Appeal process(12 Posts)
This is my second thread on here regarding the appeal process for secondary school. As it stands we didn't get any of our top 3 choices.
I have read some good advice but wanted to know what I could do to help my child fit the criteria for a particular school! There are no siblings at any school so I'm trying to gather info/evidence on why he fits a certain school.
Any information will be gratefully received!
Also, how can I prove the balance of predjuice? On what grounds can I say it's more detrimental to my child to not attend chosen school?
I posted on your other thread, as did tiggy
You need first of all to check that no obvious error has been made (described on other thread).
If there doesn't appear to be a processing error, then you are appealing in the grounds of 'balance of prejudice'
You need to show why attending the appealed-for school (or schools) is so very much in your DC's interests that it outweighs the disadvantage to the school of having an additional pupil.
So finding out things like whether the school has in the (recent) past had year groups that exceed the PAN (Permitted Admission Number, ie the number of places they offer) might help your case, as it weaken their case that they cannot cope with extras at all.
But you also need to show why your DC needs this school. Does it perhaps offer a language that others don't and your DC has a demonstrable interest or competency in? Or if your DC is musical, does it have an orchestra, when others don't? Or offer a particular sport? Or some other subject? Or have some other facility/experience that you can show is unusually important to your DC?
Some appeals are about rectifying mistakes eg "my son has a sibling in Year 9 but the LA overlooked this on my form so he hasn't been allocated a place when all sibling should have been"
However most appeals aren't about trying to prove you fit criteria that you don't meet. They are about showing that attending a particular school is in the best interests of your child. Some two examples might be:
"My son is a keen musician and wishes to attend this school as it is the only school in the area with an orchestra and the only one that offers music at both GCSE and A Level. The school also offers music trips abroad and the opportunity to learn several additional instruments in it's specialist program. My son would benefit from being able to access these facilities"
"My son has ADHD. The school we are appealing for has specialist TAs trained in this condition and also measures in place that would help my son to be able to fully access the curriculum at school such as X, Y and Z. No other school in the area has such a specialist approach to this.
Balance of prejudice weighs your case against the school's. Some schools have a very strong case to resist more pupils joining eg Victorian school on a tiny site with narrow corridors and virtually no lab space. They can say that taking extra pupils will harm the education of current pupils.
Other schools have a far weaker case. Perhaps they already have classes of 31 or 32 in some other year groups and cope just fine for example.
You and the school tell the panel your reasons for wanting / refusing the place and the panel decides whose reasons are stronger. So you don't need a hugely strong argument necessarily - just one marginally stronger than the school's objections.
Really sorry for putting two threads on.
Your advice is really valuable. I'm just trying to gather as much info as possible.
They way you have both explained it to me feels much clearer. I sometimes struggle to process information and take an understanding from it (got a lot going on other than school issues).
I will try my best to compare the schools in the area and fit him into it somehow!
No problem 4men. Having one thread just keeps all the information in the right place. There are others who will be able to advise too and your thread will get bumped up again each time you post or someone else replies.
What are your main reasons for wanting the appeal school? You don't have to name the school or anything but if you outline why you want it, there may be some more specific advice to offer.
Also, do I ring the school directly to find out if they have exceeds the PAN?
For a while now I have felt my son needs a little extra support but primary school hasn't picked up on it. I'm guessing a mild form of dyspraxia..he just ticks a few of the boxes but I have no experience in this, I just feel there's something not quite right. The school of choice has a very good additional student support service which I would be keen for him to use, should we/he feels he needs it. The school I'm appealing for doesn't stand out from the rest in regards to ofsted reports but I feel they can offer my son more than the school we've been given can.
If you go for that argument in appeal (and it could be a strong one) the thing you will need is a professional opinion about your DS's needs, and the kind of support he needs in school (ideally with the professional stating that the desired school is the only, or by far the best, in providing that support). A parent thinking he might tick a few boxes isn't going to be strong enough.
I think you need an ed psych report as soon as possible. You need something concrete to offer the appeal panel.
You might also need an Occupational Therapist for dyspraxia
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