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Advice needed pls in year transfer y3

(33 Posts)
Masonj377 Sat 15-Jul-17 18:13:58

Hi, I have been trying to work on an appeal but am getting really confused with it. Can anyone help or advise me in any way please?

In Sept my daughter will start year 3.
Since reception class she has. Reb bullied in a variety of ways but quite a few physical instances with the worst being attacked with a pair of scissors. I have had many meetings with the school but they have never been able to resolve the problem and it continues.

In year 1 we applied to go on waiting list for another local school and each year we reapply - we are currently on the year 2 waiting list and have just submitted an early year 3 application for Sept.

As I ve said the bullying has continued and worsened and it's clear it isn't going to settle as the child grow older and from September we are no longer under the infant class size regulation.

Earlier this year my daughter was diagnosed with anxiety and has panic attacks - gp has referred her to child mental health team. Teacher says daughter is struggling at school and she is now very anxious and nervous outside of school too, gp believes it has all stemmed from ongoing problems at school and has wrote a supportive letter to send to admissions.

Tge head of admissions has told me they cannot accept a drs letter only a hospital consultant which my daughter has not got and also that the condition is not serious or ongoing. We have tried for last couple of years through school nurse and gp to get my daughter referred but they felt she was too young to benefit from counselling.

I am in the process of trying to write a case for an appeal but am getting confused with various acts / legislation etc.
It isn't my daughters fault that she doesn't have a hospital consultant should a gp letter not be considered at all?? Also anxiety is a mental health condition which is serious and ongoing especially in a child and in some classes is classed as a disability - could I use any of those arguments or am I going way off scale 🙈.

There is a child due to leave the school we want in the summer holidays as their family are relocating if my daughters application had been accepted under the medical criterion we would have reached the top of the waiting list and therefore would be offered that place.

In addition I have read that a parents medical needs can be taken into consideration- I am registered disabled and have proof by admissions say my needs aren't relevant - does anybody know this for certain??

I know to mention other reasons such as school policies academic reasons location etc etc

I will be refused as the year group is oversubscribed- The school is not according to the pan and looking st historical information I can see that the school has run above the pan in the past - is any of that relevant? Should I include all of this in my appeal letter or hold some of it back for an appeal hearing??

I realise that I probably don't have the best case in the world but I want to try my best for my daughters happiness and health - any advice would be greatly appreciated thank you xx

PatriciaHolm Sat 15-Jul-17 20:25:51

It may be the case that for qualifying under medical/social criteria for the school, they require considerable proof, which might include a consultant's letter rather than a GP. The criteria is generally very hard to qualify for in most schools and requires you to provide evidence that this is the only school that can suit your needs. The criteria do not have to include parent's needs - some do, some don't. If you want to PM me the details I can check.

For an appeal, the requirements are different - you can supply whatever you like; you are attempting to show that the prejudice to the school of admitting one more is greater than the prejudice to your child of not getting the place. So anything that you have you can show that demonstrates that is fine.

Don't keep anything back for the hearing - all your evidence should be admitted in advance. If you hold something back you run the risk of the panel not letting the evidence be admitted.

PatriciaHolm Sat 15-Jul-17 20:27:50

Also - yes, the fact the school has gone above PAN in KS2 before is definitely helpful, and shows that they can cope.

Lottie991 Sat 15-Jul-17 20:30:09

Can you not try and put her in a different school other than the one you are trying for?

Masonj377 Sat 15-Jul-17 20:59:08

Thank you both for your replies. I agree it can be a tricky area - do you know how they decide what is a serious / ongoing medical need and what isnt, Im guessing they must refer to something rather than have medical training and mental health isses can be complex - but the letter from the GP said that her mental health will coninue to deteiroate if she remains and her current school and gave reasons to support the choice of school which we are applying for.

What info do you need me to PM you to be able to check Patricia Holm???

