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Appeal or not? Secondary school dilemmas

(18 Posts)
TallDarkandUgly Tue 22-Apr-14 19:21:34

Hi, I would really appreciate some advice.
DS1 and DS2 are in useless private school together. We've decided together that a nearby secondary school would be better for them and have applied through the County Council. The secondary is not in catchment by 2 streets.
DS1 is due to start at the State secondary school on 2nd June. DS2, who would join in September in Yr 7, has been rejected as the school is oversubscribed but is 5th on the reserve list. This is based on not having a brother or sister in school because when we applied DS1 hadn't been offered a place yet.
So question: I've been advised by the Admissions Team to appeal. What are DS2's chances of getting in and what should I say other than the obvious fact that it would be easier to have two children in the same school?
I've never done this before so would really appreciate some advice.

admission Tue 22-Apr-14 20:31:56

You really have nothing to lose by appealing and everything to gain. If the school is oversubscribed there is every probability that there will be other people who are appealing for a place at the school in year 7. Those appeals will be held fairly shortly and it is probable that you will be better off applying now, especially if it is after June 2nd when your other son starts.
What are your chances of getting a place? That is really difficult to say but if the LA are suggesting it, that could be a reasonable hint that the school has in other year groups more pupils than have been currently admitted for September.
What should you be saying? Need to get out from the independent school, this school seems to be the best fit in terms of what it can offer - need to suggest things that your child will be attracted to. That the school is local, within walking distance etc but the key need is to show what the school can offer your son that other schools cannot, and one of those might be to do with getting together a new friendship group.

TallDarkandUgly Wed 23-Apr-14 20:31:43

Thank you, will give it a try!

whimsy Thu 24-Apr-14 07:27:55

We didn't get our first choice for Ds1 in March, he was 11th on the waiting list out of 360. We put in our appeal form and had a date through for May. Last week I had a call to say he had moved to 5th on the list. On Saturday we had a letter offering him a place grin So 5th is a good position, put your appeal in and good luck.

MillyMollyMama Thu 24-Apr-14 11:32:06

When u appeal make it clear your other son is starting in June. You also need to say why, educationally, this school is the right one for DS2. Don't speak badly of another school, concentrate on what this school offers. For example, sport, art, drama, music, strong results, ethos - whatever it is you value. I think 5th is a good position. Also stress you are only 2 streets away. Waiting lists do change however, but I think the LA is giving you a strong hint. Try and find out the size of existing year groups. Do they regularly take above their admission number? (They obviously had room for DS1). I wish you every success.

TallDarkandUgly Thu 24-Apr-14 13:43:52

Great! Thanks for the encouragement everyone!
I've received an email with the appeal date already. It says there are going on to be two hearings, one in the morning for all the appellants (I guess other people who are appealing?) and then one in the afternoon for individual appellants. It says I may attend both.
Is this normal practice? Should I bother going to the first one?
This is all so new to me!

Zingy123 Thu 24-Apr-14 15:16:21

Yes you go yo each one. Stage 1 is if the admission arrangements have been made correctly. Stage 2 is your personal appointment.

We were 5th on allocation day went up and down the list as places were offered now in 4th place,

Good luck.

TallDarkandUgly Fri 25-Apr-14 08:28:43

And to you!

Zingy123 Fri 25-Apr-14 08:41:21


springrain Fri 25-Apr-14 21:51:41

Have you asked if anyone else on wait list is a sibling? If there are not then after 2nd June you should then be 1st on wait list. So well worth putting appeal in, but you may find that you are allocated a place before the appeal date. Also for the appeal ask the school admissions officer how many children are in each year group to get a feel for whether they have managed with more than the normal admissions number in other years. 5th is a good place on wait list - most schools will have more than this no of places declined. Good luck.

TallDarkandUgly Sat 26-Apr-14 22:52:30

Hi, yes previous years they were admitting 230 but from last year the dropped it down to 210. I'm not quite sure why though.
I don't know if anyone else has got a sibling. Would it be cheeky to ask?
I also think I could have give better reasons on the appeal form. I did it in a hurry because I was worried I would be late sending it so I focused on the fact the two brothers need to be in the same school and travel together.
Do you think I could send in more detailed reasons ahead of the heating or tell them in person?
I was also wondering if it's normal to talk tante first hearing or if it's merely a rubber stamp? I read here on
MN that the first hearing is about whether the LA has applied to criteria for admission correctly so that seems to suggest that people are not expected to talk. Am
I wrong?

prh47bridge Sun 27-Apr-14 07:49:17

The panel will want to know why PAN has been cut by 20. Unless there have been physical changes to the school to justify the reduction (e.g. classrooms being taken out of use) they may well feel they can admit at least 20 more pupils without causing prejudice.

It certainly isn't cheeky to ask about siblings.

You don't have to say anything at the first hearing. You will get a chance to question the school's/LA's representative. You should question the reduction in PAN. If there is anything else that shows the school can cope with more children or that a mistake has been made you should bring that up as well.

TallDarkandUgly Sun 04-May-14 11:53:52

He got in! We got a letter yesterday fro
Admissions offering him a place before the appeal.
We are so pleased! Good luck to everyone else who is going through this

Zingy123 Sun 04-May-14 16:20:42

Great news.

whimsy Sun 04-May-14 16:59:01

That's great news, it's such a relief when you get the letter smile

Bagpussss Mon 05-May-14 19:44:02

Well done fab news, hope both your children enjoy starting their new school this year smile

mummytime Tue 06-May-14 21:35:19


springrain Wed 07-May-14 21:48:57

Really pleased for you and all the best to both DC

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