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Appeal yr 2 place

(12 Posts)
Debmark Thu 05-Oct-17 14:13:10

I,m looking for some advise please.
My partner and I have recently moved in together with his 6yr daughter and my two age 9 and 13.
We are both widows sadly but feel lucky that we have found each other and that our children have the chance of a settled family life.
My partner has relocated which is about 40 miles from where they used to live.
We have applied to get his daughter into school with my daughter but have been told due to class size legislation we have been refused.
She is in yr 2 and at the moment they are having to travel back to her old school which is taking over an hour every day, this means a 80 mile round trip. They leave at 7.15 am everyday and it is beginning to takes its toll on her.
She has been through so much at such a young age, losing her mum at the tender age of 3yr.
she has had a huge amount of help from school, helping her cope with being different from the others. Accepting her mummy isn’t coming back. She found it extremely hard to settle at school at first.
With this in mind we knew how important it was to make sure that moving schools was a smooth and happy process.
It was vital that she would be with her big sister, my daughter. We live in the same street as school so another reason why we wanted her to go there. She has also made some friends of her own through my daughter who would be in her class.
The head of our school has been extremely supportive of our fight and has said he would be happy to have her, even though it would take him over his allocation in yr2. He explained it would not effect the class and that they would cope with the extra one.
We are extremely worried that the journey every day is not helping her at all as it is leaving her so tired to cope with her day.
She gets distressed every morning leaving for school as she has to go somewhere different from her sister and so early.
It makes our family feel extremely disjointed at the moment as we have to go off in different directions.
She does have detachment issues and we are trying to cope with these as best we can.
She is a little girl who desperately needs to feel like she belongs with her family, someone who needs familiar faces and surroundings around her.
We want to make an appeal but don’t know how to approach it as we are asking to go above the class size numbers.
Any advice would be great, thank you.

MardyMatilda Thu 05-Oct-17 16:07:10

I'm so sorry to hear of your situation.
Go to appeal and you may be lucky.
Does she have any of the attachment issues documenting via the GP? As this may be helpful for your case.
Class sizes aren't as restricted come year 3 so really it's just this next year however completely agree it's not helpful for her to keep travelling back when she will leave eventually anyhow.
Is there the option of another local school with places at all? Just thinking if they've offered you another very local school, that may make the appeal slightly harder whereas if they haven't much easier to fight for your " local school "
Is there the option of homeschooling at all for this academic year?

ShowOfHands Thu 05-Oct-17 16:11:05

We were successful at getting them to apply the fair access protocol. Worth a try?

Are there any closer schools for now?

Debmark Thu 05-Oct-17 16:49:55

Unfortunately her dad never took her to the GP at the time as it didn't really seem to effect her until she started school and realised she was different.
We have been offered another school but it isnt great and we wouldn't know anybody there. We really feel she needs the stability of her siblings and friends near by.
Thank you for your time.

MardyMatilda Thu 05-Oct-17 16:56:41

I'm sure your appeal will go well considering her circumstances with losing her mother
In the meantime if it doesn't and she has to wait until year 3 could she stay at home?

meditrina Thu 05-Oct-17 17:02:18

The grounds for successful appeal when ICS rules apply are very limited.

You don't seem to have a case on improper administration if the process, or unlawful criteria, so would have to try in the grounds of 'so unreasonable that it's perverse (in the legal sense)'

There are no grounds to activate the Fair Acess Protocol, as there is a place available locally even though it is in a school you don't much like.

Debmark Thu 05-Oct-17 17:29:19

I dont hold out much hope but we have to try.

prh47bridge Thu 05-Oct-17 17:46:46

Agree with meditrina. The council has offered you a local school so they don't need to do anything more. The fact you don't like the school is, I'm afraid, irrelevant.

Any appeal will be heard under ICS rules which means it will be difficult to win. I'm struggling to see a viable case. Even if the head said to the appeal panel that he'd be happy to take your daughter they shouldn't really admit. So you are hoping for an appeal panel that is willing to bend the rules for you. It does happen sometimes but not very often. All you can do is make the best case you can as to why his daughter needs to go to this school and hope. But you need to come up with a plan B as I'm afraid the likelihood is that the appeal will fail.

admission Thu 05-Oct-17 18:40:49

AS PRH has said, you should not win an infant class size case like this but this is exactly the kind of case that panels hate. Under any logical thought pattern this is a child who should be admitted to the school but the ICS Regs stop them from doing what is the right thing.
You should appeal because there is always a chance that the panel may go against what legally is correct but you need something that might allow them to hang their hat on to allow them to admit. The best thing I can come up with is to get your GP to write in terms of a growing issue of detachment issues which is now significantly affecting daughter. But it must say "in my opinion daughter is now showing more and more signs of significant mental issues" not "mrs X tells me....".
You do need to make sure that you are on the waiting list for the school, if they have such a thing. Or alternatively keep you ears open for anybody thinking of moving from the school in year 2 and pounce with another application.
I wonder what the chances are of home schooling for the rest of this year? It is the legislation that stops you getting a place. If you home school you can be on the waiting list for the school and given your proximity to the school and potentially (and you need to check this) sibling link you will be very close, if not top, of the waiting list. It is worth asking the head teacher if they are so amenable how often places come up. The other thought is to home educate but then look to appeal again in June for a place in September for year 3, where the ICS Regs do not apply and maybe the head teacher would be far more accepting of taking over the 30 limit at the moment.

You do need to come up with plan B which has to be to accept the other school offered no matter its quality etc. Do not reject it as the LA can then just leave you to get on with finding a school. Whatever you do is going to be a real problem and probably a long shot, I am afraid.

MardyMatilda Thu 05-Oct-17 19:51:44

Am I right in thinking then they can go over the 30 more easily for a year 3 space?
And by how many?

prh47bridge Thu 05-Oct-17 21:33:48

There is no legal limit on class sizes for Y3 and above. However, if it is up to an appeal panel to decide most panels would be unhappy if the class size got to 33 or 34.

prh47bridge Thu 05-Oct-17 21:34:21

Sorry - meant to say got beyond 33 or 34.

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