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Appeal rejection, complaint help & advice for worried mum :(

(11 Posts)
Bubblemum69 Tue 12-Jul-11 22:32:44

I have 3 local sec schools. 2 are good. 1 is not. I live close to both good ones. I applied for my daughter to go to a catholic school (not my first choice but thought it best due to personal circumstances) and because we aren't religious at all, she was last on list of criteria. Didn't expect her to get in but she did. But my personal circumstances have totally changed-a long story. And now need to get her in the other school. All of her friends are going to the school bar 1 (thankful she will have at least 1 friend)

I appealed the decision and they sent me a letter to say appeals to be held over a 2 day period. The letter said I would receive a letter 10 days before my appeal with the date and time on and also a letter 7 days before-a written statement explaining why they refusing appeal (something like that) but I didn't get either! First I heard was a letter to day my appeal was rejected. My daughter is devastated. Cried her eyes out.

I contacted the council and they said the school I want her in is now an academy and handle all their own appeals. I called them and spoke to deputy head. She said there were 20 appeals and around 7/8 approved. She said she will contact me when they have numbers in to tell me where my daughter is on the waiting list.

I emailed the ombudsman and was told they don't deal with my complaint. They passed me onto someone else. I sent them 2 emails with no reply. Called today and was transferred to someone who could help. Got their answerphone and left a message at lunchtime. Still mo call back sad

I called the school she is going to as because I stupidly assumed her appeal would be successful, I didn't take daughter to open day. So now she has missed out due to my stupidity sad they were really unhelpful. I asked if it was possible to pop round for a visit with mt daughter and to have a chat (i know nothing of policies of school- start times, uniform etc etc) she said its near end of term and everyone busy as lots going on. She passed my details on for someone to call me back (noone called yet) I feel like the worst person in the world. If I had put her down for the school I want her to go to on the application, she would have got in

Has anyone got any advice or has been in a similar situation? I feel soooo bad and am at a loss of what to do

prh47bridge Wed 13-Jul-11 01:22:53

Failing to send you the details of the appeal hearing and also failing to send you the case to refuse admission has deprived you of your right to a fair hearing. However, the Academy may well claim that this information was sent. It is, of course, possible it was all sent at the same time and simply got lost in the post.

The best you can hope for is that the Academy is told to organise a fresh appeal for you. Unfortunately the fact they have already allowed 7 or 8 appeals will make your appeal harder to win. Of course, there is no guarantee you would have won even if you had been able to attend the original hearing.

Kez100 Wed 13-Jul-11 04:49:26

You say your situation has completely changed. Did you keep the right people informed of all changes of address? (assuming here there may have been one).

Bubblemum69 Wed 13-Jul-11 07:02:24

Thanks for the replies. I know i may not have won but I should have had the chance to attend. I have received every single letter from them and kept them all, except those two. And live in same town as school and mail office. I think they may say it's been sent. But hoping it wasn't. They only became an academy in feb. The dep head I spke to seemed unsure of a few things so I'm thinking they maybe mucked up. But then, other people must have received theirs sad

I didn't move address. It's personal circumstances. They totally reversed. So my appeal was rejected because I got my first choice. But I only put it as first choice as that was for the best at the time. Now it's totally changed sad

Feel like I've made a great big mess of it all. Really worried and stressed that she will be starting a school with only 1 friend. She has had problems in the past but has been the whole way through same infant/juniorschool and has blossomed. Scared all this will become undone

PotteringAlong Wed 13-Jul-11 07:28:11

I think you need to start looking on the bright side - the chances of her getting in there now for sept are practically nil I would've thought so you now need to make the best of the situation for your daughter's sake.

1. She's in a really good school others would've fought to get into
2. She knows at least 1 person - that's more than some people will do and year 7 will have so many induction activities etc she'll make lots if friends really quickly
3. Don't see the fact that they've not got back to you this week as slovenly practice. They'll have trips/sports days etc etc this week and are quite possibly not in school (in was out all day yesterday and didn't check my messages when I left at 5pm or, in fact, when I arrived in school at 8am to get on the bus so someone could've rung me on Monday and I'll not called back yet). They will also not respond well to "I didn't bother bringing her to the open day" - get on the website / mumsnet / other parents and find out. Dud her friend go to the open day? Get her mum to tell you!

This is now the power of positive thought - your daughter will be fine, you heed to start bigging that up

HSMM Wed 13-Jul-11 08:35:25

Don't worry too much about how many friends are going. My DD went to her Secondary School with none of her friends and has made new friends. Some of her old classmates went to school together and are now friends with completely different people.

We got our school place late, so I know how you feel about mising the open day, but at least you know one other family who may have gone and you can ask them all about it.

If you are set on the school where you lost the appeal, then by all means keep following that up. I wanted my DD to go to Secondary with her friends and we fought right up to the last minute. I'm glad I didn't turn down the place we were offered, because she is nearing the end of Yr7 and we were still 5th on the waiting list for the other school (just had a letter asking if we wanted to stay on).

prh47bridge Wed 13-Jul-11 09:54:13

If the reason stated for rejecting your appeal is that you got your first choice school that is seriously wrong. That should not be a consideration for the appeal panel at all. Does it actually say that in the letter telling you your appeal has been rejected? If so that would be grounds for a fresh appeal on its own.

prh47bridge Wed 13-Jul-11 11:54:29

Just to add, the most the panel can say from you getting your first choice school is that you haven't been deprived of a place at this school by a mistake in the admissions process. However, they are then required to decide whether the prejudice to your daughter from not being admitted outweighs the prejudice to the school if she is admitted. If they have not done that and have rejected your appeal purely because you got your first choice school they have got it seriously wrong.

admission Wed 13-Jul-11 12:45:20

Did you on asking for an appeal get the opportunity to explain fully in writing why you were now asking for this school?
Also from your post you appear to have appealed to the LA which would have been correct if they were still a community school. Having become an academy in February they automatically become responsible for their own appeals (but could have contracted the LA to do them on their behalf), so how did your appeal to the LA get to the school is a question that needs answering, along with the obvious one of why were you not sent the time and date and full information of why the school could not offer you a place.

Bubblemum69 Fri 15-Jul-11 18:40:47

thanks for the messages, ive been mad busy at work.
ive not yet had a call back from the chosen school to advise where she is at on the list (not sure if they would know yet - will they have all the numbers back yet?)
i had to email the school she is going to twice and call 3 or 4 times before i could speak to the right person. anyway, ive arranged to go visit with daughter next week with some children from another primary, and speak with pastoral lady.
i have finally got in touch with the ombudsman and am emailing bits and bobs back and forth so he can put my complaint forward.
i have been positive to daughter about the move, but will try my hardest to change the situation (there is a serious bad reason i dont want her to go to this school)
the appeal notice didnt state that in so many words, maybe the way its worded confused me as its very technical. ive since learned a lot of appeal jargon! lol
it basically says they didnt feel my reasons were sufficient to outway the prejuduce to the school


prh47bridge Sat 16-Jul-11 18:36:43

That is a valid reason for rejecting your appeal. However, the failure to send you the information is still a big issue.

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