Y3 applications if class full

(14 Posts)
IMetABoyCrazyForTea Mon 19-Apr-21 05:55:07

I want to apply for a Y3 place for September for my eldest child at our local school - we moved areas during Y2 and as the year group is full, we are sending our child to a different school currently.

Do the schools tend to oppose applications for Y3 if the class remains full? - I'm wondering whether we are likely to need to appeal, so I know whether to start preparing.

I've been told I can apply for a Y3 place from June onwards. If this gets rejected will the appeal likely to be heard before September?

OP’s posts: |
KihoBebiluPute Mon 19-Apr-21 06:01:33

Y3 is not included in the "infant class size" legislation that requires yR,1&2 to be no more than 30. From y3 it is slightly easier to get a place. You would still need to show that the prejudice to your child from not having a place is worse than the prejudice the other children will suffer from having a larger class so it's not at all certain that you will succeed, but the weight of evidence needed for success is a little lighter. What are your reasons for wanting the move?

PatriciaHolm Mon 19-Apr-21 11:01:58

As the PP says, at Yr 3 an appeal will be on balance of prejudice. If the class is full, you are likely to have to go to appeal unless there is a very strong reason for the place to be given, which a normal transfer is unlikely to be.

TBH, they might squeeze in a single appeal if you applied and then appealed quickly at the start of June - appeals are normally supposed to be heard within 40 school days, but at the moment that has been relaxed. But with term ending around 17/18 July, it's probably unlikely.

IMetABoyCrazyForTea Mon 19-Apr-21 13:49:01

I've been told by the LEA that I can't submit an application for Y3 until after the June holidays, so I would need to wait until then, and then if refused presumably wait for an Appeal date.

The reasons we want to move school are
- younger sibling will be starting in Reception at our local school in September, so will then have two children at different schools
- eldest is very keen to go to the same school as sibling
- two simultaneous school drops offs and pick ups limit our ability to work - we have both turned down job offers, and if continued would very much limit our careers and earnings. Should I go into the timings, why after schools clubs, nannies etc won't solve the problem? Or is this too much detail?
- local school is short walk from our house, current school is a drive
- local school feeds into our local secondary school so continuity of friends moving to secondary school, current school feeds into a different secondary school so would need to start afresh in Y7 without any school friends moving to the same secondary
- I think the local school is the best school for our child in terms of their curriculum and ethos - how should I best explain this to the panel? Should I go through specific points of the school's curriculum and explain why I think this best suits our child?
- local school will have opportunity to make friends within our village, be part of community
- almost all the classes from Y3 upwards have extra children admitted on appeal

Are there any other points that might be relevant to an Appeal?

The school has a low turnover so whilst we are on the waiting list, it is unlikely that children will leave.

OP’s posts: |
admission Mon 19-Apr-21 14:45:52

When you say that you have been told by the LA that you cannot apply till after June break was that in writing. I ask because appeals will be being heard for schools for Reception year and year 3 (if there are any junior schools in the LA) from about May through to the middle of July.
There is no way that an application in the second week in June is likely to see an appeal this side of the summer break in mid July and there are usually no appeals in the summer break.
I can understand why a request for a year 3 place starting in September might not be accepted at present but as you get close to the half term break I would be tempted to apply and see what happens.

IMetABoyCrazyForTea Mon 19-Apr-21 15:00:19

Thanks @admission that is helpful. I received an email reply saying we should apply for a y3 place from the day after June half term ends. There are junior schools in the LA. Can I still submit my application earlier? I suppose the worst they can do is return it and ask me to resubmit it later?

The headteacher of our preferred school thought if we applied the appeal would be heard before the summer holidays for a sept start if we won.

Can the school allow extra children into the class without making it go to appeal?

OP’s posts: |
KihoBebiluPute Mon 19-Apr-21 19:53:00

The reasons about the logistics of travel and drop-off/pickup are not going to hold any weight at all. I wouldn't bother making those points. Emphasising the way that the curriculum/ethos of the school can uniquely fit your child's needs in a way that other schools can't might have some success but you'd need to demonstrate harm (i.e. prejudice) to your child being done by not having these unique needs met.


admission Mon 19-Apr-21 21:02:20

OP to answer your questions, if you have had an email confirming the date to apply for a year 3 place then presumably it has some official validity. Having said that if you submit the form as the half time holiday starts then you are just making sure that the form will be with the LA for the date that school return from their half term break.
The official maximum time period for appeals to be heard for an in-year appeal - which is what your appeal would be deemed - is 30 school days. At present there is extra guidance because of covid which gives more leeway on the time scales. 30 school days is 6 weeks, so this would take you from 7th June through to 19th July, so very close to the finish of the school year. I suppose it depends on how many school admission appeals there are still in the system as whether the appeal will be before the end of term.
As we are talking about a year 3 pupil in September then in theory the school can allow extra pupils into the school above the 30 maximum dictated by the infant class sign regs. However, doing this will then potentially diminish any subsequent appeals for the school when they are trying to keep to the PAN. The schools might like the extra funding for the pupil but the LA will want to stick to the PAN figure.

IMetABoyCrazyForTea Tue 20-Apr-21 08:23:18

@KihoBebiluPute interestingly i do know people who have won school appeals where their points were the logistics and parents being unable to work (including infant class size) - although I'm aware the appeal should be all about the child. It's hard to know how to pitch it!

OP’s posts: |
admission Tue 20-Apr-21 09:55:46

There is undoubtedly situations where panels make decision that seem to go against the "norm". Some are down to the panel members but in many the decision is based on something said which was outside of the points made by the appellant. To give an example which is somewhat pertinent to the OP if amongst their comments to the panel, they had said that they were a key worker, the panel may have given this much greater emphasis in their deliberations than another panel.

prh47bridge Tue 20-Apr-21 12:52:56

I always tell parents that they should talk about logistics if they want but don't major on it as it is unlikely to win an appeal. Occasionally you come across appeal panels that seem to ignore the rules. However, in my experience, most cases where the parents say they won due to logistics or the impact on the family were actually won on other grounds.

IMetABoyCrazyForTea Thu 29-Apr-21 11:31:14

Can I ask those of you who work on appeal panels/ have experience of appeal panels how best to structure these points about how our child will benefit from the move to the desired school, and be disadvantaged by not moving?

e.g. the desired school offers teaching in X language, which my child learnt previously but no longer studies as not offered at current school and no local clubs available, they would benefit from retaining and developing their knowledge in that language, they are disadvantaged if they continue to lose their language skills? Is that the type of structure and point that is helpful at appeal?

OP’s posts: |
IMetABoyCrazyForTea Thu 29-Apr-21 11:31:46

In my experience, most cases where the parents say they won due to logistics or the impact on the family were actually won on other grounds

Very useful point, thank you

OP’s posts: |
prh47bridge Thu 29-Apr-21 12:43:05

Yes, that is the type of structure and point that is helpful at appeal.

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