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Reception place appeal

(25 Posts)
bugaholic2502 Sun 05-Jul-20 10:43:55

Wondering if someone can help.....
I lost my child’s school place because I moved house due to lock down. We are now number 1 on the waiting list.
I know for a fact there is 1 child in the class that has a place based on a fraudulent address. What success might I have at appeals? Ultimately it is in an infant class size appeal now as the class is full. But I’d like to argue on the grounds that a, I rightfully had a place based on my address at application and only moved due to Covid lockdown and b, I don’t feel other families have been investigated properly.
Thank you

OP’s posts: |
Hersetta427 Sun 05-Jul-20 11:01:15

What is the timeline of the case.

When did you move?
when did you advise the council of the move?
when did they withdraw your school place?

bugaholic2502 Sun 05-Jul-20 11:09:42

I moved at the end of March because of lockdown. The address was still in catchment so I stupidly didn’t inform the council. My place was withdrawn mid May

OP’s posts: |
Hersetta427 Sun 05-Jul-20 11:33:43

Are you sure that if you had informed the council that you definitely would still have been offered a place- did they offer to any out of catchment children?

bugaholic2502 Sun 05-Jul-20 15:59:05

It’s an over subscribed school, since I’m 1st on the waiting list there’s a good chance I might have still been offered a place?

OP’s posts: |
cabbageking Sun 05-Jul-20 16:09:27

Contact admissions with your evidence but it isn't up to the Appeals panel to investigate.

admission Sun 05-Jul-20 17:31:23

I am a bit concerned as to exactly what has happened here. Did you apply before the 16th January and use the address where you were living? If so when exactly did you move and did your child move with you?
From your comments it would appear to be in March, so before the places were allocated but after the cut-off date of 15th January and usually a date sometime in February for exactly your situation of moving house.
For most LAs after the cut-off date if you move house then you are treated as a late application if you want to change your preferences but presumably you did not want to change your preferences. I know that it says that you are supposed to inform the LA if you move house but that is as much for an address for correspondence as it is anything else. Removing a place for not informing the LA of an address change seems rather harsh.
As such I do not know why they are suggesting that your application was fraudulent, which all LAs do take very seriously. Please PM me or post the LA which is involved and I will see if I can see what the outcome should have been.
Everything you have said so far would suggest you should appeal on the basis of the LA having misunderstood your situation

Embracelife Sun 05-Jul-20 17:36:44

You can't make your appeal about another child 's "fraudulent " place. ...

If you didn't inform council of your new address that was your oversight...why did covid force a move? however if you first on wait list then likely your child will have place in September or by January.

Embracelife Sun 05-Jul-20 17:39:03

Op says claims another child s application is fraudulent....
She thinks that child place should be taken away and given to her child

prh47bridge Mon 06-Jul-20 00:18:33

Once a place has been offered there are only limited grounds on which the offer can be withdrawn. One of the grounds is that the original application was fraudulent or deliberately misleading. Sadly, some councils ignore this and automatically withdraw a place if you move, arguing that the fact you moved means your application was deliberately misleading.

If the LA believes your application was fraudulent or deliberately misleading they can only take the place away if you wouldn't have been offered it had the application not been misleading. As Admission says, if you had notified them of your move you could have insisted they use your new address for correspondence only and stuck to your original address for admissions purposes. So, if you qualified for a place from your original address, my view is that the LA was wrong to remove it unless they had some evidence that you never intended to stay at that address and only used it to get a place at your preferred school.

Like Admission, I will be happy to take a closer look if you want to tell me the name of the school and LA involved.

bugaholic2502 Tue 07-Jul-20 09:59:23

Thank you all for replying.
So I applied for the place from address a, I was living here with a friend for 6 months because of a break down in my relationship. During the time living here, my daughter was given her school place based on the address. When Covid-19 lockdown came in my children’s father was overseas and our family home, address b, was empty. It made much more sense to go back there as I and 3 children were now there 24/7. I didn’t bother to tell admissions about this. Both addresses are within catchment but address a is 0.3 miles and address b is 0.8 miles.
Someone I guess saw my car frequently at address b and reported me to admissions. After a month of going backwards and forwards via email admissions confirmed my sons place and then took it away! Reason being I wasn’t living at address a on April 3rd so wouldn’t have been given the space. I am now being reassessed from address b, which makes my son 1st on the waiting list.
I’m only mentioning another child’s fraudulent application because we are in 1st place, because if they hadn’t lied and been given a place, my son would have one.
Thank you for all your replies

OP’s posts: |
GolfForBrains Tue 07-Jul-20 10:19:07

That puts a different slant on it! I can see why it looks suspicious to the council that you used an address other than your family home (one which is conveniently closer to the school you wanted) for six months and then moved back.

prh47bridge Tue 07-Jul-20 10:41:47

I can understand why the council may have thought your application was deliberately misleading. Many councils insist that you must use the address of any home that you own or jointly own even if you are living elsewhere. You may be able to persuade an appeal panel that the council has acted unreasonably but, given what you describe, that may not be easy.

However, if the distance for the last place offered (or for the child who has been admitted in place of your child) was more than 0.8 miles you have an excellent case for appeal as they shouldn't have taken the place away. If they are going to take a place away due to a fraudulent or deliberately misleading application they are required to check and see what would have happened if the correct details had been given. If the place would have been awarded anyway they cannot withdraw the offer.

bugaholic2502 Tue 07-Jul-20 11:24:18

Thing is, in the end my sons place wasn’t removed because I couldn’t prove I lived there, but simply I didn’t live there on the date required. Plus my daughters high school place hasn’t been removed, so they’re happy it wasn’t a fraudulent address.

