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Hello. Did anyone win an appeal for primary reception class whn there were 30 children admitted?

(77 Posts)
fedda Sat 26-May-07 21:42:47

Hello, my child is on a waiting list and I was wondering if anyone had won an appeal while all 30 children have been already admitted for the reception class. If so, would you kindly share your experience and you thoughts what helped you. Ta.

snowwonder Sat 26-May-07 21:45:10

do you mean the clasas has been filled so you need to wait til someone leaves?

fedda Sat 26-May-07 23:13:31

Well, it's another possibility but it's difficult to know if it happens. I was asking if it was possible to win an appeal giving that the class already had 30 children and the reception classes have a limit of 30. Would it still be possible to win an appeal and were there any parents who had this positive experience?

SparklePrincess Sun 27-May-07 21:47:26

You cant argue agains infant class size rules. You would only have a case if the admissions process had been done incorrectly.
Its just a case of waiting im afraid.
Im in the same position myself. Im waiting for a year 1 place at our local school for my dd. Shes top of the list currently, but until somebody leaves were stuck in limbo
Hope you get your place soon.

hellish Sun 27-May-07 21:59:43

My dds Cof E had 12 more applications than places. The head said he would not contest appeals from parents who lived in the village. ( The only primary school in the village) everyone who went to appeal won.
Worth going to talk to head IMO, if you can get him/ her on your side you may have a chance.

fedda Sun 27-May-07 22:37:55

Thank you very much for your replies. The waiting list is only held up to the start of the school year. I was hoping for the appel but I don't know how people can prove that the admissions process had been done incorrectly. I don't know how they were made as I wasn't there and I don't know where people who are admitted live. How do people win the appeals? If the places are already allocated and there can't be more then 30 in a class, why are we even accepted for the appeal if the answere is defenitely going to be negative? May be there are different situations I'm not aware of? I'm sorry, I'm one of so many mums who are really upset for my child not being able to have a place in a nearest school. I'll be very grateful for your advice, tips, shared experience. Ta.

hellish Sun 27-May-07 23:16:12

If you win the appeal and the school admits more than 30, they have to put some of the children in another class. IME this is usually a mixed year class every year.

Bear this in mind when appealing - your child will go through school with the possibility of a mixed aged group class.

my dd1 has been in a y1/2 and a y2/3 split both have been great - it can sometimes be a good thing.

If the head agrees the school can accomodate more than an intake of 30, then you have a much better chance at appeal.

fedda Sun 27-May-07 23:27:54

That's an interesting point. Thank you.

SparklePrincess Mon 28-May-07 13:31:54

But its a completely different situation in a small village school where they have mixed age classes & there can be a degree of flexibility on class sizes. Our school has a limit of 20 in each year group, but if a year group was full & somebody needed the place chances are they would get it anyway if the school itself wasnt actually full. (The infant class size is irrelevant in this case as the class itself remains at 30 or below) Its a completely different story with say a one form entry school. If it is proven that admissions were done incorrectly then a child will be admitted into the class & be what I think is called "an accepted pupil" for that school year. Then if nobody else has left the class during that school year the school would have to employ another teacher for that classroom.
Your only realistic option is to put your dc`s name down for as many schools as you would consider & hope that a place comes up soon. If its a reception place you could consider keeping dc at nursery until they are statutory school age (term after they are 5) or if thats not possible home educating until a place comes up, or starting them at allocated school while you wait.
I know how frustrated you are. I am too. Ive had people move into the area after us whose dc`s have gone straight into the school (different year groups) while we continue to wait

Clary Mon 28-May-07 13:37:41

30 is the class limit for infants it's true, but there can be flexibility, hence allowing the appeal. As hellish says, a mixed class may be the option.

The process is complicated in our LEA at least because it is done by the LEA not the school.
So for eg we have an 80 intake, usually 3 classes x 26 or so.
We might have a year that is full, with 80, but with space in the actual classes, and spaces in the school. Yet the LEA would prob refuse a parent a place.

Equally, if the year isn't full, but has, say, 2 x 30 pupil classes, we would have to give a place to an applicant but it would cause a real headache.

Is there space in the school as a whole? If there is, the head will certainly want all the pupils they can get (for funding). If several people have been refused, as you suggest, that might well make a mixed class including them a viable option.

Call the head and find out (tricky this week as it's half term....)

hellish Mon 28-May-07 13:38:03

Are there schools which are strictly a one form entry schools - are they allowed to do that?

Our old primary school is in a village but has 300-400 pupils and had a reception entry limit of 50 but 60 were admitted after the appeal - surely all schools have to adapt to changing needs in the communities they serve?

Clary Mon 28-May-07 13:39:57

hellish I guesss if a school had space for just seven classes and was fully subscribed to 30 each year it would have to refuse any extra.

Not sure if that many schools are in that position tho.

SparklePrincess Mon 28-May-07 13:53:18

Its entirely usual hellish. If a school had a class with a limit of under 30 then it would be worth trying for an appeal, but if the class you are going for has 30 in it already its very doubtful you will succeed. Dont know unless you try though.
The infant class size is the thing thats the problem. Its 30 & thats cast in stone. If schools have larger classes than that they will have more than one teacher in the classroom.

