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Should we appeal now for an in-year transfer or wait until September?

(10 Posts)
Kateguide Wed 10-Jul-19 14:43:48

We relocated from Hertfordshire to Berkshire at the end of August 2018.
DS1, who is currently in yr 2 (KS1) started at his new school in Sept. Although he has enjoyed his year in this school, it is the 6th closest to us and we would like him to go to one of the local village schools, however, they are all currently full.

DS2 has got a place at our first choice local village school and will start in reception in Sept 2019.

DS1 is currently 1st on the waiting list for DS2's school. In Sept 2019 he will be in yr 3, KS2, which has different class size rules (sometimes they let you go over 30).

We are getting conflicting information about when we should appeal - some say we should wait until Sept 2019 when DS2 is at the school; others say we should appeal straight away. Both of these people work on appeals boards in different areas of the country.

Does anyone know when we should appeal? Now or Sept? Does it matter? Any advice or experience on this would be appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Wed 10-Jul-19 14:45:54

If your appeal is based on sibling link that only is established once your dc2 has started.

prh47bridge Wed 10-Jul-19 16:59:30

You can't appeal based on a sibling link. A sibling link may give priority on the waiting list but it is only relevant at appeal if there is professional evidence that the child has a stronger need than other children to be at the same school as their sibling.

Even if you lodge an appeal now, it is unlikely to be heard until September. I would get your appeal in straight away.

PatriciaHolm Wed 10-Jul-19 17:03:27

I agree with prh, as normal!

Appeal now; it's very unlikely to be heard before sept anyway, and at least this way you get the process started.

steppemum Wed 10-Jul-19 17:11:10

do you know where you are on the waiting list?

I am guessing that the sibling link (if they have that as a criteria) will push you to the top?
In that case, you wait until ds 2 has actually started and then apply agina for an in-year move. You could try talking to the HT at the school too. Going over PAN is at the discretion of the head. You could try catching her at one of the reception try out days/meetings, and explain your situation.

When we moved we had a place for the younger sibling and no tthe older, but we said we would go on the waiting list and home school until a plce came up.
24 hours later we had a phone call from admissions saying the head had agreed to accept dc1, taking his class to 31.

admission Wed 10-Jul-19 22:07:44

The sibling link would only come into effect from the point where they are in school which will be September. However quite a few LAs only have a sibling link that is from the elder sibling, that is the younger sibling gets the link, so you need to check out exactly what the school / LA define as the sibling link. The only positive in the sibling link is in terms of where you are on the waiting list for DS1 and as they are first on the list the need for sibling link is therefore questionable.
As PRH says if you apply now you are unlikely to get an appeal before September anyway because there are usually no appeals during August. Another factor is that you are only allowed one appeal per year unless there is a significant change in circumstances but i do not think this has any effect either way on your situation.
If you had asked the question in June I would have said apply for a September start place on the basis you will get an appeal date in July just in case other people have the same idea of hoping to get a place in the school as you move into year 3.
As such I would apply now you have nothing to loose and possibly a lot to gain if the LA ask the school before they break up whether there is a place for September. If the headteacher recognises that there is a younger sibling coming into the school already they just might say yes.

Kateguide Wed 10-Jul-19 22:13:07

Thanks for all your advice. We are already no. 1 on the waiting list, we have been since we moved to the area last year. We thought we might have a better chance of getting him in due to him going into Yr 3, KS2, where the class size rules change.

We have looked at previous years at this school, they had over 30 children in Yr 3 in 2015, 2016 and 2017. We were hoping this would be a precedent

Sounds like the consensus is that we should appeal now

OP’s posts: |
Kateguide Thu 11-Jul-19 06:52:23

Hi just to clarify, our appeal will be based on:
1. DS1 will be in Yr 3, KS2, in September where it is possible to go over the class size of 30
2. We know and have proof they have gone over 30 in previous years
3. We live in catchment and would like DS1 to have a friendship group within the village which he currently doesn't have as he is placed at the 6th closest school
4. DS2 will be attending this school in September in reception.

Not sure if the above is in the right order, so any advice would be appreciated.

OP’s posts: |
prh47bridge Thu 11-Jul-19 11:28:04

The fact they've gone over 30 in previous years helps as it shows the school can cope with more than 30 pupils.

Your third and fourth points are not particularly strong. Friendship groups and a desire to attend the same school as a sibling don't carry much weight with appeal panels. They are looking for things that show your son will be disadvantaged if he doesn't attend this school. Being in a different school to his sibling and going to a school that is further from home don't really count as disadvantages.

You can strengthen your case by finding things that the appeal school offers that are not available at the current school and are particularly relevant to your son. For example, if your son is sporty and the appeal school has more sporting activities that is worth mentioning.

Kateguide Thu 11-Jul-19 21:25:59

Thanks very much for all your advice. Very useful. We will submit the appeal ASAP

OP’s posts: |

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