In year appeal(14 Posts)
Has anyone ever won an in year appeal? I am attempting to move my son in year 8 from one local school to another. I'm aware that there are places at the preferred school, but his application has been tuned down due to behavioural issues brought up by his current school. His current school has him on report for lateness to lessons and not submitting homework (nothing serious or violent etc) He is extremely miserable at school, has no friends etc. Can the refuse him just like that?
A Governing Body can, in very exceptional circumstances, try to refuse to admit a child with "challenging behaviour" on an in-year transfer, by claiming the admittance would prejudice the education of the other children attending. However, this is a very high bar to set and an appeals panel would need to see very strong evidence from them that they, for example, already have a high level of students with challenging behaviours in order to accept that as reason not to admit if they have a space. I've not seen a school succeed yet.
If it is an Academy, the LEA cannot force it to accept the child, only the Secretary of State can (or a won appeal). From what you have said, it doesn't sound as if he would fall under the above criteria though - the issues sound minor and nothing a good school won't be used to handling. Has he had any periods of exclusion? A school can refuse to take a child who has been permanently excluded twice within the previous 2 years, but I'm assuming that's not true here.
I would notify the school/admissions authority of your intention to appeal on the grounds that the school has breached the admissions code by failing to offer a place when one is available. I would hope it would not come to actually having to go through the appeal as any school that understood the admissions code would realise it will not get away with this.
Thanks for that info. No he has never been excluded and the incidents were very minor. The letter I got from the LEA stated that after a meeting the outcome was the it would be in his best interest to stay at his current school. That's all the info I got. He was so distressed that in the meantime I have de-registered him and offered to home-school until it is sorted out.
This is not good enough. If he has never been excluded I would agree with PatriciaHolm that this is a breach of the Admissions Code. I would expect you to win any appeal.
It is clearly a breach of the Admissions Code and from what you have said the LA is also complicit in writing that the answer is your son should stay in the current school.
You have unfortunately made a mistake in de-registering him as you have given the LA a perfect reason to hide behind - it is now your problem to either home educate or find him a school. I would put in an immediate request for a place at your preferred school as see what happens. If the school has a place in the year cohort, that is the are not upto PAN, then they cannot refuse to give you the place
I did fear this when I re-registered him, but I couldn't see him unhappy any longer. I have appealed against this decision and also put in another request for a place at another local school. Will wait to see what happens.
Just bumping this thread again as due to go to appeal hearing in next few days. I've received paperwork re: school appeal and the head is refusing my DS due to the fact that his previous school stated that he had challenging behaviour (although he was not excluded). They have attached a paper with lots of figures and percentages basically saying that admitting another pupil with challenging behaviour would seriously prejudice the others as they already have too many of those already. Do I still have a chance? and should I show up for the appeal? Will my being there make a difference?
Yes you do have a very good chance. Point out that paragraph 1.9g of the Admissions Code specifically prohibits schools from taking into account reports from previous schools about children's past behaviour in determining whether or not to admit the child. The only exception is if a child has been permanently excluded from 2 or more schools in the previous 2 years. That is not the case here so they haven't got a leg to stand on.
If you do not turn up for the hearing the panel will decide the case purely on the written cases. I would strongly recommend showing up and putting your case in person.
Yes, do go. If possible get hold of a copy of the School Admissions Code, so you can refer to the relevant parts during the appeal. The panel should have their own copies and be familiar with it.
Is transferring to a school that claims to have issue with challenging behaviour the best thing for your DS though? Is there a risk that the reasons why he ended up feeling miserable in his old school reciprocate in the other one?
What was the reason for picking the other school in the first place and what is it about the other school that you think will mean that he will settle better?
Thank you people. Swingofthings...I did think about this when I read the head's report :/ But most of the schools here in our area have pupils with challenging behaviour. This one has a good name. I chose the other school mainly as it was the smallest and closest to home. It is a very new school handled by an educational trust with a very strong Christian ethos. I am hoping he will settle better if he gets in to this new school as he has already a few friends there (who are well-behaved), also it is a long-established school with a rep for being fun, fair and inclusive. Who knows...fingers crossed and hope for the best.
This is a significant mistake by the school in coming up with this as the reason why they should not admit. As others have said, it is simply not allowed to consider information from the previous school.
However in defense of the school, I suspect that overall they have a very weak case and that this is just an attempt to make their case look stronger than it is, which is going to back-fire on them.
Well I lost the appeal.... On the grounds that accepting my son would dilute the support that the school has in place for pupils with challenging behaviour. I got the feeling after the first 5 minutes that the panel were leaning towards the schools argument. Not worth re-applying for anywhere yet as our house is on the market and possible moving area (from east to west sussex) I was informed by LEA though...that whatever school I apply for in the future, it will automatically go to the BAPS behaviour and attendance panel....So at the moment we are indefinitely home schooling. Makes me laugh (sarcastically) though, that if whilst in school, they miss a day or two there is uproar and its "affecting their education". Now I'm in a situation where my DS has been without a school place since Christmas and no one seems to give a shit!
I am appalled. It seems like the appeal panel has condoned the school's behaviour in breaking the Admissions Code. And I'm not sure what the LA means by its comments. They cannot simply refuse to accept your son into any school.
If you want to take this further you can refer the matter to the LGO (or the EFA if this is an academy). I would argue that the appeal panel has itself broken the Admissions Code by taking into account information about your son's behaviour contrary to paragraph 1.9g of the Code.
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