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LA doesn't want to put a child on a waiting list

(24 Posts)
HiMelody Thu 26-Apr-18 13:00:05

I have a tricky case.
My daughter is due to start reception in September.

We have compleated the Primary school application on time. On the Primary school day offer, we were given the third choice. We were aware that the two fist choices may be too far.

That being said, we have now changed our mind for various reasons and we want our daughter to be placed on a waiting list for the schools we listed as a 4th and 5th choice. I have contacted the LA and they advised I can only make 'in year' application in this case.

The 4th choice was a Catholic school and I contacted them in person to put my child's name on the waiting list. They have done that and advised to let the LA know.

The 5th choice was a very good school nearby to which a lot of my daughter's peers from nursery/preschool will go to which will make the transition easier for her I believe.

How can I address this issue now, please? What does it mean 'in year application' and is there any way I can pursue the LA to keep my child on the waiting list?

Thank you for reading.

OP’s posts: |
prh47bridge Thu 26-Apr-18 13:46:53

The LA simply want you to fill in a new application form, the same as (or very similar to) the one you filled in when you applied originally, naming your new preferences. You won't lose anything by doing so.

Twofishfingers Thu 26-Apr-18 13:50:07

have you formally accepted the offer on your third choice?

HiMelody Thu 26-Apr-18 14:32:08

Thank you, I will do this application, however, would this mean I need to wait until September to have my child's name on the waiting list for the preferred schools?

@twofishfingers I haven't accepted nor declined the offer yet.

OP’s posts: |
Twofishfingers Thu 26-Apr-18 15:07:16

My advise is that you should accept it so that your child has a school to go to in September. If you don't chances are she wont have a school place at all. In the meantime, apply for in year application, and put your child's name for the schools of your choice. I don't know the answer to your last question sorry. You would have to ask your local council advise line.

missingone Thu 26-Apr-18 15:21:03

Unfortunately this happens quite often. IMO sit tight initially, between now and the end of July there will be a "shuffle down" as people move, change their minds, reject and reconsider their placements. At the moment hold onto your current allocated place.

Find out the name of the person who manages the admissions for your area and keep in contact. Keep checking on the status of admissions because they will change.

admission Thu 26-Apr-18 15:23:27

I think that the fact you have not accepted or declined might be the reason behind the LA comment about "in-year". They are seeing you as a late application. I would suggest that you accept the offered school, as you do need a back-stop and then approach the LA again about going on the waiting list for both the schools you want now.

prh47bridge Thu 26-Apr-18 18:17:28

Agree with Admission that the problem may be that you have not accepted or declined your current offer. They are not under any obligation to come up with another offer if you reject it so you should accept the offer you've got. That won't stop you going onto waiting lists and it won't affect your position on the waiting list. They may still insist on a new application just so they have a clear record of which waiting lists you want to be on, but they should put you on the waiting lists immediately.

catkind Thu 26-Apr-18 22:22:22

I think all they're saying is you can't change the preferences in your original application at this point. What you can do is accept the place you've got, put in a new application using the in-year application form (as if you were a late applicant who'd just moved to the area, probably on the local authority's website) and get on the waiting list for the school you want that way. No reason you'd have to wait till September to get on the list, though it may be places don't come up till then or later.

HiMelody Sun 29-Apr-18 10:56:41

This is what LA wrote:

The planned Admissions round continues until the end of the academic year (July 2018). If an on-time application has been submitted, further applications cannot be made until September 2018 when they then become an in-year application.

Therefore if you wish to make an application for a lower preference school you need to complete an in year application that can be found at: doc attached.

Are they being unreasonable to ask me to wait until September?

Also I put my child’s name on the waiting list for a faith school. Faith schools have their own waiting lists. Do I need to let the LA know she’s on that waiting list?

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Sun 29-Apr-18 11:00:48

Surely that means as long as you listed them on your previous application them you can already go on waiting lists for 4th and 5th placed schools? Additional schools would be part of a fresh application in September.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 29-Apr-18 13:30:42

Have they definitely said they won’t place you on the waiting list for 5 unless you make a new application?

I would have thought that the bit about not allowing you to make a new application if you made an ontime one would leave them open to appeals unless they allow you to change the one you’ve already made.

