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Appeals for year 7, help?

(18 Posts)
Yummimum Sat 14-May-11 15:27:00

If anyone has had a successful appeal for a year 7 place for their child, if there is any advice you could help me with? I am desperate and I have been worrying about this since 1 March.

I applied for a secondary school for my daughter, this is the nearest secondary school to where i live, she could even walk it! but the school is doing very well at the moment but is over subscribed. unfortunately she did not get into that school, she got a school further up the road, which is not doing very well at the moment. she would have to catch public transport to drive past my school of choice to go there and i did not even choose that school as one of my options.

If any one has any help i'd be so grateful, it would be such a nightmare if we lost our appeal which is in june. I would even consider home education before i send her to that school but i know home education wouldn't be suitable for my child, as i work.

Please help.

janeyjampot Sat 14-May-11 15:43:37

There are plenty of experts on here who'll be able to give you good advice. This happened to me last year and I got lots of help, especially from reading other people's appeal questions, so I would recommend reading a few of the other threads if you can see some.

When it comes to writing your appeal, you need to look for reasons why your preferred school is the right one for your daughter. Does she have any particular needs for which it has special resources? Is there a medical reason why she needs the school you want (I'm guessing you'd have said so if there was, but you never know!). Also, was the admissions decision right? Was your daughter put in the right admissions category?

Don't be negative about the other school in your appeal, because it really won't help you.

Can you find an acceptable alternative? Are there any other schools you could consider? Although winning your appeal would be best, trying to have a reasonable plan B can make you and your daughter feel better about the whole thing.

Good luck smile

admission Sat 14-May-11 18:25:42

You need to appeal on two basis. The first and most important is as janey says to state all the reasons why the school is preferred and an obvious one from your post is that you child would be able to walk to the school and that the allocate school is further away but would mean going past the preferred school. You are then looking for the positives in the preferred school, it is strong on sport or in after school clubs etc.
The other part of the appeal is around the schools case not to admit. You need to look at their case, which you will receive before the appeal and see where you can attack their reasons. So for instance if the admission number is 180 but they have regularly admitted 190 for any reason, then there is reasonable grounds to make this point and say 10 should be admitted. You also do need to make sure that your child has been put in the right admission category for the school. If you lost out on distance to the school, does this distance seem sensible to your home?

Yummimum Thu 19-May-11 12:06:50

Thank you so much for your replies and assistance, you mentioned that I could find out if the admission number was 180 but they have reguarly admitted 190 (for example) where would i be able to get that information from? Would the Admission and Appeals department be able to advise me of this? also i will find out from them which admission catergory she has been put in. A lot of work to be done.
My plan B is contacting a few Private Schools for scholarship/bursuries but some of them have already got spaces but are willing to put her on the waiting list and she would need to take an entrance test and have an interview with the Head. I have never thought of Private education but I am losing confidence in this process for a decent mainstream secondary school of my preference. I have been advised that appeals for the school o my choice is the second week in June, but have had no official letter as yet.

prh47bridge Thu 19-May-11 12:16:46

You can ask any questions you want within reason to help you prepare your appeal and the LA (or the school if it is an academy or faith school) has to provide the answers.

They should really have told you which admission category your daughter was in when you got the letter refusing admission. They are supposed to tell you in detail why you failed to get a place but many LAs fail to comply with that requirement. Again, you can ask but you will definitely receive this information as part of the LA's case to refuse admission which will be sent to you before the appeal hearing. The LA's case should also tell you the number of pupils in each year, so you will be able to see if any years are over the admission number.

Yummimum Fri 20-May-11 10:57:37

Hi I contacted the Admissions and Appeals department, the lady i spoke to was very helpful. she advised me that 180 children have been offered a place, the same as last year however, they had to offer an extra 8 places as 3 won their appeals and had to offer an extra 5 a place (not sure of the reason). She did also mention that last year 47 appealed but only 3 won the appeal. This year there are 39 appeals. somehow i don't feel very confident. Thanks a lot for your help with this prh47bridge, admission & janeyjampot, i really appreciate it. i'm just trying to put a case together now.

admission Fri 20-May-11 12:23:11

The reason why they had to offer 5 extra places last year is most likely that the LA made a mistake when allocating the 180 places and 5 who should have been offered places were not. Because they were disadvantaged the LA did the correct thing and offered them places. The three who won their appeal out of 47, confirm that the school proved prejudice in part 1 of the appeal and that three were given places on the strength of their personal arguements for a place.
You can therefore ask questions about how the extra 8 in year 7 are doing. The answer will of course be they are doing fine, which then allows you to ask the question well why can you not have an extra 8 each year. You are never going to win a case based solely on that but it just chips away at the idea that none can be admitted. The way that the appeal process works is that the panel have to agree whether the school have made their case showing the prejudice to the school of admitting all 39 appealants at the end of part 1. It is highly unlikely that a panel will admit an extra 39 on an admission number of 180, so it is really down to how strong a case you can make for your personal circumstances.

janeyjampot Fri 20-May-11 12:41:38

Just to give you some confidence, I won mine last year on the same kind of odds - 180 places, 190 admitted the previous year, 40 appeals. 12 got places on appeal, making 6 forms of 32 rather than 6 forms of 30 as intended.

