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Grounds for appeal

(21 Posts)
Pinkpeanut27 Mon 03-Mar-14 23:23:41

My ds has been allocated our 4th choice school . Obviously we are a bit upset , I don't know if we have grounds to appeal or not . It is a faith school we are not particularly religious and in our application we said we weren't of the faith .
We only put it down as a 4 th choice as we no other choice and didn't want to be allocated somewhere out of our area.
Csn we appeal on the grounds it is a faith school and we don't want him to go there ?
Can we appeal for our second choice that is a boys school even though our first choice was a mixed school ?
I am assuming we can't but just thought I would check .

littledrummergirl Mon 03-Mar-14 23:32:17

You can appeal for any school you like. You need to say why that school is the best school for your ds. Get yourself on the wait list as well.

prh47bridge Mon 03-Mar-14 23:49:26

You appeal for the school you want, not against the school you have been allocated. So saying that this is a faith school and you don't want a faith school won't get you anywhere.

What you want isn't really an issue. What you have to do is show that your son will lose out if he doesn't go to the appeal school. Look for things it offers that the allocated school doesn't that would be particularly relevant to your son.

Pinkpeanut27 Tue 04-Mar-14 06:58:22

Ok that is useful
So things that any of the other school offer are
A local school population other school has 85% bused in
Better results and academic focus
One of the schools is on the site of his infant and primary school
Better opportunities for trips and extra curicular activities

I am guessing non of these warrant appeal ?

What does classify as reason to appeal ?
I don't want to waste time and get his hopes up .

Sovaysovay Tue 04-Mar-14 07:58:14

'We want this one 'cause it's got better results' - no chance. Get hold of some appeals guides and tips. You need to say why that school can offer your son something that no other school can.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 04-Mar-14 08:13:10

We appealed (unsuccessfully) for dd. we used the fact that dd is dyslexic and this school was graded excellent for helping children with special needs as our appeal. It had a homework club every evening where we felt dd could get help if needed. Other school didnt offer this.

Our friends appealed (successfully) for same school. Saying that as he was very bright (he is, he got top score in 11plus) then this school would stretch him when the other school wouldn't.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 04-Mar-14 08:16:09

It has to be something specific about that school which your child needs and the others won't offer it. So better results and more trips won't be a basis for an appeal. Or everyone would win their appeal as we all want this.

Why would your ds need to go to a school on the site of his old infant school? If there is a medical reason for this such as autism which you can back up with medical reports then you could maybe try.

Why does he need to go to a school with a local population? Saying that it would be nice, or he'd make friends easier wont be enough.

ThreeBeeOneGee Tue 04-Mar-14 08:20:12

Can you prove that he should have been offered a place at school 1, 2, or 3 under their admissions criteria, and that an error was made?

Can you convince the panel that school 1, 2 or 3 is the only school that can meet his medical, social or educational needs?

If so, then you have good grounds for an appeal. If not, then I would put him on the continuing interest lists for schools 1, 2 and 3 and wait for a place to become available.

Pinkpeanut27 Tue 04-Mar-14 08:23:51

Thanks that is what I thought . We don't have grounds for appeal .

ThreeBeeOneGee Tue 04-Mar-14 08:27:25

My advice would be to accept the place you have been offered, then phone the schools up (or email) in the next few days to find out where he is on the continuing interest lists. In many areas, a significant number of children decline their place (e.g. to go to an independent school) so these lists do move.

tiggytape Tue 04-Mar-14 08:40:39

There are no such things as grounds for appeal although of course some reasons are stronger and more likely to win than others. If you have a reason for thinking the school is best suited for your child then that is your grounds for appeal.

Waiting lists move and offer real hope to many people of getting a more acceptable school. However, it would be unwise to rely on them totally because some years they move more than others and going to appeal is something you can retract later if you get something better in the meantime. Appeals won't be heard for months yet (May - June) but you have to get the form in very soon to be treated as an ontime appeal. Therefore if there is any chance that you'd want an appeal in the summer if you haven't got another place by then, now is the time to act. You cannot wait and see how the lists go for very long as by then it will be too late.

prh47bridge Tue 04-Mar-14 10:24:44

There is no down side to appealing. If you appeal and lose you are in the same position as now. If you appeal and win your child gets a place straight away.

You should definitely accept the place you have been offered. If you decide to appeal you will get plenty of good advice to help you from the experts on Mumsnet (Admission, PanelChair, Tiggytape, myself - apologies to anyone I've missed).