Lottie - all of our local schools are over subscribed - this is the closest one and is also in walking distance of my moms who helps out with child care due to my ill health - also my daughter has friends at this school from out of school activites etc so it is felt any transition would be easier for her, it is also the school my daughter asks to move to - it is a larger school than the current one and opperates on a 2 form entry - her current school is a 1.5 form entry with mixed class groups which alter each year meaning that she is never consistently with a set group of children due to her age being on the borderline for the cut off and makes it harder for her to form and maintain friendships - i know those arent the strongest reasons in the world either sad

admission Sat 15-Jul-17 21:00:51

I find it somewhat worrying that the head of admissions is making some of the comments that they are making. Whilst it might be completely appropriate for them to say that to be considered under the medical criteria that you need to have a consultant's letter it is very clearly not appropriate for them to be saying your daughter's condition is not serious or ongoing. That is for others better qualified to decide.

I would say that you cannot say your daughter is disabled because the definition that will be used will be of something that is long term (that is over 12 months). In effect you are saying that a change of school will significantly improve your daughter so it would seem unlikely to be classified as disable.

I would ignore what the admission office is saying, submit the official documentation for an appeal and see what the panel think of the evidence. What you must be able to show is evidence of the continued long term bullying, preferably by written documentation between you and the school which shows their lack of ability to make it stop.

Masonj377 Sat 15-Jul-17 21:30:20

Thankyou admission - I agree that I believe my daughters condition is serious and is ongoing and it just puzzled me as to how they make the decision as to which condition is accepted and which isnt. My daughter has suffered from bouts of anxiety since she was 5 when the extent of the bullying first came to light, and I had to obtain a medical notes confirming this on 2 occassions for school as my daughters attendance was close to the threshold but in recent months the anxiety has worsened and she now has anxiety attacks so the GP thnks that although she is young that as the condition is worsening that she now needs professional specialist assessment and help.

I have my diary notes of all incidents, copies of letters I ve sent to the school and my notes from teacher / head meetings, my GP also contacted the school asking for an investigation and I have notes from then too so I think I can prove that I have tried to work with the school but that the situation is ongoing.

I just have another query on the process if that is ok

I have just submitted my in year transfer for Sept for a year 3 place - I have been told it will be refused BUT it hasnt been processed yet as they have backlogs ( it was hopefully going to be done this week but hasnt.

I have a spare "grounds for apeal form but I cannot send it until I get the official refusal or so I am told. When I send the appeal form is it at that point I send all of my proof etc or do I have to wait until I hear back from them with a date and the official statement for refusual eg year classes full, building size etc ?

Sorry to ask so many questions but I only get one shot and want to try my absolute best - thank you all so much for your help xx

Masonj377 Sun 16-Jul-17 09:49:34

Bump If anyone can help with the last bit xx- Thank you xx

Masonj377 Mon 17-Jul-17 07:02:18

Still need some advice if anyone can help please xx

Charmatt Mon 17-Jul-17 08:50:35

Does your LA have a local education officer? If so, try t get in touch wit them. If you explain the situation they may intervene. They may speak to both schools and assess the situation and can have influence with admissions. They are useful in cases where there is a known problem but having enough evidence to push a child up the waiting list is difficult. We have a very good LA officer who works to bridge issues like this.

Masonj377 Mon 17-Jul-17 09:42:31

Thank you charmatt - I imagine that there is an officer I can try and find out. However my daughter really doesn't want to stay at the school where she is and is desperate to move schools xx

PatriciaHolm Mon 17-Jul-17 09:44:01

You can't appeal until you have had a refusal of a place, yes.

In terms of sending your evidence, it doesn't really matter - I'm assuming the school's case will be pretty standard - we're full, these are the class sizes, room sizes etc. So I would gather your case and send it when you are ready.

If you do send your evidence and then they come up with something unexpected, you can send more evidence then if you wish, or if it comes to it submit it on the day - though panels don't have to accept it, it would be a rare panel that wouldn't accept something fairly succinct and relevant late or on the day.

