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Is it worth appealing? Advice needed!

(22 Posts)
HeyMacWey Fri 04-Mar-16 12:29:19

Ds didn't get into his first choice.

We are just outside the catchment area so low down the criteria. Previously children who lived in our area have got in its just that they've built loads of new homes in between the school and our house so the population has increased.

One of the reasons ds wanted to go was because they offer a gcse that no other local schools offer.

Can I appeal under the basis that no other school offers this option? I could probably get a supporting letter from his tutor that works with him outside school.

His primary is a feeder school but unfortunately they don't take this into account in their criteria.

Any ideas or guidance gratefully received grin

Brightnorthernlights Fri 04-Mar-16 13:35:33

My experience would be no. As a schools curriculum can (and does) change frequently, it is possible/probable that the specific subject your son wants to do may not even be offered in 5 years. Alternatively, the school he has an offer at might decide to pick the subject up. Your DS could always take this GCSE as an external student elsewhere.

If feeder status is not in the admissions criteria of the school you want, it is therefore not a feeder school. Lots of children going onto a certain secondary from a certain primary, does not make it a feeder school.

I would instead look into the wait list situation.

NynaevesSister Fri 04-Mar-16 13:48:52

Well actually I would say yes. It's worth a go as an appeal needs to focus on what the school can offer your child that they can't get elsewhere.

How likely it is though - you need one of the experts. Tiggy, Prh, Admissions.

HeyMacWey Fri 04-Mar-16 14:08:41

Thanks both - I have a disability and need to weigh up whether it's worth using the limited energy I have on an appeal grin

The primary regularly participates in events alongside the other 'feeder' schools and the secondary re: learning events. Shame this isn't reflected in the admissions criteria.

Hopefully Tiggy, Prh or admissions will see this.

HeyMacWey Fri 04-Mar-16 14:10:33

Waiting list info isn't published for a few weeks so wanted to start doing some research now as an aware deadline for appeal is short.

RandomMess Fri 04-Mar-16 14:16:19

First of all make sure you are on the waiting list and stay on the waiting list!!!!

No idea of chance of appeal success though.

HeyMacWey Fri 04-Mar-16 14:27:36

Yep - am on the waiting list. Don't know what place yet.

prh47bridge Fri 04-Mar-16 14:37:10

The fact that this school offers a GCSE that is not available from any other school in the area is definitely a point in your favour if you can show that it is relevant to your son's interests/abilities. Brightnorthernlights is right that it may change by the time your son is doing GCSEs - this school may have stopped offering it and/or other schools may be offering it. However, it suggests that your son's education will be prejudiced if he doesn't attend this school.

It will be even better if this subject is available to Y7 pupils at this school and not at others. That would help to undermine the argument that the curriculum may change.

I wouldn't regard this as a winning case on its own unless the school's case to refuse admission is very weak. But it is definitely a good start.

HeyMacWey Fri 04-Mar-16 14:47:24

Thank you - yes they do offer it at y7, other schools only do it as part of a subject.

tiggytape Fri 04-Mar-16 16:25:22

It's a shame the feeder school status isn't admissions related - it sounds like they act as linked schools in some respects. I am sure you have double checked the published criteria but is it definitely the case that no priority given based on primary school?
Assuming the published criteria give no priority for attending the primary that everything prh says about prejudice to his education and the benefits the appeal school would bring.

Sorry if it's a personal question but are there any elements of your disability that may be relevant too?
eg if DS is a young carer, it would be important to explain why he needs to be able to travel to school easily, get home in good time or might need particular support that this school can offer. It might also be relevant if you were appealing for a school that was accessible for you to be able to attend parents' meetings, information evenings etc in order to support his education and the home-school relationship.

In addition, you can also look on the school website and in newsletters to get a feel for anything else this school offers that would benefit DS. It may be the way they arrange the curriculum or pastoral support or clubs or activities they have or links with industries he's interested in or languages they offer.
You don't have to have dozens of reasons but 2 or 3 key ones might help.

tiggytape Fri 04-Mar-16 16:26:35

(please don't feel obliged to answer any medical stuff here - it was more to give to points to think about that might be relevant)

HeyMacWey Fri 04-Mar-16 16:33:30

Yes - it's definitely not in the criteria - I've double and triple checked grin

I'm not sure if there's anything relevant re:my disability - the only thing I can think off is they he developed anxiety not long after I became ill so I was wondering if I could use maintaining peer links as an argument? His anxiety wasn't diagnosed by a gp, but he was seen by the school psych and we've managed it within the family - haven't bothered with the gp as didn't want to make it into an issue for him.

HeyMacWey Fri 04-Mar-16 16:34:00

Of not off

woodlands01 Fri 04-Mar-16 17:06:37

My friend won an appeal 2 years ago. There were some academic reasons. There were also emotional issues as she was very ill and raised the emotional need of her son to be with my son (they were very close) to support him through her recovery.
She was the only one to win the appeal out of over 50 - I truly believe it was the emotional issues and she had no extra medical evidence other than it being obvious she was ill with cancer. If you have medical evidence of your sons anxiety I would definitely include this as part of the appeal.

tiggytape Fri 04-Mar-16 17:20:37

Yes the need for peer support can definitely be raised.
Ideally all 11 year olds want to stay with their friends so usually it's not strong grounds for appeal but where a child has suffered anxiety or upset of some kind which means they rely on their friend's support more than most then this can be part of an appeal case.
It would be good if the school would write to confirm this and to say they support your view that it is in his best interests to remain with friends because of this.

HeyMacWey Fri 04-Mar-16 19:01:13

Thank you - It sounds like all is not lost then.
I'll do some research and I'm sure I'll be back with more questions.

swingofthings Sat 05-Mar-16 11:25:30

A friend of mine appealed on this basis but got nowhere. Her son had been taking private Chinese lessons and wanted to do it as a GCSE and only that school offered it as an option/GCSE. The panel said that he could continue to study for it privately and take the GCSE as in independent student. She was very dissapointed at the time.

Saying that, he was put on the waiting list for the school, got on with the other one, which turned out not to be as bad as she feared, and forgot about the other one. Out of the blue a year later, she got a call to say he was at the top of the list and whether he would take the place. They had little time to think it through, by then, the decision was clear cut as he had adjusted to his new school, but in the end, did take the place offered.

He isn't taking Chinese as a GCSE now!

catslife Sun 06-Mar-16 18:02:22

It is worth a try OP but GCSEs are being reformed and there are some subjects offered as GCSEs now that may not be available in a few years time.
The list of the timetable for the reformed GCSEs is listed here

HeyMacWey Sun 06-Mar-16 21:19:37

Thanks - that's really useful - it's still in the list but like you say there's no way of knowing if it'll still be offered in a few years time.

HeyMacWey Mon 21-Mar-16 13:21:29

Right I've gathered lots of supporting information from tutors etc ready for the stage one appeal - do I need to request info from the school re: additional entry not prejudicing the education of the other pupils at this stage?

Or do I do this when the school give their statement prior to the stage two appeal?

prh47bridge Mon 21-Mar-16 23:48:07

You should get most of the information you need when you get your copy of the school's case to refuse admission. It may be worth asking for the calculated net capacity figures. That should be two figures, a maximum and a minimum. The actual net capacity will be somewhere between those two figures. If it is towards the bottom end of the range that helps to show that the school can handle more pupils.

HeyMacWey Tue 22-Mar-16 06:23:58

Great - thank you.

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