?" Hope it doesn't come across as snotty!)
Surely you remember that you applied with your precious children. I remember that with all 3 of my kids the applications needed to be in by JAn and that offers came out April time. If I had a child due to start school in September I would have that in the front of my mind and seek out the info myself.
Surely at some point you've thought "ooh she's nearly four, she'll start school in September, wonder when I need to fill in the form?"
Even friends and family with one child aged under 3 are aware of that. Has it really not crossed your mind at all this last six months to wonder when you'll need to apply?
You'll be near the top of the waiting list with a sibling link, but an appeal won't hold. Not the LAs or schools fault.
Goodness, did you not think that perhaps with it being May that you should have applied by now??? It's a difficult thing to just pass you by as there are notices in loads of places nurseries, doctors, FB on local & council websites, general talk about it on social media etc etc etc
I think the only thing you can do is play on the fact that she's a sibling of another child attending the school and hope for the best
Eh? You have 3 children and you didn't know that you needed to apply for a school place in October? Sorry, I don't get it.
Worth checking out if there are any childminders that pick up from the school I doubt they would be much more than £15 a day assuming your dh would be able to collect by 6 ish. I'm in the south east and they charge £4-5 an hour here.
If sibling link does give you priority then fingers crossed it will work out in the end. Of course the not knowing is stressful but plan for the worst (she doesn't get a place before sept) and hope for the best.
To give you a little hope:
I know 2 people who were on the waiting list for our school, 1 got a place confirmed in July before starting in September, the other got a phone call at the end of the 1st week of school to say someone they were expecting to turn up hadn't so she got her place too.
Does dh earn less in a week than the cost of a childminder couple hours a day ? If you paying private nursery now how do ypu pay that ? you can just continue paying the lower amount a childminder will cost ?
You will have to pay childminder until a place comes up in the other school... could be in few weeks after september or months or a year... dont think you have grounds for appeal. But put on wait list and keep calling to see if place comes available.
Well if she's currently only "nearly 4", she won't legally have to start school until the term after her fifth birthday which isn't until September 2018. Could she stay at nursery for another year and you apply for entry straight into Y1? It would give you an extra year to get sorted.
I'm sure there must be a child minder in the area who would do school pick ups if you do decide to send her to the school she has a place at.
If it is any consolation, this happened to me with my second child ! I did not see any notices about applying for school places ( I had completely forgotten about the application process with my first).
It turned out the notice was behind the door in the nursery. The door was opened by a member of staff (blocking the poster). ! I got the app in late and was unfortunately given a rubbish school, so I ended up driving over an hour a day , to another school with places (small village one, with low local intake), with better ofsted, for the next five years !
It is good practice for nurseries to make parents' aware of school applications, eg by putting up reminder posters, but they have no obligations so I'm afraid that won't work as an appeal. The vast majority of applications are done online now so there is no handing out of application forms.
Hopefully with a sibling link you will be high up on the waiting list. If not, can you look around for another school with after-school club in the area and see if they have spaces?
The whole nursery, names down from birth, wrap around care hoo-haa is a red herring. Basically you forgot to apply for school. Presumably you will be high up on the waiting list for the school. In the mean time I'd think and plan for how you will manage in September if you don't get a place. Is starting in January an option?
When my eldest was a preschooler, everyone was sent a letter in the post and a booklet which set out the admissions procedures.
When my youngest (now 6yrs old) started, it was mostly a case of looking out for information posters and applying online. Our preschool told everyone about it too, but I don't think they were under any obligation to do so.
It is your responsibility as a parent to find out how/when to apply.
You must have applied for your 8 year old on time?
Surely you would have thought you needed to apply before may?
I find it hard to believe you could get to the May before your DC is due to start school in September without realising this, especially as you have done it twice before. We did get a letter from the local authority, but in addition there were ads in the local paper, posters in nursery and it was talked about non-stop by other parents for months on end. Also endless threads on MN about it every year, people talking about it on FB etc. Anyway, I hope you manage to get the place you want, one thing I do remember is that there was a lot of shuffling of places locally in the months following offers.
Round here all nurseries/Childminder's/childcare settings are sent posters to display in the autumn term to remind parents to apply for their school place. 'If your child is born between 1st September 2012 and 31st August 2013 please apply for your child's reception class place before january' or whatever it says.
I would have thought the nursery (private or other) would have included it in a letter/newsletter/email to confirm everyone has the information. But, having put two through the system already, I'm wondering why you didn't know this already.
I think you will just have to go on the waiting list and hope for the best tbh. I don't think forgetting to do the application will be sufficient grounds for appeal.
I don't think your child has to go to school until the term after she turns 5, which sounds like it would be next April? Would staying at her private nursery for a bit longer be an option if you can't get a place at your favoured school before September?
It's called NATIONAL deadline day. It's not a secret, you are 100% responsible. Nobody told me, I googled "when do I apply for school in (my LA)" and voila.... I found it!
You have two hopes with your appeal.... suck it up!
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