SparklePrincess Mon 28-May-07 13:57:59

Clary, I think most schools are in that position. At least they are here in the South East. There are very few schools that do things differently around here (other than village schools)
I can think of one school that has 60 in its reception class (& two teachers) & one school that has a limit of 75 (so two and a half form entry) there is some class mixing going on there, but class sizes are always kept at or below 30 (with one teacher). Its the law.

hellish Mon 28-May-07 13:58:39

i have been living in Canada for the past year and my dds go to school here. The government have just capped primary school classes at 20

While this is great - it will mean lots more split classes and not enough classrooms to accomodate all the classes that will be needed.

Also here the school has to accept anyone who lives in the catchment area- they cannot refuse.

Sorry if not relevant to OP, i have found it amazing how differently they deal with the issue here.
Not sure which way I think is best yet tho

SparklePrincess Mon 28-May-07 14:04:57

That sounds great hellish. But small class sizes are not always what theyre cracked up to be. My dc`s are both in a small village school with around 20 in each class. It sounds great in theory, but my little one finds that shes very lonely because theres nobody in her class she clicks with. She is one of only 6 girls in her year group.
Im waiting for a place to come up for her at our local school which will have 30 in the class.

SparklePrincess Mon 28-May-07 14:05:45

I would love to live in Canada BTW. Im so jealous

Clary Mon 28-May-07 14:09:28

I know of one school in the midlands city I live in that is in the position I described of being full throughout the school.

Most others have spaces. Ours (well-rated, nice middle class area) certainly does!

But yes, I understand in SE it's a different do.

SP that's a good point re class sizes. Actually we are very boy heavy her with the result that ione of our FS2 classes, even tho it's 27 pupils, has onyl 7 girls!

Sorry a bit off topic there.

Clary Mon 28-May-07 14:10:44

btw most schools here take in more than one class per year - iwe their intake is 45/60/80/120/whatever (well not usually more than that) so maybe that gives them flexibility.

I know my sis in London expressed amazement at idea of school having more than one class per year.

SparklePrincess Mon 28-May-07 14:16:44

Its a shame when that happens. Dd is a lovely girl, who I thought would get on with anyone, but it seems that at school she is quiet & wont interact with the others or distruptive. I think her problem largely stems from the fact that weve only just found out that her eyesight is very poor & shes just started to wear glasses. Unfortunately shes already got the label of being a troublemaker when problem was she simply couldnt see I feel a fresh start in a new school is really what she needs, but until a place comes up in her year group at our local school theres not much we can do
Sorry to hijack OP.

SparklePrincess Mon 28-May-07 14:18:05

Where we lived before my eldest dd was in a 3 form entry school, so coming down to a tiny village school with just over 100 in it has been a bit of a change for her.

hellish Mon 28-May-07 14:30:45

hope she has settled in okay sparkle?
I agree small classes are not always a good thing. When we first moved here dd1 (yr2) was in a class with only 3 girls and 17 boys - she has always been very outgoing but really wasn't making any friends, i was very worried. She moved classes - into a mixed 2/3 as she was academically a little ahead (coming from UK to Canada) and now is in a great class and has made some lovely friends.

One problem here is that classes are small but they don't have classroom assistants (or have who moves around the whole school) so the group work is limited.

Some of the teaching seems a bit old fashioned here - teacher stands at front- children sit in rows etc.
But not all - some teachers (my dds) are fab.

Sorry to hijack post - areyou going to appeal OP?

SparklePrincess Mon 28-May-07 14:45:38

Eldest dd had a fabulous year last year hellish, not so great this year im afraid because she has a tired teacher who is waiting to retire. Unfortunately likelihood is (because of the mixed classes) that one of the girls will have her next year. I can imagine the youngest would run rings around her & not get much done If the place comes up for my youngest at our local school I will move them both. (They already have a place for my eldest) Being at our local school & having local friends will be great for both of them I think. I actually know the school/teachers/kids at our local school already because I used to work there, & a lot of the kids know me. I know of girls that they would both get on with at that school, its not a complete leap in the dark.

UnquietDad Mon 28-May-07 14:54:02

Yes, we won an appeal when there were, in fact, 32 already in the class. It was Y1 and not reception, but still KS1 so same applies.

We moved house mid-year and so had already applied and got the place for School A. (We didn't dare be so presumptuous as to go for School B before the house move happened - so easy for these things to fall apart.) After we moved, school A was 2 miles away and we were dependent on a sporadic bus service. We expressed the need to send our child to the local village school, B, and were turned down.

We lost the first appeal and went again as soon as we could.

We had to make a very clear case for the reasons we wanted the nearer school B, rather than negative reasons for not wanting A. I read up on all the DfES regulations and was very clear about all the technicalities.

You have to go into the appeal being very hard-headed and not caring about how pernickety or petty you may appear, or how much you are depending on technicalities - these may win it for you.

Read Ben Rooney's "How To Win Your School Appeal" and speak to the Advisory Centre for Education on 0808 800 5793.

At all times, remember that the Local Education Authority is your enemy, and is trying to stop YOU sending YOUR child to the school YOU want. They will use every trick in the book. So should you.

hellish Mon 28-May-07 14:56:38

Great advice uinquiet - we approached our appeal in the same way.

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