Current school contacted to say ds is moving but we haven't been offered or accepted a place

(29 Posts)
balletgirlmum Mon 01-Jun-15 17:55:30

Ds is currently in Year 6 at a private school & is due to move into year 7 in September.

He has had some difficulties so we have considered moving him back to the state sector. We & the school suspect as ASD (dd has one) but we can't afford to pay privately for a diagnoses & the NHS refuse to refer him as he isn't severe enough (funding).

We made a late application to a local secondary school in a neighbouring authority knowing it was full but asking to go on the waiting list. That way if things didn't work out at least we would be on the waiting list for a place as soon as one came up.

Today his current school had a call from a completely different (failing) secondary school in our authority saying that he was going to be starting there in September. Ds would hate to go there especially as its a faith school & he's a bit fixated with the issue of religion in education & atheism for a start.

Surely they should have contacted us to at least offer us a place & wait for us to accept or decline before contacting his current school.

I've had no contact at all from the LA. It all seems a bit odd.

meditrina Mon 01-Jun-15 18:05:44

It sounds like something has got out of step or even lost in the system (possible if notifications to you and to other school went out at same time).

If you apply for a state school place, they will allocate you one. So thus means you've not got a place at the school you applied for, so they gave allocated you the nearest one with a vacancy.

You need to get in touch with the admissions team, decline the place, and check you are on the waiting list for preferred school.

As they check children are not missing from education, you'll need to state what education DS will receive from September (in your case, the name of the private school you have lined up).

ragged Mon 01-Jun-15 18:07:55

Induction days are coming up, you want to find out when they are, ideally. Never mind the hassle of buying all the uniform and right calculator, etc.

balletgirlmum Mon 01-Jun-15 18:12:19

No point attending induction days at a school that is currently full.

As it stands we are geared up to him staying where he is. If a place becomes available at the waiting list school we will re-assess.

balletgirlmum Mon 01-Jun-15 21:30:19

I guess I'm just annoyed at them contacting his current school & telling them he is definatly moving there in September without us even accepting the presumably offered place.

ragged Mon 01-Jun-15 21:48:32

AFAIK...

You should have had a letter saying that you are offered the place at the school you don't like.
You must accept that place in order to be on the waiting list for the school you do like.
That's the system. If you decline the school you don't like you don't get to go on waiting list for other schools in the LEA.

balletgirlmum Mon 01-Jun-15 21:54:01

I'm sure that's not correct.

Why accept a place you have no intention of taking up just to be put on a waiting list for a different school (in a neighbouring local authority).

mummytime Tue 02-Jun-15 00:00:49

It doesn't matter what authority the school is in, you should have applied via your local authority.

You don't have to accept the school place to go on a waiting list, but if your LA offers you a place, then it has fulfilled its requirements; and doesn't have to offer you another place - unless you reapply. However if you are on a waiting list you should be offered a place if one comes up and you are at the top of the list, which moves in order of who meets the admission criteria closest.

If you really want your son to go to this school, I'm not sure why you haven't appealed for a place?

prh47bridge Tue 02-Jun-15 08:23:23

You must accept that place in order to be on the waiting list for the school you do like

Rubbish. The LA cannot refuse to put you on the waiting lists for your preferred schools just because you turn down the offered school. You are entitled to HE or go private until a place becomes available.

PettsWoodParadise Tue 02-Jun-15 08:30:39

Unless you are very close to the preferred school it may never happen. In most cases it isn't a case of in order of application, it is a case of who qualifies the best so if people closer to school put it down they move further up the list.

balletgirlmum Tue 02-Jun-15 09:06:59

To answer a few points:

I did apply through my local authority

If we had applied on time we would have got a place according to the last distance admitted in category 4.

I have no grounds for appeal. They are 2 over PAN & have 6 on the waiting list.

Prh - thank you. You have confirmed what I thought was the case.

balletgirlmum Tue 02-Jun-15 09:48:09

Besides which I havnt actually been turned down yet for the school we applied for.

mummytime Tue 02-Jun-15 10:00:10

You do have grounds for appeal - sorry everyone does. Being over PAN is irrelevant - my DCs school regularly takes 10 over its PAN (their primary has upped its PAN to 96 because it always went over).
You grounds for appeal are: the reasons you want your son to attend this school - especially special facilities, and extra-curricula. Do they have an ASD unti? Are you going through the process to get a diagnosis (NHS)? Would your GP write a letter stating what issues your son has and why this school would be especially suitable? Would his present school support you? Are there other factors which make this school especially suitable?
What particular needs does your son have? How ould this school meet them?

yellowdaisies Tue 02-Jun-15 10:11:44

My DD moved within the state sector during Year 3 and the LA contacted the school to tell them she wanted to move - it was part of the process they went through to notify the school so that if there are problems at the current school the school's had a chance to sort them out I think.