Sometimes the school's case to refuse admission is so weak that almost any appeal will succeed. You don't necessarily have to have a strong case, just one that is stronger than the school's case. As long as you can identify something about the appeal school that is missing from the allocated school and would be particularly relevant to your child you have the beginnings of a case.

Pinkpeanut27 Tue 04-Mar-14 10:45:48

The schools are likely to say either we are not closest or that they are very over subscribed and can only take a limited number of children

The only thing I can think if is the school allocated wont stretch my son enough looking at their attitude and results and university places gained through 6 th form . He is bright and sitting level 6 papers for his SATS. However I am guessing the school will say they are non selective so results are friend any on intake which is probably true .

I don't think it is worth the appeal as I don't believe we have a case . Unless anyone can shed any light on what might win an appeal ?

I think we are doubly gutted fir him as his twin sister got her first choice of an excellent girls school !

VivaLeBeaver Tue 04-Mar-14 10:53:43

Its always worth appealing. I was surprised my friend with the bright child won her appeal. I thought we had a stronger case. But she won and we didnt. So you can't tell.

I was told you have to prove that your son would be more disadvantaged by not attending that school than the school will be disadvantaged by having another pupil.

So scour the prospectus. Does the school offer something which the other one doesn't such as two MFL. Is this school the only one which offers triple science whereas the allocated school only does dual? That sort of stuff. Then if you find out say the science one is true get a letter from ds's school saying how science is his favourite subject. You write saying he's really keen on science, wants to do science at uni......

Also look and see how many kids were admitted over the last few years. Did they take more than their PAN? If so you can argue if they've done it before they can do it again.

I'm no expert at all, like I say we lost our appeal. But I did get good advice on here. I'm sure there's a book I bought off amazon on appeals as well which was good.

MillyMollyMama Tue 04-Mar-14 15:37:54

You can absolutely argue that a more academic school is better for a more academic child. Arguing an SEN case with no statement is much more difficult as schools may well see an academic child as being more desirable. Lots of unfunded SEN children are a drain on resources for any school therefore SEN is not a strong case.

I would therefore look closely at the curriculum of your preferred school, how it would meet your son's needs? What else do they offer which would meet his needs, eg competitive sport, clubs, drama, music etc? Where you live is a factor - would he be able to walk there? Find out the year group sizes throughout the school and if they are larger than the PAN, the appeals panel allows appeals. Say whether you prefer co-ed, or not, and give reasons for this. Make it clear why your son's academic interests are best served by your choice of school. This should be a curriculum argument, not a results based one, but, for example, if his level 6 work is in maths, their maths results could be a factor worth mentioning. Don't rubbish the other school. The appeals panel really do not care and it wastes valuable time.

cory Tue 04-Mar-14 18:29:03

MillyMollyMama, I don't think that can be right. It's not the school who get to decide about the appeal: it's an independent panel. So what is desirable from the pov of the school is pretty irrelevant.

Dd's school put on a very convincing case why they should not be made to accept her. The panel ruled that her need to attend this school was greater than the school's need not to take her. She went there.

prh47bridge Tue 04-Mar-14 23:40:40

I agree with Cory. It is about what the independent appeal panel think, not what the school wants.

PanelChair Tue 04-Mar-14 23:48:17

And I agree too. An appeal is not an opportunity for a school to headhunt 'desirable pupils'.

Nor do I think that arguing that a child reaching level 6 in SATs 'needs' a school with better academic results is likely to get anywhere, and I am quite surprised to hear that that approach succeeded in the example quoted.

PanelChair Tue 04-Mar-14 23:51:54

Nor is it quite true that the panel will allow the appeal if the school is already over PAN. They might - and it certainly adds weight to the argument that the school could cope with the detriment of admitting an additional pupil now - but it isn't a given. Much will depend on the strength (or not) of the opposing arguments coming from the school.

PanelChair Tue 04-Mar-14 23:52:51

Over PAN in other year groups, that should say.

tiggytape Wed 05-Mar-14 08:31:24

I agree too. Appeals are not about cherry picking and the school have no say over the outcome. Appeal panels are about best interests and needs. If anything a panel is more likely to take the view that a bright child will do well anywhere.
Of course if they are a maths wizz and the school is the only one offering the sort of maths options that might benefit them then that edges into the category of meeting the child's needs.
Simply being brilliant and an asset to any school however is not grounds that will have much effect on the panel.

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