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High school appeal

(10 Posts)
Peruvianmumoftwo Tue 02-Jun-15 23:39:50

I went through two appeals recently and explained the reasons why my daughter should be admitted at the school i was appealing for. The first appeal was about transport facilities to get to the school as we are out of the catchment area, her progress at her current school, these two reasons mainly. She was refused because "she could be challenged academically at the school she was offered"
The second appeal was about the same reasons but i also included that my daughter wanted to communicate better in Spanish as the school offers that language only and she could be benefited as it is only from me she receives that, but it is hard as everything is in English, if you know what i mean. she struggles every time we go back to my country. The school she was offered offers only French and German.
At this appeal she was also refused and the school just says "Your grounds of appeal were not sufficient to outweigh the prejudice to ..." What about the last reason i explained about above? Does a panel really listen to our children's needs?
I would also explain the difference between both appeals, but if i complain about the last panel, will that make any difference? I just feel we are "begging" for our children to have better chances, it is not fair.

PotatoesNotProzac Tue 02-Jun-15 23:44:33

If you speak Spanish to her at home she's unlikely to learn anything in Spanish class, aimed at non speakers at school.

Frankly I'm not even convinced my DSs Spanish teacher can speak Spanish.

When I took him to a tutor it turned out my son, after 3 years of Spanish lessons, knew nothing. He didn't even know how to pronounce 'y'

Peruvianmumoftwo Wed 03-Jun-15 00:45:23

Seeing it as a parent's point of view, your argument is valid. But what about the panel? Do they think that the teachers who teach Spanish at the school are useless so my daughter should not learn it from them? I am just being sarcastic but they did not mention anything about how this need could be met at the school she was offered as they do not teach it there.

prh47bridge Wed 03-Jun-15 06:46:20

Transport difficulties rarely win appeal cases. The panel is supposed to take the view that it is up to parents to ensure their child gets to school. If the child has mobility issues or there is some other reason why the journey will be impossible for the child this can be taken into account. Similarly if the journey is over 1 hour 15 minutes each way it can be taken into account. But unless one of these applies the panel is likely to ignore transport difficulties.

Your daughter's progress at her current school is also unlikely to win an appeal. The panel is required to assume that all schools can handle children of all academic abilities equally well. They know it isn't true but those are the rules. If your daughter is bright the panel is likely to take the view that she would do well at any school.

Yes, the panel does listen to your child's needs and I'm sure they don't think the teachers are useless. But they don't just look at your daughter's needs. They must also look at the problems the school will face through having to cope with an additional pupil and decide whether those outweigh your daughter's needs. In some hearings the case to refuse admission is so strong that no appeal, no matter how deserving, will succeed.

The strongest appeals are those where a mistake has been made that has deprived the child of a place that should have been theirs. The next strongest are those where there is a medical or child protection reason the child needs to go to the appeal school. Your case does not fall into either of these categories. It is possible the appeal panel admitted some cases falling into those categories then decided the school couldn't cope with any more pupils, so your appeal failed.

If it was simply a case of the panel accepting that the child has needs the school could meet there would be huge numbers of successful appeals for popular schools and the schools simply wouldn't be able to cope. That is why they must balance your case against the school's case. I'm afraid the panel decided that your case wasn't strong enough. That doesn't mean they didn't accept that your daughter would benefit from going to a school that taught Spanish. It means they thought that this wasn't enough to outweigh the problems the school would face through having an additional pupil. I sympathise but I'm afraid that is how the system works.

DeeWe Wed 03-Jun-15 10:13:03

I think the Spanish argument is better is you don't speak it at home actually. I've seen it used when something along the lines of "paternal grandparents only speak Spanish and this is their only way of learning it" (absent father so he couldn't teach it).

From having a dd in top set for languages (standard comprehensive), you speaking it to them will very quickly take them above what they are learning. Dd1 had a girl who was in a similar position and she was taken out of the class to do different work as what they were studying was not teaching her anything-and that set has just done the GCSE in year 9, so a good group.

Peruvianmumoftwo Fri 05-Jun-15 13:49:55

That is a better explanation for the refusal . Thank you for that.
Is it OK for a child to be number 10 one week on the waiting list and the following 2 weeks to be number 14? I asked for an explanation why this happened and they told me that more parents wanted their children to be on the "waiting list" after they told me her last position. Because they lived closer, those children went before my child. I understand now why this is called "waiting list" It means: Wait for someone else take your child's position no matter how early you put them in that list. All of this is so unfair!

PatriciaHolm Fri 05-Jun-15 14:01:06

Waiting lists are normally ordered by how well your child fits the admissions criteria, with distance usually being the key metric. So yes, your child can move down the lists if someone moves in who lives nearer the school or meets higher criteria such as having a sibling there, for example. That's standard I'm afraid.

Peruvianmumoftwo Fri 05-Jun-15 14:11:12

I think my daughter, who is my oldest child, has achieved well at school so far because she was spoken in English since she was born. To the contrary, i have talked to my son in Spanish since he was little. He is now below the national average so i talk to him just in English. Specially when i help him with his homework. This has helped him a lot to improve his learning. I just wanted my daughter to have more language input from the school i appealed for. I accept now this won't be like that. It is a dilemma: Spanish or English at home. Spanish to my daughter and English to my son?

titchy Fri 05-Jun-15 15:29:44

There is no evidence that bilingual children achieve less than monolingual. In fact the opposite is usually true. It is therefore EXTREMELY unlikely that your sons poorer progress is due to you speaking in another language. Speak your mother tongue to them both at home - please don't waste a truly valuable opportunity for them to be fluent in two languages.

Naynay2408 Fri 05-Jun-15 18:12:08

We live in Birmingham where a good majority of the kids speak English as a secound language. For example, we have a big Asian community here and most of the parents don't speak English at all. However the children are brilliant English speakers, and when they go home they speak their mother tongue brilliantly as well. Don't be put off, kids learn so fast it's truly amazing.

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