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(26 Posts)
Reeree01 Wed 24-Apr-19 13:07:58

Hello 1st time poster here after advice on school appeals. I know it's unlikely to win an appeal but feel I have to try everything I can.

We didn't get our 1st choice which we ate deeply disappointed about. My daughter is extremely shy (to the point i spoke to her nursery about possible selective mutism who put in extra measures to help her speak out etc), the school we wanted is a church of England school and I know we could have increased out chances by attending church but my daughter would not leave us to go off to the kids service. I know I should have pushed or found child care but what's done is done.

Anyway when the oversubscribption criteria was applied we did not get a place. We are on a waiting list.

This was the only school we looked around that my daughter actually felt comfortable and let go of my hand (massive deal for her) she had her heart set on it and is upset we didn't get a place. It is a one form entry school so is nice and small which is ideal for her. It is working walking distance. We know members of the pta and other parents and a teacher. I feel she would benefit greatly by attending a small school and one that is close for her trying to form friendships which she struggles with. She can already read and write and is very advanced academically.

What can I put in the appeal? Any advice I'd be so grateful. I know it's a long shot but I feel I at least have to try after letting her down about the whole church attendance.

Thank you for reading! Sorry for rambling!

OP’s posts: |
PatriciaHolm Wed 24-Apr-19 13:09:39

The first thing you need to determine is whether it is an infant class size appeal (are children taught in 30 per class in years r, 1or 2).

If so, then you would need to prove an error had been made that cost you a place, or that the decision not to give a place was so unreasonable a normal person would not have made it. These are very very hard to win.

If it is not ICS then you need to show that the detriment to your child of not attending is greater than the detriment to the school of admitting another pupil. This is also usually a high bar, and would need you to show strong reasons that this school meets her specific needs.

Reeree01 Sun 28-Apr-19 10:42:21

I assume would be the second. They were oversubscribed.

I'm just unsure on how to word the appeal letter. Just unsure on everything really.

Any idea on how to find out previous years class sizes etc? To see if they have admitted over 30 in previous years?

OP’s posts: |
Pud2 Sun 28-Apr-19 12:28:21

OP - it’s more likely to be the first one, ie, 30 places available which makes it an infant class size appeal. It’s worth establishing this first. Both options refer to oversubscription.

Pud2 Sun 28-Apr-19 12:30:05

If it is ICS appeal then, as ParticiaH said, I’m afraid it’s very hard to win. The reasons you’ve given wouldn’t win an appeal unfortunately. Where are you on the waiting list?

ShowOfHands Sun 28-Apr-19 12:38:24

We had very serious safeguarding risk governing why DS had to attend a certain school and still couldn't win an ICS appeal. The panel apologised unreservedly and one panel member was tearful but their hands were tied. "Unreasonable" is a threshold 99.9% of people can't attain. The LA were very helpful with creative interim solutions but ultimately, we had to move house.

Are you doing work on getting her used to the given school? You've got 4 months. You can visit, roleplay, make friends with other DC, spin it as positive.

You must appeal as you never know but you also need to plan for the chance that you won't win.

PatriciaHolm Sun 28-Apr-19 15:48:13

Don't assume anything, it makes a big difference to your appeal. Oversubscription has nothing to do with it, it's all about how many children are in the classes in yrR, 1 and 2. Do you know the PAN?

PotteryLady Sun 28-Apr-19 17:05:58

Try and get her used to the school she has been offered. Did you put the school as one of your choices? See where you are on the waiting list and take her to see the school offered.

Reeree01 Sun 28-Apr-19 17:27:40

I am on the waiting list at the school we wanted. But unsure of our position will call tomorrow. I know reception this coming September is full however the current years reception is 3 under at 27 pupils. Does this help at all then?

I am being super positive about the school and waiting to hear as they do play date sessions etc in the coming months that we will be attending.

I am going with the likelihood we will not get in but I feel it's at least worth a try.

OP’s posts: |
Reeree01 Sun 28-Apr-19 17:35:45

Actually they only offered 25 out of 30 places last year

OP’s posts: |
PatriciaHolm Sun 28-Apr-19 17:51:51

So they have offered 30 places this year for the September?

Then the appeal is ICS I'm afraid. It doesn't help that there are vacancies in other years, if there are 30 in the reception class it's ICS.

Reeree01 Sun 28-Apr-19 18:01:39

So no chance then 😭

OP’s posts: |
Reeree01 Sun 28-Apr-19 18:04:48

When I spoke to the school they said to put name down on waiting list via the council admissions. Which I has already done anyway. Then they receive these names after the deadline for accepting your school offer so I'm not sure I can even find out where I am on the list however I will call tomorrow and see

OP’s posts: |
DippyAvocado Sun 28-Apr-19 18:08:47

I think you are very unlikely to win at appeal. As the fellow parent of a child who was selectively mute before starting school, I would agree with putting your efforts into settling her into her future school. Do you know any other parents so you could arrange playdates? At the settling in days, make sure the teaching staff are aware of the selective mutism and maybe some brief guidance about how to deal with it - eg not to pressure her to talk. I find it isn't very well understood in most schools (I am a primary teacher myself!) but all my Dd's teachers have been supportive.