Masonj377 Mon 17-Jul-17 11:35:56

Thank you Patricia xxx I just have to wait for admissions to clear their back log and process my application to get the refusal- I doubt I will now get a Sept hearing due to their backlog 😤🙁 xx

Masonj377 Fri 15-Sep-17 16:53:36

Update
My appeal hearing is scheduled for early next month and I have today had the official reasons for refusal sent to me. It apears to be relaatively standard e.g year grup oversubscribed and admitting over that being predjudice to provision of efficiet education etc etc. I have 4 pages of information covering the following - in order to prep for my appeal is it best to try to find evidence to challenge each point below or just to challanged the overall statement ( above) - hope this makes sense -

I can upload screenshots minus personal info if this is easier but not sure if allowed
Thank you to anyone who can offer help / advice etc

*Current Pupil Numbers & Staffing - Im appealing for y3 place
(Reception y1/2/3 at PAN )
(y4 1 under PAN )
(y5 & y6 are above PAN by 2 pupils per year group)
School No on roll exceeds PAN by 3 children)

*Details of number of head teachers & deputy teachers and then number of teachers and ta's per year group -
The school website details extra 3 additional teaching staff and 2 learning staff but these are not detailed on info I have been sent.
Details state that deputy head teaches 20% of time whilst head teacher and SENCO have a 10% teaching committent and in addition these 3 are available to cover short term absences.
No spare funding to appoint teachers.

* Classrooms
Safes DfE recommends reception classes at 66m2 / other classes 60m2. School appealed for classes are below these recommendations.
2 x reception classes - one below the 66m2 recommendation
other classes are below 60m per 30 pupils.
Then referes to number of classrooms and layout and says additional children will add to potential overcrowding and restrict delivery of curriculum.

No specialist facilities at the schhol apart from purpose built sports hall and IT suite which has 30 workspaces dedicated to IT teaching
for all children during the week and cannot be pressed in to use as an extra classroom. Other specialist subjects such as music are taught in the classroom and cooking in the curriculum often consists of small groups in the staff room which has an electric oven

*Diffficulties in Classroom
1- Storage set up for 30 children only including individual work trays to put work in - admitting over would cause difficulties in organisation and space.
2- No of desks set up for 30 children with tables in groups of 4/6/8. More tables would mean less room for children and staff to work and circulate.
3- Sufficient carpet area. More tables / chairs in a classroom resrict space for carpet time as classes below DfE recommendations.
4- Cloakrooms all classrooms except 4 have space for children to hang coats. These areas have 30 pegs only.

* Shared Spaces
Corridors - Some parts of school have no corridors as was built open plan. KS1 corridors corridors are narrow and only allows for passage of children. SOme corridors there are tables for small group / 1-2-1 work.
Due to classroms being smaller than DfE where there is space in corridors there are storage units containing rescources eg books

* School Hall Issues
Lunchtime - staggered for KS1 & KS2 to allow younge chilren to be seated and eat earlier before KS2 arrive for lunch in hall.
Whole School Assemblies held once a week due to pressure of space in hall, rest of time they are in KS groupings.
PE is planned for school hall sports hall and outside on a weekly basis.

*Pastoral Considerations
Larger numbers on role will affect pastoral care. More children will reduce amount of time teachers can spend with each student and marking of pupils work and curriculum planning will be adversely affected by greater numbers,
Increased numbers adversely affects deployment of effective teaching techniques such as group work. Admitting extra children would cause problems for all children while certain groups such as Special Needs children would be affected the most.
No breakfast club facilites at school.

*Conclusion
Admitting extra children has a detrimetal effect on education of other children in the school. The LAs decision to refuse admission was reasonable and they are satisfied that the administration of the process has not resulted in any error.
Any successful appeals will lead to
1- impact on equipment and staffing resources due to extra admission being accomodated on present funding levels.
2- larger classes and group sizes - detrimental to pupil / teachers and reduces teacher - pupil contact time.
3- classroom accom and floor area is limited. movement around the room would be restricted by additional children.
4 - Increased practical demands on school eg chairs storage equipment computer access cloakroom space.
For reasons above the admissions authority firmly believes the year group is full and cannot admit more without compromising class sies and predjudicing the education of other children in the school
THE END

Im really sorry this is such a long post but I just want to add the following details in addition to my first post.

