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Year 2 child - appeal advice(11 Posts)
I would really appreciate some advice.
My little lady is about to start in Yr2. She is adopted and classed as a previously looked after child. Her school has four classes per year and is a very large school. She has experienced horrific trauma in her early years but finds it difficult to express at school which causes extreme anxiety.She has been supported by a psychologist through therapy. The psychologist felt she would benefit from a smaller school that could meet her and her brothers (SEN and adopted) needs. We found a school that was very small and perfect for both of them but they only had a place for her brother in September. The school seem very supportive of both children but we have to go to appeal in October due to infant size for our ad. I understand that she should fall under exceptional circumstances but would really appreciate any advice on the appeal process.
She is classified as an excepted child and will not count in infant class size regulations. In short, she should be admitted. It may be worth reminding the admission authority (is it an academy?) that she should be admitted without needing to appeal, citing the admissions code.
If the school is an academy or free school and refuse to admit her, the process is slightly different; you can request a direction from the Secretary of State. This should be the mechanism by which a place is obtained rather than by appealing.
Of course, a gentle reminder that your daughter is an excepted child should produce a place without the need for further action.
Last point: para 3.12 is clear that:
This [fair access] provision will not apply to a looked after child, a previously looked after child or a child with a statement of special educational needs or Education, Health and Care Plan naming the school in question, as these children must be admitted.
Totally agree with Tethersend, as a previously looked after child, there should be no question that you should be admitted to the school without any need to go to appeal. As tethersend says you should go back to the admission authority and point out to them para 2.15B.
My only concern is that you need to be very careful over being designated previously looked after, your child needs to have been adopted immediately after being under LA control and you need the admission team of the LA to confirm that you are classed as previously looked after. There is a glitch in the law in that the detailed descriptors for previously looked after differ slightly between what is the law around admissions and the law around social service interventions. Do not assume your child is previously looked after based solely on social service advice.
I would confirm exactly what the difference is but i can't find the relevant information. Sorry.
As admission states, children must have left care via an adoption, special guardianship or child arrangement order for them to be classified as previously looked after.
Contact the Virtual School Head of the LA in which your children go to school (not of the LA which they were in care to). They now have a remit to advise parents and guardians of previously looked after children who attend school in their local authority.
If the new school is in a different LA to the current one, contact the VSH from the new school LA as they should be able to remind the admissions authority (firmly) of the law on your behalf. PM me the LA if you need contact details.
Thank you both for your advice.
Our children are definitely classed as previously looked after children.
We took your advice and went back to the admissions authority quoting what you state about exempted child within the admission codes. We were advised that not much could be done due to summer holidays.
However yesterday we received a call from the school to state that our dd now had a place from September. Just shows what a fantastic school it is to take the time to follow this up when it was the summer holidays.
I can't thank you enough for your advice. We are over the moon with it.
Excellent news. Hope your daughter enjoys the new school.
That’s brilliant, Flothy, well done. Hope the new school works out well
Cool. Cool congratulations