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I'm trying to support friend's appeal but I don't see how she can win

(14 Posts)
Technical Fri 07-Mar-14 15:54:58

It's for a secondary place for her son, a friend of DS2.

My position isn't helped by the fact boys applied for the same school, DS2 got in and her son didn't simply because we live approx. 1 mile closer to the school.

She's going to appeal based on the fact that the school is a specialist maths college (academy) and her son is good at/enjoys maths. That's true but in a slightly better than average, rather than exceptional way iyswim. Can she win on that basis?

I know I'm in danger of coming across as smug and unhelpful but don't know how to help. Assuming they applied their own rules properly is there anyway to win an appeal like this for a lovely, reasonably bright but basically ordinary chid?

Blu Fri 07-Mar-14 16:11:12

Can she demonstrate that he takes part in maths above and beyond his school lessons? Does he go on maths websites in his own time, has he joined a maths club, or taken part in any maths enrichment activities at school that he wants to continue? Suggest she researches what the maths specialist offer is at the school and how this would especially suit her DS's interests and ambitions. Is there a maths club that he would wnat to join, where his allocated shcool has no maths club?

She needs to show that the school she wnats offers something which is particularly suited to her child and that that is not offered at the allocated school - so he would be disadvantaged if he was not given a place.

But she should not criticise or appeal against her allocated school.

I don't think you have to be especially talented - the intrest and needs of all children should be equally important in an appeal context!

PanelChair Fri 07-Mar-14 16:39:05

Blu is right. It's not about the child being exceptional. It's about identifying reasons why the school is the best fit for the child and why the 'prejudice' (ie disadvantage) they would face if not admitted outweighs the prejudice to the school and the pupils already in it of exceeding its aid soon number and admitting another pupil. Read

PanelChair Fri 07-Mar-14 16:40:48

Reasons might be to do with curriculum provision, extra curricular activities, social and medical needs (if confirmed by health care professionals) and so on.

Technical Fri 07-Mar-14 16:58:15

Ah, thank you. I don't think she'll be able to show he's so interested in Maths he volunteers to do extra, it's just that it's his best favourite/subject. I think on the face of it the curriculum provision (for maths at least) will be broadly similar. Is it too late for his to get involved in extra curricular activated now?

The main reason for her preference is that the other school has a very poor reputation for discipline and she feels the preferred school provides a better learning environment. (it does!) But this will be true for all children, how can she show that's particularly important for her child? She's emphasising the fact that he's well behaved, works hard and would be an asset to the school but I would think that suggests he could do well anywhere - a child who needs strict discipline would have a stronger case for needing the preferred school. Or would they?

tiggytape Fri 07-Mar-14 17:06:46

Technical you are right. Him being a good kid and an asset to the school won't help at appeal. The maths speciality is a good bet as one issue though. Get trawling through the school's newsletters and Ofsted report. Do they mention anything that this school offers for children who are keen on maths? It might be industry links, special trips, extra clubs, more GCSE maths options like statistics. That sort of thing all helps.
As for proving he is keen on maths, he doesn't have to be King of the Maths Club or anything. Even just showing reports that says he is enthusiastic about the subject or predicted a level 5a or took part in a maths challenge could help.

If you find clubs that match his interests those too can be mentioned.
As can any special or additional needs he has that mean this school is better for him.

You don't necessarily have to have a hugely dramatic reason. Even a few smaller points can win as long as the school's case for refusal isn't too strong. To test that you can ask how many pupils are currently in each Year group. See if they even have more than the official number because that proves they are coping just fine with a few extra.

tiggytape Fri 07-Mar-14 17:08:19

And don't say anything negative about the allocated school. Whether it is a good learning environment or not isn't part of the appeal process. The appeal is for a place at one school not against being forced to attend the other.

mumslife Sat 08-Mar-14 20:02:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nennypops Sat 08-Mar-14 23:42:19

I'm afraid that that reason on its own won't cut it. Obviously all schools teach maths, and it will be argued that they teach it perfectly competently and friend's ds will do fine in maths anywhere.

prh47bridge Sun 09-Mar-14 01:32:09

I'm afraid that that reason on its own won't cut it

It depends. If the school offers additional extra-curricular maths activities that the offered school doesn't or there are other clearly identifiable ways in which its maths provision is better it could win an appeal.

purpleroses Sun 09-Mar-14 09:27:39

If your DS got in and you're only a minute nearer then I think it's very likely that he will get in anyway via the waiting list. That's certainly what usually happens where I live. She should be able to find out where he is on the waiting list.

CecilyP Sun 09-Mar-14 09:40:01

It's a mile closer, purple, so there will be many other families within that mile.

purpleroses Sun 09-Mar-14 11:53:37

Oh I misread that. Still worth finding out where he is on the list though as with your support or not that could be a more likely route to him getting in. My friend's DS was number 20 on the list initially for a small (120 per year) school and still had a place by the summer.

mumslife Sun 09-Mar-14 22:33:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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