You do need to accept the place they’ve already offered before you do anything else though.

dungandbother Sun 29-Apr-18 21:30:37

Fill that document in and send it to all the schools you want.
It's a council document and the schools should view it responsibly with the relevant rules applied.

Schools want bums on seats. If there are spaces to be had then that document is the correct one to help you get the space.

Accept the place you have been offered. 100%

The schools have still got a couple of weeks for the first round parents to accept and provide proof of address etc.

So hand deliver the in year document. Say hi to the secretaries and explain you want to be on the wait list.

If the school have a place they will want it filled.

Lougle Sun 29-Apr-18 21:59:17

So what you are saying, is that you want your original application back up choices to be counted, and for your DD to go on the waiting lists of those schools now, which means that you get the advantage of being counted in the running for any places shuffle going on. County however, are saying you need to wait until September, when all of the reshuffle has finished, and go on as a new in-year applicant, as if you'd never thought of applying for this school before, so you need to join the back of the queue?

I agree with everyone, that you must accept the place offered immediately. You shouldn't accept being made to wait until September, though, and if you are made to wait and another child is admitted who wouldn't have been if you had been on the waiting list, you would have good grounds for appeal.

HiMelody Sun 29-Apr-18 22:13:52

Yes Lougle, that’s exactly what I’m struggling here with. Thanks for putting it in those words as my message might have been confusing.

I just don’t know how to convince LA to put my child on the waiting list now? I’ve emailed them a couple of times and the answer is still the same.

OP’s posts: |
HiMelody Sun 29-Apr-18 22:14:50

We have accepted the offered place, thanks for the advice everyone smile

OP’s posts: |
wobytide Sun 29-Apr-18 22:19:40

So a decent school that was local and had lots of your child's friends going to was your 5th choice....*shakes head*

Lougle Sun 29-Apr-18 22:24:26

Lots of people find it hard to see the wood for the trees when they are making this sort of decision, wobytide. It shouldn't mean that the OP is punished for it now.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Sun 29-Apr-18 23:44:08

I think you’re reading of it is the same as mine Lougle. I know LAs can be a law unto themselves but if it is the case, then it surprises me it hasn’t come up before. The OP can’t be the first person to make a change to the original application after offers day.

At this point I think I’d submit the in year application with the schools you want on it and see what they do with it. If nothing else, you’ll be able to show an appeals panel that you applied for a place at the start of May and that you should have been placed on the waiting lists close to this point. Although I’m not sure that’s the best possible advice.

prh47bridge Mon 30-Apr-18 14:03:46

I just don’t know how to convince LA to put my child on the waiting list now

Remind them that, under the Admissions Code, you are entitled to apply for any school at any time (paragraph 2.21). Say that if they refuse to put you on the waiting lists until September you will refer the matter to the Local Government Ombudsman.

InTheRoseGarden Mon 30-Apr-18 15:08:18

I didn't this - switched preference from 1st to 2nd choice. I just had to submit a new application form and they process them all together on something like 1 May. Applications after then are dealt with daily. You should be able to find and read the admissions process documents on your Local Authority website. Mine had this all set out there.

HiMelody Mon 30-Apr-18 15:08:33

Thank you so much all for your helpful replies. You’re the best!

OP’s posts: |
admission Mon 30-Apr-18 18:13:21

I think that the issue here is not so much is it wrong, because it is and PRH has said why in the above post but who is actually setting this policy. I hope that this is somebody in the admission team who is not really an expert of admissions and is doing what they think will work bet for the LA.
If it is really the LA official policy then that does really warrant it being referred to the school adjudicator as the LA are making a very different interpretation of the guidance against most other admission authorities. That definitely needs to be clarified by the school adjudicator as if they do accept this interpretation of the guidance it will alter the admission process dramatically and really does make choosing the right preferences to start with so much more important.
OP would you be prepared to PM me with the LA so I can see what is in the detail of the LA admission guidance and see how it reads.

Stewpudding Tue 01-May-18 14:43:52

My friend has been able to change all her preferences for round 2 as she only chose, and was allocated, schools in a town 30 mins away as she thought she was moving house. House sale fallen through for foreseeable future. LA guidance says preferences can’t be changed until third round, but somehow friend has been allowed to change ready for round 2.

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