In Year admissions question

(17 Posts)
Aroundtheworldin80moves Wed 31-Mar-21 18:35:45

I got great advice here last time we moved (18months ago... Army family!)

Current situation. Move suddenly happening over Easter. Schools in New LA closed already for Easter, and been trying to contact council/schools the last few days.

We are pretty sure school 100m away has space for DD2, but not DD1.
Surrounding schools also seem full. As we can't contact the schools, looks like we putting a speculative application for three closest.

Our questions...
1) we know a school 5miles away has a place, but across county boundary... Can the council allocate across a boundary if we don't apply (perfectly nice school, but tiny.)
2) it's a feeder school system... At appeal, would wanting a feeder school for the local secondary be a valid argument, for a military child needing continuity of education after attending multiple primary schools in multiple countries.

3) niche question... Does the military covenant still apply if the child is no longer moving around with the serving parent?

OP’s posts: |
PresentingPercy Wed 31-Mar-21 21:49:32

I would strongly suggest you contact the new LA and talk it through with them. You get residency for applications ahead of your move but I’m not sure service personnel get into schools that are full on that basis. However the LA admissions officers could help and vacancies should be listed on their web site. I would imagine that an influx of service families could mean popular schools were obliged to take numerous service DC and I don’t think that’s the case.

I don’t believe you can apply through LA1 for a school place in LA2. You would need to talk to LA2.

Appealing on the feeder school basis - give it a go. But it’s saying you only want the primary because if it’s status with the secondary. I would find other reasons as well as this.

prh47bridge Thu 01-Apr-21 11:09:26

I don’t believe you can apply through LA1 for a school place in LA2

If LA1 co-ordinates in-year admissions, they should deal with applications for a school place in LA2.

To answer the questions:

1) Yes they can, but it is unlikely they will allocate an out-of-county school if you haven't named it as a preference. They may do if there is nothing within a reasonable distance, but if affects their funding so they would want to keep your daughters within the county if at all possible.

2) You could try but I suspect the council wouldn't give that much weight. Being a feeder for another school is not a strong argument at appeal and won't work at all if you are appealing for Reception, Y1 or Y2.

3) Probably not, since the covenant is primarily about removing the disadvantage caused by having to move repeatedly due to the parent being posted.

PresentingPercy Thu 01-Apr-21 11:33:34

Local Authorities don’t have to coordinate in year admissions in the same way as standard admission times. Most don’t have info on their web sites about schools they are not responsible for.

prh47bridge Thu 01-Apr-21 11:51:17

No they don't, but many do. The fact that schools in other LAs are not listed on their website does not prevent you applying to them via your home LA.

PresentingPercy Thu 01-Apr-21 12:50:12

Might be quicker to apply direct.

prh47bridge Thu 01-Apr-21 13:45:57

Only if the school accepts direct applications.

In-year applications used to be simple - you always applied to your own LA regardless of where the school was located. Unfortunately, some years ago the Admissions Code was changed to remove the requirement for LAs to co-ordinate in-year admissions. In my view that was a bad move, making life more complicated for parents.

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Aroundtheworldin80moves Thu 01-Apr-21 15:17:49

We have to apply on the LA website, which does simplify matters.

Overall situation.. they are Yr3&Yr5. This will be School number 4. If DDs and I weren't settling down, DD1 would need to attend two more Primary schools, and DD2 three more... Hence the settling down, to prepare for Secondary school admissions. This is why I was hopeful the Military Covenant would still apply, as their education has been rather disrupted.

We have not been able to talk to anyone at schools or council die to it being the Easter holidays...

OP’s posts: |
prh47bridge Thu 01-Apr-21 15:41:24

Them being Y3 and Y5 means you have a better chance of success at appeal if you don't get them into the school you want. And, although I'm not convinced the military covenant applies directly, you may be able to use it as an argument at appeal, although I wouldn't rely on that alone. If you don't get what you want, come back here and you will get help with an appeal if you go down that route.

Charmatt Thu 01-Apr-21 17:29:24

The military covenant doesn't apply if you are not moving around. We had a case a couple of years ago and the child didn't get preference because of that reason. The mother brought it up at appeal and stated that she felt she had disadvantaged her child by not moving around, but the panel dismissed her appeal.

Similarly, in our cases that have gone to appeal, being a feeder school has not helped as part of the reasons, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't mention it.

PresentingPercy Fri 02-Apr-21 16:51:13

I cannot see any reason why the military covenent applies to schools that are full. It is more about not needing residency to apply.

Yes, I do think not having all applications for in year places co-ordinated by the LA is a reversal of something that was sensible. We now see academies having their own procedures. Many schools find parents ringing up and asking if places are available. My LA keeps a very up to date list of vacancies in each year group at all schools. So parents at least have an idea where has the vacancies on the date of posting. However many schools will robustly defend their class sizes, even for KS2. So there can be a very long wait to get DC into the schools parents prefer.

Aroundtheworldin80moves Fri 02-Apr-21 17:04:23

Thank you for your advice.
At least this is the last time we have to do this. We won an appeal last time as the board felt the needs for a military child were greater than a school having only 30in a class, but know that not all panels will have the same feelings.

OP’s posts: |
Aroundtheworldin80moves Fri 16-Apr-21 13:35:40

Found out today that the expected has happened... DD2 has been offered a place in the school opposite the house, DD1 has been offered a school several miles away. DH filling initial appeal paperwork. The school had space earlier this week, so presume someone else applied first.

One surprise though... The information we got said although the school is allocated, they can chose not to admit pupils at the moment due to the Covid situation (only at the start of the next term). Anyone know if that's true? Seems odd they expect children to be out of school for several months.

OP’s posts: |
PresentingPercy Fri 16-Apr-21 14:04:31

@prh47bridge would be able to advice. I’m sure. Or @admission

prh47bridge Fri 16-Apr-21 14:53:16

I cannot see any reason why the military covenent applies to schools that are full

It does. Children of UK service personnel admitted outside the normal admissions round are excepted for the purposes of infant class size regulations. That doesn't mean they have to be admitted but it does mean that schools can't refuse simply because they are full to PAN.

@Aroundtheworldin80moves - Am I right in thinking you are appealing for DD1 to have a place at your local school? If so, what year is she in?

(The information we got said although the school is allocated, they can chose not to admit pupils at the moment due to the Covid situation

If they mean not admit at all, no, they can't. That would amount to withdrawing the offer that has been made, which is not allowed.

Aroundtheworldin80moves Fri 16-Apr-21 14:58:42

She's in Yr5. Her sister (Yr3) has been allocated nearest school, which is what we are appealing for.

The information said they don't need to admit the child until the start of the next term. Term started this week, so technically next term is September.

OP’s posts: |
prh47bridge Fri 16-Apr-21 15:31:34

As she is in Y5 this will not be an infant class size case. You are therefore appealing on the basis that the disadvantage to your daughter through not being admitted outweighs any problems the school will face through having to cope with an additional pupil. Look for things this school offers that are missing from the allocated school and that are relevant to your daughter. Simply wanting her at a school near home with her younger sister won't win an appeal.

A number of LAs are dealing with in-year admissions by offering places without a start date, in the expectation that the child will only be able to attend when normal circumstances return. Whether this is allowable is certainly debatable. In my view, if it leaves a child without a school at all, it is unacceptable.

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