Statemented older child and secondary admission for younger sibling.(6 Posts)
I posted this on another thread but only had one response from PanelChair, and although very helpful, thought I would ask for further advice. I would particularly like to hear from the other "admissions experts."
My year 8 Ds1 is statemented and at an independent school funded by the LA.
We have been battling with the LA since June last year (when we wrote requesting they consult the school in question) to get him admitted to a mainstream secondary school who have agreed to take him but do not have a place available and so need to be told by the LA to take him and go over numbers. The LA have dragged their feet for all this time but we are confident they will have to act once they see we have a solicitor acting for us. This legal action is imminent and we should have a decision within the next month.
Meanwhile we applied for DS2 back in October for secondary on the basis that he would get a place at the mainstream secondary where we have requested his older statemented brother should go. We thought he would have been offered a place before 1st March so reasonably thought our younger son would get in on the sibling criteria.
Our younger son has been offered our 4th choice with no consideration being given to his older brother's situation which has only been held up because of the LA acting unlawfully.
It is very likely, once this legal process has finished, that our eldest son will have a place to start at the school we have requested starting this academic year.
Obviously we will go to appeal for our younger boy. I would like to know how the appeals panel is likely to view this situation given that the LA have acted unlawfully with regard to my older son and therefore my DS2's application has been compromised.
This is a slightly nightmarish scenario for us that I hope someone out there can help us with.
I posted further advice on the other thread. Have you seen it?
Yes, thank you PanelChair, I acknowledged your response at the start of this thread.
I had no other responses so was asking for further opinion. Not sure there's anything wrong with that.
But thanks again.
I agree with the advice PanelChair has given on the other thread. The LA may have been slow over updating your older son's statement but it is unlikely an appeal panel would consider that a mistake that justifies admitting your younger son to your preferred school. That means you need to show why your younger son needs to be at this school. The sibling link on its own is unlikely to be enough.
The key date in this is not 1st March 2013 but 31st october 2012 which was the last date for applications which are on time. From my perspective if there was no sibling in the school on that date then the application could not be given sibling priority when it came to allocating places.
So you are back to the question over whether the LA have failed in their duty to the elder sibling. As they had a statement and the LA was funding a place in an independent school, one would have thought that they would jump at the opportunity to place him in a state school at considerably less cost. However LAs work in mysterious ways and can take an absolute age to e anything organised. So to me a period from June through to the end of October is not that excessive unless you have written evidence that the LA were deliberately delaying things and acted unlawfully in the time period June to November. Did you for instance write to the LA and state that you require them to consider a change of school for the statemented pupil by 31st October, so that the LA were aware of the impending extra problems around the younger sibling?
If you did then an appeal panel may take your case seriously. If however there is no specific evidence of delay and unlawfulness in that period I can't see how a panel can say the LA acted unreasonably and the application should have been accepted as a sibling link.
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