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Primary School Appeal Process

(14 Posts)
snowpebble Thu 11-May-17 20:06:28

Good Evening,

I appreciate it has been a while since the allocation day, but out circumstances have changed and we would like to appeal for a school that was our 2nd choice (but did not get in). I contacted our LEA (South Gloucestershire) who informed me that the school have their own admissions criteria and therefore I would need to contact the school.

I contacted the school who then informed me that all appeals go though the schools admission team with our local council and they didn't have any paper work to give me. They said often that before an appeal takes place the council simply phone the school and ask if they will take a child - if the school says 'yes' the child is admitted without the appeal panel taking place (is this correct)?

I got back on the phone to the council and they said looking at the schools admission policy I would have to write a letter to the governors of the school.

1) Is this normal or am I being sent round in circles?
2) If this is the case, is anyone kind enough to send me a template of the letter I need to send to the governers
3) Do I need to send the letter to the LEA as well or just the governors at the school.

A big thank you in advance for any advice.

PatriciaHolm Thu 11-May-17 20:17:27

Which school is it? PM me if you don't want it on here.

It sounds as if there is some confusion around who runs the appeals for this school. If it is an academy (or a free school, or a Voluntary Aided one), it is its own admissions authority, and organises its own appeals. However, it can still outsource this to the LA, and many do So it may be that whoever you spoke to at the LA didn't realise this.

admission Thu 11-May-17 21:32:36

Agree with PHolm it sounds like the person in the LA not really understanding.
I am wondering whether you got your first preference and this might be part of the problem in that some people find it difficult to understand why you would want your second preference. You formally need to ask the LA for a place at the second preference school, allow them to say no and then be in a position to ask for an appeal for the school. You need when asking for the second preference school in writing to explain the change in circumstances and also confirm that at present you are not relinquishing the first preference school that you have accepted.
If you were allocated a school which was lower than the 2nd preference then it does seem a bit confusing as to who is responsible. However if you look at the admission criteria information for the primary academies in south gloucs then they al seem to have the same wording which is
"Parents/carers will be informed of the allocation of places. Included in this information will be an appeal form and explanatory guidance. If parents/carers wish to appeal they need to complete and return the appeals form.

An independent appeal panel will be convened by the local authority at which both parents/carers and the Academy Council will present their cases. Decisions made by the panel are legally binding."

On that basis you need to be getting a from off the LA.

snowpebble Tue 16-May-17 19:25:09

Thank you for the replies. We have sent a letter to the school and also completed the LA form to make sure on both cases. It looks like the LA got confused about who was in charge!!!

On a similar note. If a school has a PAN of 40, but the statistics show that 43 were admitted. If someone went on the waiting list, would this be against the PAN of 40 (i.e If there were first on the list they would have to wait for 4 people to withdraw) or does it go on the admitted number of 43 (i.e they would only have to wait for 1 person to withdraw?). --- a friend was asking.

Again, thank you for your help.

ExplodedCloud Tue 16-May-17 19:27:35

The numbers would need to come down to 39 before a waiting list place was allocated.

riceuten Tue 16-May-17 19:44:23

You need to state WHY you are appealing. Simply not getting a place is not enough of a reason to appeal itself.

The grounds for appealing are limited. The appeal panel can only look at a certain number of issues:

* the lawfulness of the admission arrangements
* if a mistake was made in not offering your child a place and/or
* if it was unreasonable to refuse your application

For children in infant schools, the legal maximum size of the class is 30. Legally there are only a few reasons why a child can be admitted over this size (if they are twins or multiple births) which means it’s very unlikely that your appeal will be successful if the classes already have 30 children in them.

Be NICE to the appeal panel. I have seen countless parents lose their rag with the appeal panel and more or less say "WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? HAVE YOU GOT KIDS?" etc etc. These are the people who will decide so you need to get them on side!

You would need to appeal and look at the 3 grounds above - NOT that your child MUST go to such and such a school because "what we have been offered is awful". That will cut no ice whatsoever with the panel. Telling the panel you will home educate if you don't get in won't win the day, either.

If you want to be really smart, ask for a copy of the schools net capacity assessment (if it isn't an academy) or their funding agreement (if it is).

snowpebble Tue 16-May-17 19:44:41

Thanks ExplodedCloud. Not what they were wanting to hear. From what I understand, they think a child has withdrawn, leaving 42 and were hopping to get that place.

snowpebble Tue 16-May-17 19:49:40

riceuten, We are appealing on the arounds of your third point. The school has less then 30 children in each year - Could this make a difference. The school only have 26 in each year group apart from year 5/6 where there are only 19. If the school has less then 30 children can we appeal on this case?

MyGastIsFlabbered Tue 16-May-17 20:44:37

Good tips here, I'm appealing for a year 3 place for DS1, DS2 is starting reception in September. We moved mid year and there isn't a place for DS1 at the moment.

Floggingmolly Tue 16-May-17 20:51:01

Are you saying the school are actually under capacity and have places available, op? confused. I assumed they would have to admit you just for the asking in that case?

titchy Tue 16-May-17 20:52:23

It doesn't sound like a class size prejudice appeal so OP simply (!) needs to demonstrate the detriment to her child not being at this school outweighs the detriment to the school by admitting an extra child.

PatriciaHolm Tue 16-May-17 21:04:11

A school can choose to admit fewer than 30 into reception, a reception PAN does not have to be 30 (or a multiple of). The fact it isn't is helpful, as it means the appeal is not ICS and is instead on prejudice- that the prejudice to the child of not attending is greater than the prejudice to the school of taking another child.

In that case evidence of them taking more than PAN in previous years is helpful, as well as other evidence of the suitability of the school.

riceuten Tue 16-May-17 23:05:14

It would depend on the size of the school and the available space. That's where the net capacity assessment comes into play. Or the funding agreement. The latter is freely available, the former, the local council should give you if you ask, if it's a community school

snowpebble Wed 17-May-17 17:41:26

Ok, thank you. If the school has already hit their funding agreement / net capacity but in recent years they have gone over this - do you think we could use this as a case this year?

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