OP’s posts: |
admission Tue 07-Jul-20 11:30:25

OP, to be able to answer this properly can you confirm the LA that is involved, so that I can see what the LA say about late applications etc. Also can you be specific about when you applied for the place based on address A. It would also be helpful to know whether you were receiving child benefit and the address that it was being paid against. PM me if you do not want to put that info in the open forum

prh47bridge Tue 07-Jul-20 12:05:45

Agree with Admission. I'm also happy to take a look if you want a second opinion.

admission Tue 07-Jul-20 12:54:31

Thank you for confirming which LA is involved. I have looked carefully at the admission documents for the LA.
You applied within the time period to be an on-time application and quite rightly used address A as this was where you were living at the time. In the LA admission arrangements it says that in a similar situation to yourself where parents have separated it is for you to nominate the home address at the time of the application, which you did.
The cut-off date for being an on-time application is the 15th January. In many LAs there is a further date which is for when parents are moving and is the last possible date for the new address to be deemed to be the address that is used for school allocation. In many LAs this is sometime in February.
In your LA it is not but is the 3rd April, which is the date that the co-ordination scheme is applied. In reality this is when they push the button on the computer system to work out where places are allocated. In the information supplied to parents, it says that you must inform the LA of any change of address as soon as you can. It also says that if you are no longer living in your original home address at the date places are allocated (3rd April) and only tell us after offer day (16th April) we may have to withdraw the place.
Whilst it seems very harsh, as you moved at the end of March back to address B and you have failed to tell them before the 3rd April, you therefore can have your place removed.
Having said that I agree with PRH that you should appeal, firstly because the information that you failed to take note of is not that obvious in their information. Secondly if you had not moved till after the 3rd April, your application would have been completely valid. Thirdly the LA should have re-run your application using the new address to see if you would still have been offered a place using address B. On the information we have it appears that the LA just withdrew the allocation and then put you on the waiting list, where you are currently first.
Sorry but the details and your circumstances have conspired against you, along with the LA taking a somewhat harsh view of your circumstances.

prh47bridge Tue 07-Jul-20 13:10:04

Ok, I've taken a look at the LA's published information. They say they can't accept a temporary address if you still own a property that was previously your home address. If you own the family home or jointly own it with your daughter's father you should have used that address.

If you don't have any ownership of the family home that provision doesn't apply. You are then required to use the address your daughter lives at for most of the week. If you shared care equally with her father the address used for child benefit is the determining factor.

Where their published information is a bit more questionable is when it gets on to what happens if you move after applying. They seem to assume that you would want to change your preferences in this situation and don't cover the situation where you only move a short distance and want to stick to the same choices. I would argue that, in that situation, you have the right to stick to your original choices and use your original address with your new address being used for correspondence rather than being forced to become a late applicant from your new address.

I also note they say you must notify them of any change of address because they must use your current address. That is simply wrong. There is nothing in the Admissions Code or relevant law that forces them to use your current address.

There is still the question of whether you would have got the place if they had used the address of your family home. If you would, they should not have taken the place away.

I also note that their stated reason for removing the place is that you didn't live there on offer day. If that really is their reason they have broken the Admissions Code. They can argue that what has happened means your application was fraudulent or deliberately misleading. They cannot take the place away just because you moved.

bugaholic2502 Tue 07-Jul-20 13:16:59

Wow, that’s really good news. Thank you both so much.
Since I’m 1st on the waiting list I surely would have still got a place? And you’re right I shouldn’t be treated like a late applicant.
The only thing putting me off appealing is that the class is now full so I’m arguing the infant class size.... which really reduces my chances of winning?

OP’s posts: |
bugaholic2502 Tue 07-Jul-20 13:19:02

Also, to this day they do not have an official moving date for me. I simply told them I moved at the end of March due to lockdown, so they’ve removed my sons place by possibly a couple of days!?

OP’s posts: |
bugaholic2502 Tue 07-Jul-20 13:47:08

@prh47bridge.... could you put it more simply when you say “they have broken the admissions code” so I know what to write in my appeals paperwork

OP’s posts: |
prh47bridge Tue 07-Jul-20 13:56:55

Under paragraph 2.12 of the Admissions Code, once a place has been offered it ban only be withdrawn if it was offered in error, or the parents haven't accepted it in a reasonable time, or the original application was fraudulent or intentionally misleading. The Admissions Code is clear that these are the only reasons a place can be withdrawn. Compliance with the Admissions Code is compulsory. Removing a place simply because a parent has moved is therefore a breach of the Code.

I suspect they will argue that your original application was intentionally misleading because you applied from a temporary address. However, if they simply say that the place was taken away because you moved you should win your appeal.

bugaholic2502 Tue 07-Jul-20 14:09:22

@prh47bridgef If possible I will send you a screenshot of the email stating why the removed it. That should back up what you are saying

OP’s posts: |
bugaholic2502 Tue 07-Jul-20 14:12:58

Oh there isn’t the option to pm..... I will copy and paste what they wrote

OP’s posts: |
bugaholic2502 Tue 07-Jul-20 14:14:17

Thank you for clarifying the date you moved back to Address b. I have changed your address on our records.

The last date for telling us of any change in circumstance was 3rd April 2020. At this point you were living in address b and would not have been allocated a place at H as other families live closer to the school.

We will now withdraw the place at H and offer you a place at W which is the closest school to your address with a place available.

OP’s posts: |

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