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Should we appeal (Primary Place)(12 Posts)
I should start out by saying that understand the appeal process for Primary Places is very unlikely to be successful if a school is over subscribed. But I still have a (probably stupid!) question.
We narrowly (by 0.1 of a mile(!), based on official admissions details) missed our preferred school.
We're going onto the list of continued interest (currently waiting to find out our position) but I am not sure if it is still worth appealing? Or rather if not appealing could put us at a disadvantage if someone living further away (but with no more grounds to appeal than us) could essentially skip over us for a place, if we don't also appeal?
I really don't want to waste anyone's time with a pointless appeal, but also don't want to have the potential to miss out on a potential place because we don't do anything when some other parent nearby does.
The only possible grounds for appeal I can see that we may have is we live on a new development and so there may be a distance measurement error. But I assume the LA will have accurately mapped the area so that is unlikely?
I hope what I am asking makes sense. Thanks in advance for any help!
Is there something wrong with the school you've been allocated? Was it on your application at all?
You don't lose anything by appealing, but you are unlikely to win if this is an appeal based on Infant Class Size. It is worth asking the LA to check your distance and the distance of the last allocated place.
No, there is nothing wrong with our allocated school. It was one of our choices. But obviously we wanted our first choice more, for various reasons.
I know the last place allocated, vs our distance from the school, which is why I know we missed out by 0.1 of a mile.
For whatever reason there were more applications to the school than there have been in the last five+ years. In any of the preceding years we would have gotten a place (based on distance), so we have been very unlucky this year.
I just want to understand if not appealing will put us at a disadvantage in any way. But as I say I don't want to waste anyone's time, especially the members of the appeal board, etc.
Just appeal it and see, you won't know if you don't try.
Unless a mistake has been made there's no reason why you or any similar hypothetical family would win an appeal in the circumstances you describe. If you think there's a chance of an error, appeal it.
If the numbers of children admitted to the school mean that they’ve got 30 children in each infant class, then you’re up against Infant Class Size legislation.
In that case, any appeal will only work if the council’s made a mistake in allocating places that’s cost a child a place at the school.
So in that scenario, assuming there’s no mistake made in your case, you’re not going to be disadvantaged by not appealing. Whether or not you appeal won’t affect your position on the waiting list.
I’d double check that the LA have used the correct distance though. When we were in a similar situation, the LA were able to provide us with a copy of the details they’d used, complete with a map showing our house.
You are quite correct that if other parents go to appeal that there is a chance that they will get admitted. If you have not appealed then you cannot get admitted by this process. So to me there is no reason not to appeal because you cannot second guess what reaction a panel will have to each and every appeal that is registered for the school.
If there is a weakness in measured straight line distances then it is more likely to occur when it is a new house or housing estate, so again no harm in asking the question. If that is the question raised then the admission authority should be showing evidence that they have measured from the seed point on the right house to the seed point of the school. If they produce that before the hearing and it is clear that their distance is correct then you can always withdraw the appeal.
Do you know where you are on the waiting list?
0.1 mile, about 160m can be quite far in primary catchment terms. Look at the distance and see if it makes sense. (Is it walking distance or straight line?)
Whilst 0.1m feels small, it's quite a distance in primary admissions. As a PP said, it's 160m. Where I live, popular schools are giving places up to around 500-800m away (obviously areas vary lots), so 160m is a fairly big percentage of that, and potentially there are a number of families who are closer.
I would think the first step is to investigate if the distance is correct. My LA allow you to check online your distance to local schools. (They do straight line distances.) I would have thought it was quite easy to see if a mistake had been made when you are talking about 160m difference. If no mistake has been made, an ICS appeal won't be successful. Even if they have made an error it would have had to cost you a place. So say they realised they had measured to the wrong point in your house and you were actually 5 metres closer, this wouldn't have cost you a place. Someone else would only be successful if they uncover an error in their application and it cost them a place. I can't see this happening for someone who lives further away from you, unless the LA have made a major error.
In my school it came down to a distance of three metres one year between last place given and last place declined. 3! Other local schools have gone to differences of under ten metres before. 0.1m is quite a distance if you compare to that!!
I agree with the others that 0.1 of a mile is quite a lot. Our school has a catchment of around 400metres. One year the last place was between 2 families who live the exact same distance from the school and an independent solicitor drew a name out of a hat.
Good luck with it all. There can be a lot of movement before school starts and so many waiting list children get in.