Successfully winning a school appeal(10 Posts)
So..waited to as I was excited to see what offer we would get for ds.
Turns out we didn't get any of our top 3, in fact the school that we've been offered wouldn't even be in our top 5.
Any one out there know how to successfully win an appeal. Also, I want to get on the waiting list first thing so do I contact school of choice?
Sorry about the poor English. I'm quite pent up with sickness and anxiety, dreading telling ds in the morning.
We didn't get ours either. Ds didn't get into the school his sister goes to. Devastated.
I feel your pain
It's awful isnt it. Appeal will be going in first thing.
On what grounds would you be appealing?
Re ds, you need to be positive about the school he's been allocated. That is most likely the school he'll be going to do try to hide your own concerns and focus on positives for him.
I'd slow down getting your appeal in as you can't add to it later. In the hearing you can't bring up things that you haven't submitted in your appeal documents so it's important to get everything in there.
You are appealing for the school you want not saying anything about the school you don't want. So if it offers Italian and your allocated school doesn't and your dc is going to be a fashion designer that is relevant. If his friend Luke is going to the school you want and they have been best friends since reception that is not.
You are more likely to get a place from the waiting list than through the appeal route. I am not saying don't appeal, but do get on all 3 of your choice school's waiting lists. There is a lot of movement from the lists as people accept and reject places.
The first and most important message is do not reject the current offer, no matter how much you dislike the school (unless you think you can arrange a private school place in time or can HE)
Accepting the offer makes no difference to your chances both at appeal and of getting a place from the waiting list.
Secondly, most LEAs add you automatically to the waiting lists for schools you applied. It is however worth ringing to check.
Thirdly, you can take your time in preparing an appeal - all appeals lodged by the deadline will be heard in the same batch, and further offers (if any) will all be made then.
You need to think about grounds for appeal. For secondary, there are two main possibilities
a) something wrong with the process: mistake in allocations by LEA (is your DC in the right admissions category, does the distance to the school look right?) or an illegal criterion (very unlikely) or a decision so unreasonable that it's perverse (eg precipitates a child protection issue, threshold very high for this one)
b) balance of prejudice
This means the detriment (prejudice) to the school and its other pupils in admitting one more pupil is less than the detriment to your DC if they do not go there. Remember you are appealing for the school you want (not against the one you don't like). What is it about this school (or schools) that make them particularly suitable for your DC?
meditrina has it spot on.
Don't panic and don't reject the school you have been offered.
The next step is to ensure you are added to the waiting list of each and every school you prefer to the one you have been offered. This is usually automatic in the case of schools you ranked higher on your form but always check
Waiting lists are important because they will start moving in a few weeks whereas appeals are usually heard in May or June.
Then look at your offer - do you think there has been an error:
If you don't get into your preferred schools, they must explain to you why. Some letters are a lot less helpful than others but they will tell you if you ask. It is helpful to look at this just on the very rare chance there's been an error:
You should ask 3 main questions if you suspect a distance dispute for example:
1. "Which category was my child placed in?"
2. "What was the last distance offered in that category?"
3. "What distance have you calculated we live from the school?"
Then check whether you agree. If they placed you in the "no siblings" or "no church attendance" category is that correct?
If distance is the tie breaker and some people in your category got in but you didn't, ask the council what the distance to your home is. Does it sound about right? There's no point quibbling over 10m because their system is more accurate than anything you calculate at home but if they seem to be 900m out then something has potentially gone wrong.
If after all that, the rejection is correct and you wish to appeal, you will be looking usually at medrina's b) category called Balance Of Prejudice.
You fill in the appeal form
Send it back on time
State why you want the school
Reasons should be things that benefit your child rather than childcare or transport arrangements where disability isn't a factor
You will be invited to a hearing
The panel will listen to what you and the school say (the school say they are full but the panel judge if they can take more)
Whoever has the strongest (even by a fraction) case wins
If you win, your child gets a place and doesn't have to wait on the waiting lists anymore.
If you set out your reasons for wanting the schools you wish to appeal to, you'll be able to get advice here on what is your strongest argument and what you can ask the school to chip away at their case to refuse.
There's a rather useful school admissions pack available here
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