* My daughter has been referred to youth methal health team as anxiety has worsened, she has developed abdominal migraines which are triggered by anxiety and can lead to many sick days from school - she is being referred to a pediatrican also.
*My daughter also is now unable to sleep due to anxiety and tried to make herself sick before returning to school in Sept (age 7). My GP is supportive but the admissions dept dismissed our original evidence under their medical criteron.

All medical criteron evidence is reviewed by a senior SEN officer at the LA. These officers have no medical background, knowledge, training or referral points for complex conditions - is this challengeable or standard practice?

Thank you again for any advice / help etc

Masonj377 Fri 15-Sep-17 16:58:25

Sorry forgot to add - my GP has suggested I ask the SEN at my daughters school to see her ( this was only suggested recently).

Masonj377 Sun 17-Sep-17 00:37:44

BUMP

admission Sun 17-Sep-17 12:53:48

The first thing to say is that this is a "bog standard" admission appeal document from the LA, probably 85% to 90% of appeals follow this general documentation.
Second thing to say is that as an in-year appeal the decision for the panel is whether the weight of evidence that you can supply outweighs the weight of evidence that the school / LA supplies. So whilst you daughter's medical issues are important to your case they have no relevance to anybody in the LA or school in helping their case not to admit. The fact that they originally dismissed the original evidence is irrelevant. I would not consider going to see the SENCO in the school about your daughter's condition because it might just give the school / LA the opportunity to talk at the hearing about the level of the issue and that the school cannot possibly cope etc. If the LA / school do raise this then you should ask the panel to ignore these comments because they are not supposed to say they cannot cope, they are expected to take appropriate steps so the pupil can be fully involved in all aspects of school life.
All the information you have is for part 1 of the hearing where the school / LA lay out all the reasons for not admitting. The regs say they have to prove it over and above having admitted to the PAN and that is why you get all the excuses coming out.
The school is at PAN in year 3 but has more in year 5 and 6, so you could ask questions about whether this has affected the education of the children in these year groups. If they manage in year 5 and 6 why not an extra pupil in year 3. You cannot argue that because year 4 is below PAN you should have a place, it is about the numbers in the actual year group involved.
The size of the reception classes is irrelevant, it is a year 3 appeal. The Building Regs 99 suggests that a "normal" primary classroom would be between 56 and 63 sq metres, so are the year 3 classrooms below 60 by a lot or are they above the 56 minimum expected. New classrooms are being built between 55 and 62 sq metres. The comment about the classroom furniture leads to a question as to what is the actual layout in the year 3 classes. If they are in 6s then with 30 pupils that is 5 full tables and is not good for your case, but if it is 4 or 8 then there would be a number of spare spaces around the tables as the 30 does not divide by 4 or 8. So you can question why this comment is relevant and does not give rise to prejudice to the provision of efficient education.
Assuming that this is a 60 PAN then there should be 14 full time teachers in the school. Each teacher is by law allowed 10% of time for marking and prep work, which equates to 1.4 teachers. If you ignore the teaching commitment of the head, deputy and SENCO then the school needs 15.4 full time teachers. What you need to establish is whether the 3 additional teaching staff on the website indicate that they have a number of part time staff or they do actually have 17 full time equivalent teachers. This might be important in an infant appeal but in year 3 it is not very relevant (other then it shows they have plenty of staff) as the class can have more than 30 in it.
The rest of the stuff is not in my opinion worth worrying about, it is there to bulk out the school's case. You need to look at the conclusion and see if you find any evidence, such as on the school website to contradict what they are saying.
The most important thing for you is to build a strong case for part 2 of the appeal where you present the reasons for needing a place at the school. That needs to include if possible reasons why this school is the right place for your daughter, so things like after school clubs, ease of access etc as well as how this school may be able to help you daughter's concerns.

Masonj377 Sun 17-Sep-17 14:47:16

Thank you so much for your help and advice - I honestly cant thank you enough, you have given me lots of ideas and how best to argue my case xx

Just a couple more quick queries if that is ok
1) shall i advise them in advance of the recent deterioration of my daughters anxiety and new referrals ( do not have proof of these yet but could possibly get something in time for hearing but not in advance)
2) Do you know if the admissions officers who reviewed my medical knowledge should have had any medical knowledge background or access to advice before making a decision?

