School appeal question

(19 Posts)
ClarasZoo Sun 26-Jun-16 15:17:09

What happens if I am not offered a place when I am higher up than someone else on the waiting list who has been offered a place? If it is a mistake by local authority, do I automatically get offered a place? I don't want them to lose their place though!

TeenAndTween Sun 26-Jun-16 15:21:46

Were they offered a place from the waiting list, or on appeal?

Are you sure you were higher up, or are you just assuming?

ClarasZoo Sun 26-Jun-16 15:25:28

They were on the waiting list. Confirmed with actual parent. They were the same category as us - confirmed with parent. They said that they had a sibling, which is correct but the rules say that the sibling only counts if they have attended the school for a term, which they have not. Hence I think that they have been incorrectly allocated the place due to sibling link. We are closer on distance. The family is lovely and I am sure NO WAY did this on purpose, I think it is the authority's error, but it is annoying to say the least!

Floggingmolly Sun 26-Jun-16 20:35:24

Who told you your positions on the waiting list?

lougle Sun 26-Jun-16 21:02:06

If you were in the same category and if you are closer in distance and if they were offered a place from the waiting list, then that place was yours. In which case you would win any appeal because

"a panel must uphold an appeal at the first stage where: .... b) it finds that the admission arrangements did not comply with admissions law or had not been correctly and impartially applied, and the child would have been offered a place if the arrangements had complied or had been correctly and impartially applied; ...."
(School Admission appeals code 2012, pg 15).

Any sensible LA would award the place one the mistake was pointed out, but some will take it to appeal.

ClarasZoo Sun 26-Jun-16 22:02:29

Thank you for the replies. I think it does seem like a mistake, although I could hear shortly that we also have a place I guess - I will give them a call on Monday....
I guess the point might be that we were not in the same category, but we should have been if there was no sibling properly counting under the admission arrangements....They got the place because they were (perhaps) incorrectly placed in a higher group...

prh47bridge Sun 26-Jun-16 22:06:19

If a mistake has been made the LA should offer you a place automatically. However you may find that they insist on an appeal to sort things out.

admission Sun 26-Jun-16 22:58:43

Is the bit about the sibling having to be at the school for a term before the other sibling gets sibling priority actually in the admission criteria? I ask because it is not a usual admission criteria, though I can understand why it might be there.
Is this an LA maintained school or is an "own admission school", where a changed admission criteria might not have been appreciated by the LA admission team offering the place.

Spindelina Mon 27-Jun-16 12:53:48

If everything had been done properly, should you have got the place? There isn't another child in the same category who is closer or whatever? Because you will only get a place if the mistake cost you one that should have been yours.

PatriciaHolm Mon 27-Jun-16 13:04:26

Spindling has a key point - do you know you are top of the waiting list? Whilst it may be the case that this place has been awarded incorrectly, you will only be awarded a place if it was you who should have got it (i.e. it won't be the case that everyone above the other family will be offered a place if it was awarded incorrectly.)

Also - are you absolutely sure you are nearer using the distance measurement that the admissions authority use? It could be straight line, it could be shortest safe walking route and they will be able to measure it far more accurately than you can on say Google Maps.

ClarasZoo Tue 28-Jun-16 10:35:35

I have some more information. We were second on the list to a child, let's call him Z, who was offered a place last week. Z was placed in a higher category than us and here it is

C. Children who live within the catchment area with brothers or sisters who have attended ****** for at least one term and will be on roll at the time their younger sibling joins ************.

Z's sibling has not attended for at least one term - she is starting year 7 in September 2016. In any event, category C only works if the child on the waiting list is younger than the sibling. In this case Z is older.

I am trying to contact the Local Authority but so far no one has been available to discuss this case in detail.
What should happen now? It seems a clear mistake to me. Z and my child should be in the same category and we live nearer. I don't want Z to lose his place at all, but this doesn't seem fair. Z won't lose out though will he - if they admit a mistake is another place offered? I don't want Z to lose his place, but just for us to get one too!

Arkwright Tue 28-Jun-16 11:38:38

Yes they can remove Z's place. A school near me gave some places in error they removed all the places and the children had to go to new schools. I would ring your Local Authority and ask to speak to the Admissions Manager.

ClarasZoo Tue 28-Jun-16 12:23:11

Well I just don't want to do anything if it will mean Z loses his place. I couldn't do that to another kid, even at the expense of my own. After all Z thinks he is going there. Is there really a chance that Z could lose their place?

prh47bridge Tue 28-Jun-16 13:10:50

Yes they can remove Z's place

They can but most admission authorities won't. It is much simpler just to admit the child that should have got the place then wait until 2 have left before admitting any more.

ClarasZoo Tue 28-Jun-16 14:04:29

here is an interesting conundrum for you - what if last week A should have been offered a place but B (top of list) was offered it instead in error. A was second on the list last week. This week, C joins and is now above A.
If B's place was offered in error last week, would C or A be offered the place now?
I think I am saying, if an error is made, do they look back in time at the point of error to see who was disadvantaged then (at point of error last week). So my thinking is that A should get a place because A would have got a place last week if it hadn't been offered to B in error. C is irrelevant. Is that right?

prh47bridge Tue 28-Jun-16 14:53:42

Definitely A. If an error is made they have to look at the situation as it should have been at that time. So you are correct.

ClarasZoo Tue 28-Jun-16 14:55:16

Thank you - that's good because I think we are A and there may be a C!

tiggytape Tue 28-Jun-16 14:59:35

As prh47bridge says, it is accepted that waiting list positions are changing all the time but, if somebody else was offered a place on a day that you were top of the waiting list, then that place should be yours.
Who comes along after that event and their position relative to you is irrelevant.

If this is definitely what happened then the admissions authority should offer you a place without even having to appeal but, as others have said, sometimes they do take it all the way to appeal where you should win (assuming this isn't a wholesale error affecting dozens of people)

ClarasZoo Mon 04-Jul-16 19:22:09

Here is an update. The Council have offered a place at the school which is good news. I don't know if they offered it because they made a mistake or because a place came up anyway. I suspect the former but I don't think the Council will admit it. Thank you to everyone for their help!

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