I can see how it's annoying though if you didn't want to tell the school he was leaving unless it was definite and it's currently not definite at all.

Spaces sometimes come up last minute for Y7 as some kids hold state school offers but in fact go private so you might be lucky.

balletgirlmum Tue 02-Jun-15 10:13:22

No, we arnt going through diagnosis.

Two years ago the school nurse referred ds to CAMHS, she said that due to funding she wasn't allowed to refer to the ASD unit any more as they had been getting too many referrals.

cAMHS were useless & offered us a Triple P course (held in the daytime & considering I work & dh is a teacher! They also refused to refer. The school
Nurse & senco disagreed with the outcome & contacted camhs to ask them to reconsider but they wouldn't.

Since then we've been using strategies commonly used with children on the spectrum & trying to make adaptatiibs. Things improved but he had a couple of meltdown recently (pressure of year 6 & fear of the unknown year 7 msybe) & his current school ssid they were concerned about his ability to cope. They said that if he were in the state sector an ed psych would be able to go into school & actually observe him in the classroom.

Our reasons for preferring the other school arnt very valid.

The offered (though I hsvnt actuslly been offered it yet) is a failing academy with bad track record, friends whose kids have gone there say behaviour & discipline is awful. Every single school in this particular academy group got put into special measures & the head has suddenly been put on "gardening leave" with no explanation to parents.

But hey, they have a very posh uniform!!!

balletgirlmum Tue 02-Jun-15 10:17:26

And I was involved with Triple P in the past it first came out as chair of a local parenting group so I don't think going on a course would have helped as I implemebt the parts we find work anyway.

Newshoesplease Tue 02-Jun-15 10:22:09

I'm so angry on your behalf that they are refusing to refer your son for an ASD assessment. I'm currently undergoing an assessment with ds1, we are in final stages.
It could be that with a statement of educational needs you would have a stronger case for your preferred state school if you appealed, and you're being denied this.

mummytime Tue 02-Jun-15 10:28:05

I would go back to the GP and request another referral. The more you kick up a fuss the more likely you are to get the assessment you need. Paint things blacker if necessary, highlight any risky behaviour (eg. any mention of suicide/self-harm) and keep a record of all the worrying behaviour you observe (so you can remember it when asked).

What does the school offer? Is your son good at Maths? Does it offer Additional Maths subjects? Take part in Maths competitions?
Is there a sport he enjoys/has always expressed an interest in? (Fencing?)
There must be reasons you like the school - does it offer social skils lessons? Does it have a school counsellor? Does it offer a specialist Autism program (my DCs does - but you'd only know if you asked)?

If they don't have a space, or those other 6 families are above you on strict admissions criteria - then you will be turned down. However appeal gives you a chance to argue why your son would be "more disadvantaged by not getting a place, than the children already there would be disadvantaged by having one more person in the classroom".

Oh and I know about Uniform - the poshest state school uniform (piping on the blazers) is known among those who work in schools as "difficult". A lot of cover supervisors and TAs "used" to work there but have gone to other schools as soon as possible.

lougle Tue 02-Jun-15 11:08:51

2 over PAN isn't that much in a secondary school. The number of children on the waiting list is irrelevant in an appeal and your grounds for appeal would be <insert the things that would make this school acceptable to your DS (and other schools unacceptable, but don't phrase it that way)>

prh47bridge Tue 02-Jun-15 12:51:21

I have no grounds for appeal

As Mummytime says, yes you do. Appeals are not just about fixing the process when it goes wrong. You can appeal on the basis that this is the best school for your son and that he will be disadvantaged if he doesn't go there. Many appeals are won with that kind of case.

balletgirlmum Tue 02-Jun-15 14:15:43

But presumably I have to wait to actually be rejected before I can appeal.

The post has come & gone & nothing so I'm going to try & phone my LEA.

balletgirlmum Tue 02-Jun-15 14:19:11

Really prh - that's interesting. I guess I am shying away from saying I don't want ds to go to our local school as its got a poor reputation pastorally & academically & is failing. After all why should he be prioritised against the rest of the kids in my area that have no choice but to go there?

It's why we went private in the first place & I am really hoping thst private does work out & yr 7 will be a fresh start.

I'm meeting the yr 7 teacher next week & hopefully the senco so we will see v

balletgirlmum Tue 02-Jun-15 14:37:47

Person I need to speak to at the

balletgirlmum Tue 02-Jun-15 14:37:59

LA is on holiday today.

BeaufortBelle Wed 03-Jun-15 10:16:18

The bit I don't understand is how you can afford the private fees but can't afford the independent assessment? I also don't understand why you applied late when you are both involved in education?

You wouldn't allow your child to go to the academy so say so and say so in a very politely worded letter to the LA that might make them sit up and take notice and do something about it. School's fail because communities allow them to and sit on their hands.

Hope your son gets the help he needs wherever he goes to school.

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