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Junior School Admission Appeal(3 Posts)
Looking for some help / advice really...
We moved into our current property about a year ago now and at that time I applied for our DD to do an in-year transfer. Unfortunately nothing was available. We made the decision to keep our daughter at her old school which is about 6 miles from our current home address. This school is in a different county and the county operates a different school system; lower, middle, upper. She is coming to the end of year 2 now.
The nearest school to where we are living now (400ish metres) is a junior school with a linked infant school. She is on the waiting list for the infant school (position 2). I recently applied for a place for her at the linked junior school for year 3 (next year), and found out she did not get a place since nearly all of the linked infant school children took their guaranteed places and the only other space went to a child living closer than us.
The local authority have not offered her anything at a different school since they say she has provision at her current school.
This is true since she can continue at this school until year 4, so another 2 years. However, the commute to the school takes me about 2 hours each day (there and back x 2) and her younger sibling is due to start a pre-school in September on the site of the junior school! The year after that her younger sibling will start nursery school where we are living now. It is impossible for me to do these 2 school drops and my eldest's school do not offer any breakfast club.
I spoke to the council and they have sent me a list of schools with space for year 3 upwards. None of these schools are in the same town as where we live and all are over 3 miles away. The schools she is on the waiting list for all have very long CI lists and as they are not our nearest school she is way down the list - place 5 or more.
We are meeting the head of the junior school next week to discuss an appeal. I know I need to ask about the PAN and have they ever gone over? Is there anything else I should be asking?
Any thoughts on what we should be doing?! I really just want our DD to go to a school where we live so she can start to make some friends etc.
Any thoughts, advice at this really stressful time really appreciated. We had genuinely thought she would get in on distance as we're so close.
Not quite sure why you are asking the head of the junior school about an appeal, you will in effect, by appealing, be trying to change the school and local authorities mind about not giving you a place at the school.
So what will meeting with the head teacher achieve?
I think there is good reason to go to the school to look around but I would be cautious about giving out any information about you and your child simply because it will potentially be used in your appeal to weaken your case.
You should appeal because you have nothing to loose. However in many respects you have not helped yourself by staying at the same school. If you had withdrawn her when you moved the current LA will have had to find you a place within reasonable commute distance. By staying with the old school you have let the LA off the hook as they can justifiably say you had a school place,still have a school place and that they have offered you alternatives. They will definitely say this at appeal and say that you are only now becoming concerned because with your younger children coming into nursery etc, it now suits you to want a local school. You need to think carefully about what are your reasons for wanting this school place.
Sorry I am being blunt about the situation but you need to know where you stand so that you can work out what is best to say at appeal.
What helps you, though, with an appeal for Y3 is that infant class size rules no longer apply. You would be arguing on the relative advantage to your child in having a place against the disadvantage to the school in having to accept another pupil. In your shoes, I'd be arguing that, having failed to get a place when you first applied, you've been making the best of it but it's no longer sustainable and your child needs to be in a school near home in order to settle into the locality and make local friends.