Waiting list query(6 Posts)
Sorry this is a bit long.
We missed out on a place at our first preference secondary school by 0.08 of a mile. I telephoned last week to ask where we were on the waiting list but was told it would be a couple of weeks before the information was available.
However, this week a few children from my daughter's school have been contacted and offered a place including a child who lives in our street, albeit a few metres closer as the bird flies than we are.
I'm hopeful that now puts us close to the top of the list but I haven't had a reply to my email sent yesterday about our position yet.
However, I have now discovered that a child in my daughters year who moved house recently (but before allocation day) and now lives further away than both us and a few other children has been offered a place off the waiting list.
Our LEA admissions policy says that if a child moves house between submitting the form and allocation of places the old address will be used but on waiting lists it says only the school oversubscription criteria applies and dates don't matter. I read this that if a child has moved further away before a place comes up then they will be moved down the list regardless of the fact that they lived closer previously.
So, the child in question was not offered a place on allocation day and was then offered a place off the waiting list..I am assuming she was offered based on her previous address but as the waiting lists only really came into play on 1st March and assuming her parent had not updated her address is the LEA at fault for not checking that her address had not changed before offering her a waiting list place.
I do not want to get the parent into any trouble but at an appeal how would this be looked at by a panel. I know the LEA might have acted in good faith but who's responsibility is it to ensure the waiting list is kept accurate and ensure places are offered to the correct children in the right order?
I would be quite upset if my daughter ended up missing out on a place because a child who lived further away had been offered it regardless of whether the parent had informed the LEA or not.
Where it says 'dates don't matter' doesn't this mean that it isn't a first come first served waiting list, ie you won't have priority over a new person joining the waiting list if they meet a higher admission criteria than you. I don't think it means the house moving dates are no longer relevant.
Bearing in mind that the child in question would only have joined the waiting list on 1st March along with 175 others when she and they did not get a place and already lived at her new address should she have been offered a place before a child who lives nearer. She does not meet criteria 1,2 and 3 and criteria 4 is distance from school as the crow flies.
Is she had been offered the place in the normal allocations I wouldn't query it as it is quite clear that old addresses will be used but she has been offered off the waiting list when over subscription criteria applies.
I think it would be the parents' responsibilty to inform the LEA that they have moved. I don't blame you for being annoyed they have taken the place that was rightfully yours.
There are a number of possibilities here. It could be that there was a mistake in the initial allocations and the LA has corrected that mistake. Another possibility is that the child now has an EHC plan naming the school. That would result in immediate admission regardless of any waiting list. It is possible the parents have not informed the LA they have moved. It is also possible the LA has made a mistake.
As far as an appeal goes, to win you would need to show that the LA has not administered the list correctly and when this child was admitted your child should have been at the head of the list. If you can show all of that you would have a very good chance of winning your appeal.
The only way forward is to go to appeal because that is where you and the panel can ask these questions and get answers.
The LA would normally take a couple of weeks to get the waiting list in order and as such I wonder why they are admitting in this interim period. Normally they would put the waiting list in order and then check the number of refusals that they have had for the school and admit that many based on a set day of doing that. After that the waiting list is fluid and is always in admission criteria order. If you know that other near you have been given a place then you need to be queering the distance the LA have for you (occasionally they do make a mistake) and also a clear statement of where you are in the waiting list. They cannot be filling places and not have an agreed waiting list!
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