Help for appeal for KS2 year 4(15 Posts)
I am new here and I would just like to ask for some help and advise regarding an appeal I have for my daughter.
Our situation- My daughter is currently in Year 4 and my son in reception. We applied for places for a new school for them closer to home as we moved last year. Anyway my son has been given a place which I am over the moon about, I actually cried when the school rang to tell me! As he hasn't settled well at his current school and says that there are bad boys in his class, 😢 We have been in the school on numerous occasions to speak to the teachers regarding issues that have happend, he is a very social little boy and makes friends easily and also did in nursery but says he doesn't have any friends at school and doesn't want to go! But come September hopefully he will be a lot happier in his new school.
So we have the appeal next week to try and get my daughter a place at the school. We have just received the schools case and all it says is that by admitting one more pupil the current pupils will be at a disadvantage and would cause prejudice.
It is a one intake school and currently there are 30 in year 4, 31 in year 6, 32 in year 1, 31 in year 2 and 30 in all the other class years.
I have included in my appeal letter an assessment my daughter attended last year, due to her complaining of fatigue in her hands when writing and concentration. In the report it stated that both the occupational and physiotherapists who seen her advised that she would benefit from a writing slope and a copy of this letter would also be sent to the school. This was in October and she still doesn't have it, I spoke to her teacher when we received the report but that teacher left in December, so I again spoke to the new teacher regarding this and it still hasn't happened. She has had 3 class teachers since September.
Do you think this could help us win the appeal? They say in the new schools ofsted that communication between the teachers and parents is outstanding and the level of support the children receive is also outstanding.
Sorry for the long post, I have been reading so much everywhere and thought I would try and ask for help with my own situation.
Thanks so much in advance xx
You need to put your case for the school you want, not waste time on what hasn't happened at the current school. In theory all schools could cover this so it isn't likely to be a deciding factor.
Ok thank you. Do you mean linking what they offer at the new school etc which would benefit my daughter that the old school doesn't have.
Do you think having secured my son a place will help with the appeal? Siblings in the parish is number 2 on their admission criteria?
Thanks again xx
I slightly disagree with LIZ based on our experience. What she says is technically right but we did include some information about safeguarding failures at dd's existing school that were demonstrably causing her, in particular, issues. I think our case was on a knife edge and actually that was enough for them to come down on our side.
Yes , make it positive for new school not negative towards existing. Sibling link presumably places her high on waiting list but won't influence the appeal.
Any appeal is about reasons for wanting the new school. Clearly things that have happened at the old school are part of the reasons why you want a new school but all appeal panels have to decide whether to admit on the case around the new school.
The first very obvious reason is that you want the two children in the same school but this will hold little weight with the panel because you have made the decision to move son to the school and also what is relevant for an appeal for him is of no relevance for the appeal for your daughter.
You need to be emphasising that having moved your daughter needs to join a new friendship group around where she now lives, joining the local school will help that. You need to try and emphasise clubs she can join before or after school, which would be difficult at present because of travel distance / time. Anything else that the new school does / has that the current school does not have will also be useful.
It is also worth pointing out in part 1 of the appeal, when the school is trying to convince the panel that there is prejudice to admit, that there are year groups that have more than 30 in them and this is causing no apparent issues. Also the school has to prove prejudice over and above that the school year cohort has reached the PAN of 30, which in your opinion they have not done.
If I am honest your case is not that strong unless you can come up with some other reasons for admission, so I think you do need to consider what the fall back position is.
Thank you all so much for your replies and advice! Some very helpful information, need to start building the strongest case I can now! Xx
Ok I have found out some information to add to my case, do you think it will help?
During the schools RE inspection they had 216 on role, received outstanding and it had no reports of over crowding and said it was an average sized school.
In 2015 the year 6 class had 31 pupils and achieved a percentage of 90% of level 4 and above in their sats and the year before 2014 class had 30 children and received 87% meaning that by adding the one extra child it couldn't have caused prejudice as the results went up.
The school have numerous afterschool activities which will enrich my daughters education, they participate in the children's university, children's yoga, music lessons and choir to name a few.
They also have a positive emphasis on reading and every morning they welcome parents and grandparents to read with their children before school starts, my daughter is a very keen reader since we introduced her to the Harry Potter books.
Will this help?
Also does anyone have any advice on questions I should ask when at the appeal hearing?
Thanks again xx
You need to be careful in arguing that the RE inspection shows there was no prejudice.
Prejudice covers a range of problems or detriments to the school and its pupils. Rising SATS results don't necessarily mean there are no other issues in the background and the school might well argue that it achieved its SATS results despite dealing with some other problems around overcrowding.
You could ask them whether (for example) there had been any accidents attributable to overcrowding. If they say no, that supports your argument that the sky won't fall in if they take one more pupil.
Thank you, on the case that came from the school it just says that if more children are admitted to Year 4 it will cause problems for the school and existing pupils and would prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources. It don't state what problems it would cause? Do you think I should ask what problems they think it might cause?
Appeal is tomorrow...feeling very nervous! Xx
The Appeals Code is clear that the admission authority must be able to demonstrate prejudice over and above the fact that PAN has been reached. Simply saying there will be problems is not enough. They need to specify exactly what problems they are expecting.
Personally I would not ask them what problems they think it might cause as that would give them a chance to come up with some answers which you may then have to counter. I would simply emphasise in your case, and particularly in the summing up, that the school has not come up with a single way that admitting an additional pupil will cause prejudice. They have just asked the appeal panel to accept on faith that it will. If the school cannot tell the appeal panel exactly how admitting additional pupils will cause prejudice the appeal panel is entitled to conclude that it won't.
Thank you that's great, I'm really feeling nervous now and hope I don't mess it up for my daughter.
They did put other things in the statement of case but nothing I can see where they are saying what exact problems that would arise by admitting one more pupil would be.
Could I please send you the statement of case to see what you think of it? Thanks xx
Yes, I'll be happy to take a look if you PM me.
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