Appeals/offered school(4 Posts)
Hi all, a bit of advice needed please.
I am appealing for a place at an oversubscribed girls secondary in london which refused a place for my DD. In fact we didn't get any of the four schools we chose and were allocated a mixed "challenging" school we didn't want by the local council which I accepted anyway. The appeal hearing is next month.
However last week I got a letter offering a place at our third choice school, another girls school, and I'm not sure whether to accept.
My question is will accepting that offer go against me when I appeal? Will the appeal panel say, well you got your third choice, it's a good school, so be happy with that? Does it weaken the second stage of my appeal focusing on the needs of my daughter. One of my arguments was that I wanted a girls school, so now I have one will that go against me wanting a place at the school I'm appealing for?
I was going to accept the offer and still appeal, but am I in a stronger position if I don't accept the place. The deadline to submit all my appeal evidence has passed so I'm not sure I can update them on the new offer anyway. Will the appeal panel and the school I'm appealing against find out about the offer any?
So confused about what to do.
Can anyone help?
No, it won't go against you.
Because you are not appealing against your allocated school, but for the school you prefer, making the case as to why it is so particularly right for your DD (ie the benefit to her outweighs any detriment to the pupils by increasing numbers).
You are right though, you will need to explain why your DD will benefit from this specific and preferred all-girls school rather than just any single sex school.
As meditrina says, the best advice would be to accept the offer.
With or without it you would still need to explain why only this particular girls' school will meet your daughter's needs and interests. A case based on "any old girls' school will do" would not be that strong anyway (some people are tempted to approach grammar school appeals the same way i.e. to argue that their child is clever and needs a grammar school but then they lose the appeal because they don't focus enough on that particular school and what it offers - only on the fact that it is a grammar school).
It is quite possible that the panel will know what you have been offered since even academy offers go via the council and many academies allow the council to handle their appeals.
And finally, even if they did not know, you still may not win. Even the strongest appeal case will lose if the school persuades the panel that it is truly so full it cannot cope with any other children. There is nothing you can do to win if the school's case is very strong or if the appeal panel decides the school can cope with 3 more pupils but 3 other appeals heard with yours demonstrate compelling medical reasons.
It isn't worth risking a place at a school you find acceptable to gamble on the outcome of an appeal that you only have limited influence over and may not win.
Take the offer!
Don't take this the wrong way, but appeals are tough. We went through a similar thing a year ago and appealed for our first 2 choices but still failed. Follow tiggytape's advice, make sure your appeals focus on the right areas, what you say at the appeal will count for a lot as well as the evidence you have submitted so far.
Finally, if it doesn't work out, make you get on the waiting list for the schools you want. We've just now been offered a place after getting on the waiting list at Christmas, wish we had done it earlier! Some schools manage their own lists and some are done by the council. You also have to tell them at the end/start of each term that you want to stay on the list.
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