Reeree01 Sun 28-Apr-19 18:15:48

I do find it hard. People do talking at her continuously and I hate having to talk about her when she's sat there so will make sure they are aware beforehand. Its early days so no nothing arranged yet but will sign up to so the days and events running and try my best to make her feel settled

OP’s posts: |
LotsToThinkOf Sun 28-Apr-19 23:04:30

My DS doesn't have any additional needs so I can't offer support there, but we didn't get our first choice school and we lost our appeal. The school was under Infant Class Size and so essentially we had no chance, we appealed anyway because I thought it was important to at least try. We were first on the waiting list but a place didn't come up, we accepted our given school and then later in the year a place came up. By this point DS had settled and refused to move, so we kept him where he was.

We only found out about this through a friend, the waiting lists are disbanded after December in our area so it might be worth checking that. After the lists are disbanded then you just keep applying each half term and they process your application, if you apply at the same time as other people and there aren't enough places then they just apply the same over subscription criteria.

It worked out well in the end, our given school is great and DS wasn't as bothered as we were. Try not to involve your DD too much until you have a final answer as to where she'll be going, then make the best of if for her until she either settles or you get in somewhere else.

Don't turn down the school you've been offered, seek support from them to assist your DD and then research all other schools. Applying as a late applicant can actually work out as there will be some movement and places come up, it sounds to me like the chances of getting into your preferred school are low (as were ours, I was devastated so I completely understand) but that doesn't mean things won't work out.

Good luck.

underneaththeash Sun 28-Apr-19 23:33:22

OP I would just start attending church now and bump yourself up the admissions criteria. It's usually parents they tick off the attendance list so she can just stay with you (we did it for 2 years with a very whinge DS).

Reeree01 Mon 29-Apr-19 08:57:38

Thank you for your replies, I have spoken to the school and they keep you on the waiting list until you remove yourself. Even 2 years down the line.

I've spoken to the school and they don't have any details of people on the waiting lists until later next month when the council pass them over then they will use their admissions criteria to order them so think I will attend church and prove attendance of church groups we have attended for 4 years.

I know it's a long shot but I'm going to try.

We have been really positive about the other school (both for her benefit and mine!) and she seems ok however she has not been sleeping and her behaviour has changed. Not naughty as such but she's not herself. Hopefully after few sessions and meet ups she will feel happier. I do think if we got a last minute place she would still want to go though.

Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
Pud2 Mon 29-Apr-19 12:54:45

At least your clearer now OP.

In terms of church attendance, check the admissions. In our school (which is Catholic so it may be different), you have to have been attending church regularly for three years to be considered practising. It may not be the same in this school but worth having a look.

Reeree01 Mon 20-May-19 13:53:59

Just called the school we are looking to appeal a place at for details of who to address letter to and they basically told me not to bother. That I'd only get a place if they didn't follow admission criteria which they did. She then asked for details of why I was appealing. Obviously I know winning an appeal is extremely unlikely but thought I should at least try. However now I feel stupid and like it's pointless.
Should I bother. Or am I just wasting people's time?

OP’s posts: |
eddiemairswife Mon 20-May-19 17:07:08

They certainly should not have told you that.
It is not up to the school office to decide who might win an appeal. That is the job of the appeal panel, whose members are completely independent of the school.
There is a similar situation in my area; a school in this LA had nearly 900 applications, but has ended up just 2 appeals, whereas a school nearby with a similar number of applications has just completed 6 days of appeals.For the first school, parents were told 'you can't appeal the school is full', 'you are on the waiting list and can't appeal', 'there is no more room in the school' and so on.
The LA is aware, but I don't know what is going to be done.

admission Mon 20-May-19 17:23:02

It is your legal right to be able to appeal and as long as you go into it recognising that the chances of success are very low then that is OK. The more I think about this the more I think you should appeal because if they take this kind of attitude to the whole admissions process my gut feeling says that they will have made some mistakes and one just might be around your child

Reeree01 Mon 20-May-19 21:28:11

Thank you. Yes im thinking if I don't appeal I have no chance of getting a place (apart from waiting list) but if I do appeal I have a very very very small chance. But that's bigger than not trying lol x

OP’s posts: |
NeverADullMomen Mon 20-May-19 21:35:02

It is your legal right to appeal and of course you must do so if you think it's best for your child. However, appeals cost schools not only money but time (including preparation). They are extremely frustrating to schools who know there is no chance of success. Not trying to put you off, just explaining the reaction of the school

Redpostbox Wed 22-May-19 16:37:34

OP don't assume that smaller schools are best for shy children. In my experience they are not. There is less of a friendship pool for your daughter to find someone to be friends with. Small schools can be very isolating for shy children. Large schools can be very nurturing and there is more of a chance your daughter will find a soul mate.

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