Thank you xx

admission Sun 17-Sep-17 17:04:05

In terms of the admission officers, it is quite common from my knowledge for them not to have any medical background. One would hope that they would access advice but if I am honest I am not sure they do in many cases. It will however not be relevant to your appeal for year 3.
I think it is important to give the panel as much information as possible, so information about your daughter's anxiety and referral is definitely something that should be included. As has been mentioned before it would be better if it was a consultants letter and that it clearly says "in my opinion..... she would benefit from going to this school." It should not say Mrs X says that. Panels are told to give such letters no weight at all when making decisions. However if it is a GP's letter same comments apply.
You do need to get the information about bullying into you appeal. Again written documentation from you to the school and especially ones from the school accepting that there are issues would be valuable.

Masonj377 Sun 17-Sep-17 17:14:28

Thank you so much xx

Masonj377 Sun 17-Sep-17 17:52:22

With regards to the tables they seat 2 children per table and then group the tables in different ways per classroom or activity if that makes sense. Diff pics show on school website show the arrangements different in diff classes - some pics have just 1 table with 2 children in rows of 2's, others 3 tables together to seat 6 or 4 tables together to seat 8. I cant work out which arrangement is where the y3 classes currently are x

Masonj377 Mon 18-Sep-17 16:21:41

*BUMP *

Any advice re my last post and table lay out ? / also school website doesnt clarify if the additional teaching staff are full or part time is there anywhere else I could find this info?

Classroom sizes - the school has 14 classrooms - 4 of which are 56sqm or larger meaning there are only 4 recommended size classrooms. 2 of those larger classrooms are for the 2 reception classes. Yr 5 & Yr6 are above PAN so at least 2 of those classes will be in a smaller classroom than 56sqm. The smallest classroom in the school is 47sqm but its not clear which class are in there - im trying to figure a way of finding this out xx

Thank you xx

Masonj377 Mon 18-Sep-17 17:13:24

The school website states "The school staffing structure consists of Head, Deputy, two Assistant Headteachers, Foundation, Maths, English and Computing Co-ordinators along with 20 teaching staff and 17 support staff ". It doesnt state how many full or part time

Lastly - when i challenge things in the LA's report - any evidence should i just bring with me or should i inform the appeals team in advance on what i want to challenge eg PAN / Classroom size/ table lay out etc

Thank you again

Masonj377 Tue 19-Sep-17 10:31:48

Bump - still need some advice if anyone is able to help x

admission Tue 19-Sep-17 17:37:29

The 47 sq metre classroom is getting on the small side and you really need to establish if this is a year 3 class. It would be quite usual if it was as the pupils will now be expected to sit at their desks and not have as much room for other activities. If it is a year 3 class then that will probably have a negative impact on your ability to argue for admission in stage 1, as the panel will be thinking this is already a smallish room can I put another pupil in there. The other classrooms whilst the school will moan how small they are, I as a panel member would not give that much weight to as I would consider them to be appropriate size.
In most primary schools the co-ordinators of subjects are actually different class teachers and they will get a very limited amount of time to co-ordinate. With 20 school teachers and the senior leadership team of 4, it is for sure that some of the 20 are part-time. Normally if you go onto the website you will be able to see from individual class information which are doing a job share. I would say for a 420 pupil school to have a head teacher, deputy and two assistants all with low levels of teaching commitment would indicate that they have more than the minimum of staffing but I am sure that they will all have areas that they are responsible for that would be acceptable. As the appeal is for year 3, it is reasonable to assume that there is 1 teacher in the classroom. There is no need for another teacher to teach the 31st pupil, just the available space.
You need to put all your evidence together and get it back to the clerk in plenty of time before the appeal - there is usually a date. If you turn up with loads of extra info at the appeal there is a danger that the Chair of the panel my say that it is not allowed to be presented and at worst it will mean a delay whilst the LA / School have the opportunity to consider the new evidence. It is far better to have put all the evidence to the panel well before the hearing.

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