Hi, My daughter has got into her 2nd sec. school preference...attended induction days..bought uniforms...happy with other friends going there & all mentally set for the school... but has now received a letter saying 1st preference allotted by pupil movement.. She simply does not want to go there anymore... Will that be possible? Can she refuse 1st preference? Being the weekend..not able to contact either the schools or the councils...would really appreciate some advice..
I sincerely hope that isn't the case in Buckinghamshire. If it is that would be a clear breach of the Admission Code. The place at the second choice school has been offered and the offer has been accepted. The only way it can now be withdrawn is if evidence emerges that the application was fraudulent or deliberately misleading (which generally means giving a false address). The fact that a place is available at a higher choice school does not give the LA the right to withdraw the place already offered.
No this is the case in Bucks (p35 of current secondary school transfer guide). They can't offer two places at once so the first is automatically withdrawn when the waiting list places is offered. They state that as you have asked to go on the list they assume that you want this place, and will not check with you before withdrawing the first place. .
I have found the reference and you are right as to what they say they do. This, I'm afraid, is yet another case of an LA putting administrative convenience ahead of complying with the rules.
They are changing the policy slightly for 2012 in that parents will be required to regularly confirm that they wish to remain on the waiting list for a particular school but that still doesn't bring them in line with the rules.
This policy is a clear breach of the Admission Code paragraph 1.50. If they do withdraw a place in this way and the parent has changed their mind I would expect it to be reinstated on appeal. I also think the Schools Adjudicator would have something to say about this if you want to refer the matter to them.