It is possible smile

Yummimum Sat 21-May-11 22:03:01

Can i ask you janeyjampot, (if you remember) what number were you on the waiting list?
I was originally number 19 but now number 23. not sure if that makes a difference.
Thanks so much admissions and janeyjampot this is helping me build a strong case and questions to ask. i'm so grateful.
I have another 2 questions janeyjampot, when you won the appeal
1. did you bring anyone else along to the appeal with you?
2. did you bring your child along to the appeal hearing with you?

bubblecoral Sun 22-May-11 00:01:49

I won our appeal last week, so I hope you don't mind me cominga long and answering Janey's questions!

I took my ex, ds's Dad to the appeal hearing, we get on very well. He didn't say much, much his support was invaluable.

We didn't take ds, there is no reason to, and I'm sure I've read advice on here saying not to.

We weren't on the waiting list because it was a GS and ds missed the pass mark, but if it was a waiting list big enough, he would have been around 40th by the time the appeal was heard.

janeyjampot Sun 22-May-11 08:19:50

Thanks, Bubble - your answers are almost the same as mine smile

Yummimum we were about 140th on the waiting list! It was a nightmare. I don't think your position on the waiting list makes much difference, to be honest. It was mentioned in the appeal (by the school), but no one else referred to it. The reason we appealed was that DD1 was already in Year 7 at the school and there had been a change in admission policy in the year between getting DD1 in and applying for DD2. We were very unlucky, as DD1 had probably been in the first 10 or so to be admitted on the old criteria (where distance wasn't an issue), and then we didn't get DD2 in on the new criteria.

I brought DH to the appeal but I don't recall that he said much. I was the one who had done all the research and understood the process, and he was in the middle of some kind of work crisis at the time, and thus had really had to leave me to get on with it. On the way to the appeal we talked about it and I realised that some of the things he wanted to say wouldn't help us at all, so we agreed that he wouldn't intervene unless I forgot to say anything on my list of "Things I must not leave the appeal without saying".

DD didn't come with us. We were advised not to bring her and it was definitely the right decision. We were very anxious and it was a difficult afternoon. We talked about it beforehand and I told her what would happen and that we would do our best for her, but could not be certain what would happen.

I really hope that helps. Good luck smile

admission Sun 22-May-11 20:15:05

I would definitely advise against bringing the child, it is does not help your case and the panel do not take into consideration anything to do with the child. By the same token pictures of the kid or 25metre breaststroke certificates or piano playing certificates are also a waste of your time.

prh47bridge Mon 23-May-11 00:29:30

I'm with Admission. Don't take your child and don't take photos either. The panel may feel you are trying to pressurise them which will certainly not help your case.

Yummimum Mon 30-May-11 10:44:41

Thanks to Janeyjampot, prh47bridge, bubblecoral + admission so much for your valued advice, well the appeals hearing is 14 June so will let you all know how I get on. Wish us luck!

Jacs99 Thu 02-Jun-11 17:01:49

Hello Yummimum. I have just joined umsnet and seen your post. I can see that you are ready for your appeal on the 14th June and really wish you all the best too! I am in the same distressing situation and we are also in the middle of a relocation to an area which has a couple of great schools for my son who due to start secondary school in Sept.... but they are all oversubsribed... so we are now into an appeal process for both of hem! I am so worried about not expressing my reasons strong enough on the appeal papers... finding the right words! The school they allocated is 7 miles away, my son has been uprouted from all he knows and now he can 's get in a local school to establish local friendships, a new life locally.............have you any pointers for writing the appeal???? Any advice would be gratefully recieved...... thank you smile

prh47bridge Thu 02-Jun-11 17:52:11

As the allocated school is 7 miles away you are entitled to free transport. Ask the LA about that and don't take no for an answer.

Turning to the appeal, look for any reasons you can give why this is the only school for your son. Check for things they have which are missing from the allocated school and which will be of particular benefit for your son. Talk about the fact that he won't be able to see his school friends outside school and won't be part of the local friendship circles and the effect this will have on his social development. And don't worry too much about finding the right words for the appeal papers. You will get the chance to present your case at the appeal.

Good luck.

Jacs99 Fri 03-Jun-11 17:49:56

Hi, many thanks for your reply and advice! I have great news I have had an email from the local admissions office who have said a letter went in the post last night offering my son a place in the school............soo happy and relieved which has now made all the differenence to the relocation! We can get excited at last! THANK YOU

prh47bridge Fri 03-Jun-11 17:58:46

Excellent news. I am pleased for you and your son.

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