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I'm going to have to appeal - what thngs are taken into account?

(19 Posts)
deckchair Thu 23-Apr-09 22:03:10

Just heard that my DD has not got into preferred 1st choice school. I don't know yet where (if?) she has been allocated.

I am going to appeal, but wondered what things are taken into account.

Have been on council website but it is very vague and tells me nothing.

Any advice - obviously I know I need to see where has been allocated first then build case.

I could really do without this.

sad sad sad sad

Blu Thu 23-Apr-09 22:08:26

afaik, you can only appeal if the admissions process has not been adhered to, or if there are SEN / SN reasons why your child should get intothe school. (medical or other expert evidence needed) though if the school is your nearest school that may be reasonable grounds.

Check where you are on the waitng list, too - lots can happen before the first day of term.

is this primary or secondary?

paolosgirl Thu 23-Apr-09 22:09:03

Things like reports from psychologists, social workers, education specialists they've seen at nursery - that type of thing.

The school I wanted my DD to go to was very over-subscribed. Despite DS already being there she didn't get in - only one child did, and he had autism. He had already attended the nursery there and it was argued (successfully) that moving him would cause major disruption to the progress that had been made, and the support he had been given could continue there.

deckchair Thu 23-Apr-09 22:24:54

Thank you.
It's primary and our nearest school.
Will give someone a ring tomorrow and check we are on waiting list - and what number DD is.
No SEN / SN issues.

Realise my first post is a bit me, me, me and didnt mean it to - just heard and noone to vent to.
blush

Blu Thu 23-Apr-09 22:29:31

Really sorry you haven't been offered a place.

But in our highly over-subscribed school severalplaces came up by Yr 1 - if you don't get in straight away, stay on the waiting list. Make sure you are ON the waiting list. Often people from quite far away get in later on because other people on the waiting list have decided to leave their children where they are, after all.

cory Fri 24-Apr-09 07:57:27

I have no experience of primary school but we did appeal successfully for secondary (which is probably slightly easier as they are less restricted in extra numbers). Our experience was:

even so, very few appeals were successful (only a handful out of 45 to get into this particular school)

the admissions criteria were listed in order of priority, starting with children in care, then statemented children, then children in catchment with siblings at school, then children in catchment without siblings, then children out of catchment with special medical needs, then children out of catchment with siblings

the best way to get in was if you could prove that the LEA had not followed their own admissions criteria in refusing your child (e.g. you fitted category 2, but they had admitted children category 3 in preference to you)- but you also had to prove that you had submitted enough evidence in your original application to make it clear to the LEA that you should go in the category you thought

if it was proved that the LEA had failed to follow their own criteria, they had to admit you (not sure how this works for primary)

so first find out what those criteria are and go through them with a fine tooth comb

after this, you could still have your appeal admitted if you had not submitted this evidence, but the panel still judged that your child did have needs putting them in one of those categories which were so overwhelming that they outweighed the disadvantage caused to the school by being overfull and to the children already in the school (this will probably be much harder at primary level).

have to admit that though I knew my dd was a very deserving case (wheelchair bound and offered a place at a school with three floors and no lift!) but I still found this quite stressful

you have to remember that from the LEA's point of view, the fact that one school is better that another in academic or social terms is no reason why your child should have a place there in preference to all the other children in the authority

so you have to find other arguments

if you have a good argument, get evidence to back it up and appeal

if not, stay on the waiting list

deckchair Fri 24-Apr-09 09:35:18

Thanks Cory for your detailed experience. I presume that your DD got the place? Did you have to appeal in writing or in front of a panel?

I have had quite a restless night and have some things I am going to look in to. The head has already suggested I appeal and I will look further into the appeal procedure to see what's next.

Thanks again

cory Fri 24-Apr-09 10:04:03

The appeal was successful.

We appealed in writing and then went before panel.

