Academy Appeal(4 Posts)
There are 2 large secondary schools in our area, both of which have become Academies in recent years, both run by the Academy Enterprise Trust. (who wanted to merge them, but dropped plans in light of public opposition)
Academy A is 'Outstanding' and Academy B is 'Good'
We live nearer B but daughter attends feeder school nearer A. In previous years all children from feeder schools who wanted to, got into A.
However, A has added 2 further away feeder schools, and is now hugely oversubscribed. (455 applications for 180 places) We put Academy A as first choice and Academy B second, and got Academy B. DD very upset as all her friends (very small one class per year primary) got Academy A.
I feel our grounds for appeal are slim, but Academy A is known for being very 'sporty' which she is, as opposed to B which focuses more on music & drama.
I just feel it is 'greedy' for want of a better word, for the Academy to add extra feeder schools when it clearly cannot accomodate all the children from these feeder schools.
Any advice regarding the appeal process from parents more knowledgeable than me would be appreciated. She is on the waiting list for Academy A, but there are obviously a lot of children (over 20) ahead of her. Thank you
Don't get hung up on feeder schools in your appeal. Arguments about that are unlikely to succeed. Concentrate on the sporting activities academy A can offer your daughter that are missing from academy B. Make sure you include evidence of your daughter's interest in/aptitude for sport. You are trying to show that she will be disadvantaged if she doesn't go to academy A and that this outweighs the problems the academy will face if it has to cope with an additional pupil.
I appealed an academy and won last year.
I didn't mention the school she was given. At the appeal the council rep (this academy used the council to their appeals) pointed outage had been given a good school. I pointed out that with the fact there was no transport and I couldn't get her there and ds to his school.
Also the council have allowed hundreds of new houses in this schools catchment area, despite all the schools already being over subscribed. I didn't go down that route either.
Tbh in the end the council helped me out. They lied and skirted close to breaking the regulations. Which I feel helped. But you need to prove that the damage to your dd outweighs the damage of the school having an extra pupil. If that makes sense.
Remember it's their job to prove the right decision was made. It was difficult and emotionally draining. We did loads of research, read the guidelines.
When the council tried to reprimand dds sendco for supporting our appeal we knew that the regulations stated a teacher from the school you were appealing couldn't support but says nothing about teachers at primary school supporting it.
We brought that up as we felt the council was trying to prejudice our appeal by removing any support. If we hadn't have done so much research, we may not have known that.
I am not sure if this helped us win or not, as we didn't find out exactly why we won. But it didn't hurt.
AS PRH says concentrate on the sporting side and also look carefully at everything else that school A can offer that school B cannot. I am afraid that there will almost for sure be others appealing with exactly the same reasons, so anything else that you can highlight will be useful to differentiate your appeal from others.
In theory the fact that all the pupils from the current primary are going to school A should not have a bearing on the appeal but you never know what might be the thing that tips a decision in your favour, so I would include it but not over-emphasise.
In reality 455 for 180 places is not that high. If there is a balance of school places to pupils and every parent specifies 3 schools as preferences then you might expect the level of applications to be 3 X 180= 540
I would also look up all the PANs of the feeder schools of the secondary school and see what the actual figure is of possible applicants from the feeder schools as was and now with the newly added in feeder schools. If the figures do indicate that previously all would get in but now they do not, then that would also be a reason for appealing saying that the school is simply running an admission criteria which is now not viable with the new feeder schools. Obviously if the PAN total was already above the 180 PAN of the secondary school with the old feeder schools then do not mention it.
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