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Using a lawyer for appeal when school placing request refused?

(11 Posts)
codswallopandchips Sat 27-Apr-13 20:49:23

Just wondering if anyone has used a lawyer when their placing request was refused? How did it go? And how much did it cost?

Background: Oldest just going to secondary. Primary school feeds into different catchment school than where we live. Our local, catchment, school is much better. But her placement request to attend the local school - the one we live in the catchment area for - has been refused. I'm totally gutted and will definitely appeal but I wonder if a lawyer might be able to get a better result for us, and perhaps even be able to avoid the appeal in the first place.

BoundandRebound Sat 27-Apr-13 20:51:05

What's their admissions policy and on what grounds can you appeal?

I don't think a lawyer would help, but a well prepared argument would

codswallopandchips Sat 27-Apr-13 20:55:47

I don't know! There's nothing I can find on the council website that covers this - and I don't even know why she's been refused. The letter says it's because they would need another teacher ie the school is full, but they've also said they hold places for families moving into the catchment area. We've been in the catchment area for 11 years!!

happyAvocado Sat 27-Apr-13 21:03:34

did you look on google for instructions such this one ?

codswallopandchips Sat 27-Apr-13 21:14:53

Thanks happy - I've been googling desperately since the letter came in this morning, but didn't turn up that piece. Some useful info there.

(Drip feed - we're in Scotland, so I don't know if that changes anything)

AMumInScotland Sat 27-Apr-13 21:37:07

You'll need specialist advice as the law up here is quite different. But I would have thought if you are in the catchment area then you ought to have been eligible for a place whatever primary your dc went to.

I wouldn't have thought it needed to be a Placing Request if you live in catchment, that's usually for out-of-catchment applications.

admission Sat 27-Apr-13 21:43:19

Scotland is different from England and to be honest I am not sure what the rules are up there.
I would say that when I have had a solicitor acting for a family at appeal (or one of the so-called experts) that they tend to nitpick at everything, as though they are trying to justify their fee to the client. They need to concentrate on the facts not bizarre points of law.
There is no doubt that a well prepared argument in my mind is as good as anything a solicitor can do. One thing that is in favour of a solicitor is that they can be less emotional about things at the appeal. Also if you believe that you will fall to pieces in front of the panel and not get your argument across then that might be a reason for somebody else helping you.

codswallopandchips Sat 27-Apr-13 22:42:23

Thanks both - I think I just need someone to help work out where we stand and what the regulations are. AMIS, that's what I thought! I had assumed that living in the catchment meant she would get a place, so the refusal has come as quite a shock. I wouldn't want to have a lawyer get up the noses of the appeals committee, though, so that's wise counsel admission.

Butterkistbutterkistrarara Sun 28-Apr-13 12:26:48

I know a wee amount about placing request appeals! each LA has different criteria for secondary school places. The authority I work in bases the places on where you stay, and a neighbouring authority bases it on the primary school you attend regardless if that place is a placing request.

If you have any queries, just shout and I can see if I can help.

CecilyP Mon 29-Apr-13 16:48:37

I don't really understand why you had to make a placement request for your catchment school. Normally you would automatically get a place in your catchment school and have to make a placement request for a school out of catchment. Where your child attends primary school should not make any difference. Please can you clarify?

codswallopandchips Mon 29-Apr-13 18:00:50

CecilyP, that's what I thought, but the council told me that I had to put a request in. And when I spoke to my local councillor, he said that the school you go to decides your path. Except that the council website says you have to put in a PR if you want to attend a Secondary other than your catchment school. I'm all over the place with this - I just want DD to go to school with the kids around here, but the council seem to think that she is at the bottom of the priorities list. They have places for people moving into the area but seemingly not one for a kid that's lived here her whole life.

Butterkist - thanks for the offer, I might DM you for some advice, if thats ok.

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