With the written appeal we had to submit evidence of anything we were going to use. In our case, this included evidence from the paediatrician, dd's GP, and the local rehabilitation clinic of how she is affected by her disability. Also, a letter from a mental health counsellor to say she had special reasons to need to go to a local school with some of her friends (to make sure they didn't try to fob us off with some sink school at the other end of the country that happened to have lifts). Basically, we had to prove why this was the only alternative and why dd's case was different from the other childen who also didn't get in. Everything had to be substantiated.

The panel process was in two stages. In the first stage they had all the parents appealing for that school in at the same time and the school had to prove to the independent panel that they were actually full.

In the second stage, the panel saw the iindividual parents one by one, in the presence of representatives from the LEA and from the school. Here we were allowed to make a verbal appeal but not to submit new evidence.

The panel first asked if we had proof that the LEA had made a mistake (we thought we had, but turned out we hadn't,as we hadn't submitted enough paper work with the original application).

Then they asked if there were any reasons why dd still should have this place.

So I elaborated on what we had said in the written appeal, but also tried to make them see what it is like for a child to be in dd's situation. I ended up stating what the consequences could be of not admitting our appeal (detriment to her education, possible breach of the Disability Discrimination Act and, in a worst case scenario, a fatal accident).

deckchair Fri 24-Apr-09 16:07:02

Thanks again Cory.
Glad you got sorted in the end - sounds as though it was stressful to say the least. I have appealed today - just a form to fill in first and then another waiting game for a bit.

I know of at least 2 children who do not live in the same postcode area (live further away than we do) and have been allocated places at the choice we all made. I would have to drive past one of their houses to get dd to the allocated school.
We are boundary between two authorities and I did not apply for the one we do not live in as I know there are issues about this - I thought I was doing the right thing, but I feel "my" LEA have let me down as the school allocated is the 4th nearest to my home. The other authority have 2 options closer than this one. Beginning to wish I had asked them anyway.

lalalonglegs Fri 24-Apr-09 16:50:43

As far as I know, it doesn't make any difference which local authority you live in, you still have the right to apply for schools in others so it may be worth putting yourself on the waiting list at those schools as well in case your appeal is unsuccessful.

Blu Fri 24-Apr-09 17:19:44

yes, definitley get on the waiting list of all nearby schools you are interested in, whatever borough you are in.

afaik, you don't have to have applie at the time to apply and goon the waiting list now.

katiestar Sun 26-Apr-09 15:30:19

The only reason a child can be admitted to an infant's class with more than 30 children is if the admissions authority didn't follow its own rules and that led to you not being allocated a place.
The forst thing ypou need to know is whether there are 30 in the class.

MrsMattie Sun 26-Apr-09 15:32:30

far more likely to get in via a waiting list than through appeal if you have no SEN issues and the school was simply over subscribed. Worth getting on to the waiting list for other schools you don't mind, too.

deckchair Sun 26-Apr-09 20:42:49

Good advice - thank you all.

There is 30 in the class, BUT I am pretty confident 1 child is slightly further away than me. Although, I know footpaths (snickets etc) are taken into account.

This is my main point of appeal.

Am going to look round the allocated school next week just to see what it is like and ring up the nearby authority to see if any of the schools near to me have places and then visit them. That's my current plan.

BananaFruitBat Sun 26-Apr-09 20:47:43

I believe distance is 'as the crow flies', so check on a map.

deckchair Sun 26-Apr-09 20:53:13

Hi, for primary, our LEA states "footpath" and for secondary "as the crow flies".
Same old consistency then!

maduser Mon 01-Jun-09 18:37:38

Hi
I am appealing an infant class size for my son. His older brother has SEN - and I have some information that you may find useful.

Which local authority are you appealing under?

deckchair Thu 04-Jun-09 14:47:46

Hi Maduser,

Have had a break from mn recently - compiling appeal and other stuff going on, so have only seen this now.
Winestein has supplied information for me already but thank you.
I am ready to go with my appeal - bring it on is what I say!
Do you know when your appeal is? I could perhaps help you if you need any support as it looms nearer.

zanzibarmum Thu 04-Jun-09 16:08:38

You haven't said on what basis your original application was unsuccessful. You should have been told this in the letter of rejection from the admissions authority. Tells us the grounds and maybe we can help

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