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Academies won't take my out of year group child

(17 Posts)
Voljumen Wed 26-Nov-14 22:01:11

Please someone tell me why most academies refused my DD's application to year 7. She is in year 6 as council agreed to place her a year below due to transition issues when we moved here.
We were confident all was well until today (a week before the final closing date of applications) when the council told us all but STAGS refused to consider our applications. Any idea what we could do to change the schools' decisions? And the whys? Why is my "end of August year 6" child any worse than the others? It is just not fair, none has told us this could happen and I can't find anything on the net that says anything about restrictions.

I feel truly devastated and at a loss as to what to do now.

Notsuretoday Wed 26-Nov-14 22:11:54

So she should be in year 7? What year was she when you moved (from where?)?

JustADadHere Thu 27-Nov-14 00:01:12

STAGS? As in St Albans Girls School? Send her there, it is an excellent school.

prh47bridge Thu 27-Nov-14 00:04:48

I'm afraid this sometimes happens when a child is out of year. Secondary schools of all types (not just academies) sometimes decide that they are unwilling to accept a child out of age group into Y7 so you have to apply for a place in Y8. This is clearly not ideal.

Part of the reason is that if your daughter goes into Y7 she will be able to leave school at the end of Y10, at which point she won't have completed her GCSEs. This can cause some problems for the school.

Schools cannot legally operate a blanket policy to refuse to accept any child out of year. They must consider each case individually on its merits. But unless there are good reasons for teaching your child out of year they are entitled to refuse to accept her into Y7. They cannot, however, refuse to consider an application to put her into the "correct" year group.

The only thing I can suggest is that you talk directly to the schools concerned, explain why your daughter is out of year and ask them to reconsider. Another, less ideal, option would be to apply for an in-year transfer to Y7 at a secondary school immediately. If there is a place available they would have to offer it to you. However, you would have to take it up straight away so your daughter would miss part of Y6 and part of Y7.

steppemum Thu 27-Nov-14 00:14:48

op I am a little confused, applications for secondary had to be in by 31st October in all areas I thought?
So I can't work out why you are applying now or what for? Can you give us some more information.

SoonToBeSix Thu 27-Nov-14 00:31:47

No she wouldn't be able to leave end of year ten. She would need to stay in education until age 18.

titchy Thu 27-Nov-14 07:55:47

Soontobe - she COULD leave school! The requirement to continue education to 18 can mean college, apprenticeships, work with pt evening class. Doesn't mean school!

SoonToBeSix Thu 27-Nov-14 10:25:54

Well you would have failed as a parent if your 15/16 refused to stay in the school you had chosen. My dd is 16 in year 11. Her year 12 choice will not be made by her we will discuss it and the final decision will be mine and her fathers as she is under 18.

titchy Thu 27-Nov-14 10:31:59

Yes cos school suits all children doesn't it? hmm

bigTillyMint Thu 27-Nov-14 11:18:18

SoonToBeSix, glad to hear your DD is doing fine and meeting all your expectations/rules. Sadly life doesn't run that smoothly for everyone.

OP, is your DD in Y6 currently even though she is old enough to be in Y7 - so she was kept back a year? If you have medical/other grounds as to why she was kept back, surely you should have a case?

SoonToBeSix Thu 27-Nov-14 11:39:48

smile it's not expectations/rules it's normal for a 16 year not to make all their own decisions .In the very unlikely event they would demand to leave school at year ten you would have much bigger issues to worry about.
I just think it's very unlikely that is why a school wouldn't accept a child into a year full of younger children.

prh47bridge Thu 27-Nov-14 13:37:07

My point was that the school will be worried about the negative effects on the school if the OP's daughter does decide to leave at the end of Y10. Despite your disbelief this is very likely to be the reason schools are reluctant.

skylark2 Thu 27-Nov-14 13:39:43

Why will there be negative effects on the school, though? She'll be legally old enough to do so, and it's not like a child who is that disengaged with her education was going to be a star contributor to their league table position.

I'd have thought they'd rather have a child leave at the end of y10 than be disruptive throughout y11.

tethersend Thu 27-Nov-14 13:58:38

Interesting... I am coming across the opposite problem, with some academies placing children who have had time out of school in the year below their chronological age, against the parents' wishes.

Prh, how does the law apply in those cases?

prh47bridge Thu 27-Nov-14 18:03:54

skylark2 - It potentially leaves them with less funding for Y11 but no equivalent drop in expenditure. It can also have a negative effect on some of their performance metrics.

tethersend - Legally it is the school's decision. Parents do, of course, have the right to appeal to the governors and, if that fails, the EFA. They could even go to judicial review if they feel strongly about it. If the school has a blanket policy (x days off and you will be held down a year) they may be overruled. However, if the school can show they have assessed the child and made the decision in what they believe to be the child's best interests the parents will struggle to overturn it.

teacherwith2kids Thu 27-Nov-14 21:47:36

I am sad - and surprised - that no-one told you it would happen. On the rare occasions I have been involved in discussions about whether a child should be placed out of their 'correct' age group, it is something that we spelled out very, very carefully to parents - that the child may have to return to their own year group at the point of transition between schools.

It is one of the reasons why having out of year group children IS so rare - I have only known it happen when the child's long term education is almost certain to be in a Special School setting, but where the child is being kept in mainstream (at parents' request, usually) for as long as possible. Even so, we always obtained written assurances from every school up the chain, the LEA, and pretty much everyone else that we could think of that the 'out of yearness' would be preserved for that child, just in case they remained in mainstream longer than expected.

Do you have copies of correspondance, individual learning plans etc from when your child first moved out of year, that could be of use in talking to the council and schools about how they might consider this individual case?

admission Thu 27-Nov-14 22:18:10

Although it has been a rarity to happen that a child was allowed to be out of the age related year group, this is going to become more common if the latest admission code gets confirmed. It will allow parents the right to ask for their child to be educated out of sync so to speak. That does not mean they will be allowed to because it will be a decision that the LA / school will have to make. It is however going to be a shambles if in 6/7 years secondary schools decide not to allow pupils to remain in an out of sync year group.
In reality the opportunity to have a child out of sync has been in existence since July 2013 when it came out as guidance rather than law but it is clear that it is up to the secondary school admission authority to make the decision that they should go into.

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