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Primary school applications and parent with medical condition(3 Posts)
It’s a long one sorry....
I was diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy 4 years ago and have two boys aged 6 and 4.
I am just about to submit primary school applications and do not want my youngest to attend the school my eldest goes to. I have been unhappy with the school for a while for a numbers of reasons. It is not our catchment school.
I have looked around another school which we are not in the catchment for either but it is easily walkable and on the bus route.
Due to my epilepsy I lost my driving licence for 2 years and this is why my son went to the school he is currently in as it is next to the nursery his brother attended, it was physically impossible to be 2 places at once. I have my licence back but I always have to take into account that I could lose it at any time if I have a seizure.
The school I want to send my youngest two also accepts extra children in year 3 so the plan would be to also move my eldest.
It would be ideal because even if I lost my licence I could walk to take them to school and then jump on the bus to work and not be late, this wouldn’t be as easy at the catchment school because the small town we live in only has one bus service and the catchment school isn’t on the route.
Unfortunately the school I would like them to attend is always over subscribed but we would struggle to make either of the other schools in our town work if I lost my licence again. If they didn’t get a place then they would both attend the school my son is currently at. I do not want them to attend the catchment school because they are split into infant and junior schools so they would be at separate ones.
Sooooo what I’m asking is, has anyone ever won an appeal based on a parents medical condition or does it have to be a severe medical condition which involves mobility issues etc for it to even be considered? Just thinking about the battle I may have if they don’t get a place.
We have no family close by so school runs are split between my husband and I and we both work random shift patterns (these were compatible for 7 years and worked great as we worked opposites but the organisation we work for has now changed the pattern for his department and not mine). So if I lost my licence again I would HAVE to do the school run some days and then get to work as quickly and easily as possible by bus.
Thanks for your patience in getting this far ha ha!
The answer is that I have sat on panels where parents have won cases such as this. However it is very much dependent on the exact wording of the admission criteria. There has to be for the school which is your preference an admission criteria which says medical and social reasons. You then need to check the exact wording because some schools with this criteria then specify it is medical or social reasons connected to the pupil concerned. If it does not specify then the theory is that you can then apply under this criteria.
If that is the situation then I would talk to the school admission team about the situation and get them to confirm in writing that you are able to apply under this criteria. You also need to confirm with them exactly what is the procedure to apply under this criteria. You normally have to apply as usual and then follow up before the cut-off date in January with appropriate evidence. That evidence I would expect to be from a consult who has to explain the condition and has to explain why the school concerned is the most appropriate for your child. I do have to say that the level of pupils admitted under such a criteria is low because they have to reach a high threshold of prejudice. The one piece of advice to you is make sure that you document everything in writing because any appeal is going to be about what evidence you can show that reinforces your case for admission.
If the situation is that there is no medical / social admission criteria then I am afraid that places are allocated solely on the basis of the admission criteria. From what you have said you seem unlikely to be successful with an oversubscribed school. You can go to appeal but if it is an infant class size case, which limits infant classes to 30 pupils to one school teacher then I am afraid the only way you will win an appeal is if the admission authority have made a mistake and should have offered you a place. That is unlikely to be the case.
If however the class sizes are not 30, then it is what is called an ordinary prejudice appeal, so that is when the panel decided whether the schools case not to admit is stronger than the case for you to have a place at the school. That then comes down to the strength of your case.
Thankyou for such an informative post, I myself have found that to be a big help.