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Secondary appeals

(9 Posts)
teacherwith2kids Sun 16-Oct-11 12:29:20

OK, planning ahead for the worst here...

I know that in admissions appeals for primary schools, there are essentially two types:
- Infant class size appeals, in which it has to be proved that the admissions criteria have been applied wrongly or that the admissions authority has made a mistake, in order for the appeal to be allowed.
- 'Normal' appeals - in which the appeal basically rests on the balance between the prejudice to the child of not admitting them to that particular school and the prejudice to the school of admitting them.

For secondary schools, for admission in Year 7, which type of appeal is relevant? For an appeal to be successful, would I have to show that the rules had been applied incorrectly / a mistake had been made OR just that the balance of prejudice is in favour of my child being admitted (IYSWIM).

Hoping that it doesn't come to this, but admissions arrangements for our closest secondary have been revised this year so pretty much anything could happen! I have lots of good reasons which could be brought into the 'balance oif prejudice' argument (both related to my child and to the school, e.g. that the admissions number is artificially low - why base the whole thing on a class size of 27???) but obviously proving that a mistake has been made is much trickier.

prh47bridge Sun 16-Oct-11 13:38:08

For secondary schools all appeals are "normal". You can win by showing that a mistake has been made but you can also win on balance of prejudice. If you can show that a mistake has been made that is a very strong case but, as you say, proving it is often tricky.

troisgarcons Sun 16-Oct-11 16:12:02

prh - are you the lady who is the wise*one of anything school admissions?

If a child is in receipt of DLA, but not statemented - is that grounds for appeal?

cory Sun 16-Oct-11 19:17:09

We got dd in on appeal: she is disabled but not statemented or in receipt of DLA. Basically, what we had to do was to provide medical evidence (supported by letters from health professionals) as to why this was the only school that could cater for her. We provided letters explaining that:

she had to have wheelchair access

she was not able to travel long distances to get to school

she needed a small school

she had been treated for anxiety directly related to her disability and fears of not being believed and would therefore benefit from going to same school as her friends

Which pretty well covered all bases- otherwise they probably would wanted to have sent her to the other end of town.

Blu Sun 16-Oct-11 19:48:51

TroisGarcons - you can get a place based on medical / social evidence without either a statement or DLA, but you would normally have had to submit that with the application in the first place.
I think I have seen it written that you can't submit new evidence once the initial appllication has been made - but presumably a child receiving DLA has very strong reasons for a particular school being suitable so that the case for prejudice in favour of the child is more likely to be powerful.

However, at primary level we had one appeal turned down (looking for a school with flat access for intermittent wheelchair use) on the basis that no school was more favourable than any other because "within 5 years every school will be required to have a DDA action plan"! Right, so DS will sit at the bottom of the steps for 5 years. However another school offered a place straight away, on the same grounds.

cory Sun 16-Oct-11 20:02:01

We submitted new evidence in our appeal and got through, though obviously not on the "LEA made a mistake"-criterion. Basically, we had miscalculated how much paperwork they would need to work out that a wheelchair bound child needed a school with wheelchair access, not a school that happened to be on the list of schools with disabled access in general.

Blu Sun 16-Oct-11 20:08:53

Or a school with an 'Action Plan', Cory hmm grin

cory Sun 16-Oct-11 20:19:52

Apparently the reason they first allocated dd to a school with no disabled access was because we had asked for another school ^which was not on their list of accessible schools^- on enquiry we found that it did not make full provision for the visually impaired- so they concluded that dd could not be disabled after all. Because, as we all know, all disabled people have exactly the same needs hmm

prh47bridge Sun 16-Oct-11 21:26:16

troisgarcons - I wouldn't call myself "the wise one" but I try to help!

The fact that a child is receiving DLA is not enough to win an appeal on its own but the disability may help. You would need to show that the child's disability meant that the allocated school was unsuitable and the appeal school was suitable. You would not have to show that this is the only school that could meet your child's needs as the only schools considered during an appeal are the allocated school and the appeal school. So if, as in Cory's case, your child needs a school with disabled access and the allocated school doesn't have that you would have a good case.

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