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Appeal application-please read

(28 Posts)
4men1lady Fri 03-Mar-17 13:18:10

Hello everyone,

I posted the other day and got some fantastic advice about what to put in an appeal for my child who didn't get any of our 3 choices.

I've been doing a lot of research on how to make my child more suitable for chosen school and I am going down the route of what the school offers in terms of subjects that my child is good at, and in comparison it does offer more than the school we've been given. So was wondering if anyone would read my appeal before I send it today. The school has advised me to get it in asap.

Here goes:
As a family, it is felt that dc would be better suited at school for many reasons.
Dc excels in many subjects, maths, drama and PE. School can provide and extensive range of enrichment and extra curricular activities is these subjects which will greatly benefit dc and lead him on to gain gcse's in these areas. The school that has been offered to us doesn't quite provide the same amount of opportunities which won't enable dc to reach his full potential.
Dc is proud to say his favourite subject is maths was is eager to take part in the many extra curricular activities on offer that school provides that other schools don't.

That is where I have got up to so far, it is only a rough draft but won't be super grateful if anyone can help.

Also, I have since found out they normally take 240 pupils per year but last year they took 263, do I include this in the appeal?

Thank you.

TeenAndTween Fri 03-Mar-17 13:39:45

I'm not an expert having never appealed.
But:
It doesn't read as being very specific to me.

Can you show his interest in drama for example going to outside drama groups. Can you be specific about the extra drama at allocated school, e.g. runs a y7-9 drama club on Mon pms, offered school offers no extra curricular.

Similarly maths. Has he taken part in primary maths challenge or anything similar? What specifically does preferred school offer over and above normal lessons? Does it currently also offer Further Maths in y11 (though this might go anyway).

PE. What sports. Has he represented school or outside clubs. What does offered school not do that your preferred one does?

I also don't think you should rush to appeal. Better to build a good case and take a week or two to prepare it. There is probably a date to appeal by, and then they will hear all appeals together later on.

No doubt panelchair, tiggy, admission and prh will be along soon with better advice.

lougle Fri 03-Mar-17 13:41:01

I can see what you're trying to do, but you'll need to be very much more specific if you want to succeed, because so far you're basically saying 'this school is better than the others and my DS deserves a good school to help him reach his potential', which is what every parent would say. The official line is that all schools can cater for children of all abilities other than children who require special school.

So you really need to find out what specifically is different about your appeal school. Is there a particular after school club? Is there a subject on offer? Does it offer a particular enrichment scheme? Does he attend an after school activity that links with the school?

Yes, mention the numbers.

TeenAndTween Fri 03-Mar-17 13:41:11

extra drama at allocated preferred school

4men1lady Fri 03-Mar-17 13:42:28

Thank you..I think I do need to do more comparing with both schools. This is just a draft but was wondering if I was going down the right route.

I think I've panicked a bit with the school saying get it in asap.

4men1lady Fri 03-Mar-17 13:45:18

I can't tell you all just how much I appreciate all your help. I only have one shot at this so really want to get this right.

Witchend Fri 03-Mar-17 13:47:56

I would have thought you need more detail.

Ds excels in lots and this school will give him more things to do...
I think you need to say precisely how you know he excels (his school invited him to a G&T maths event/he represents the school athletics team at county wide events etc) and what the other school offers exactly(they sit maths a year early and do additional maths; they have connections to a local athletics club and have an after school coaching session all year round) type of thing.

If I was on a panel (I'm not) I would look at your statement and find it very general, and wonder if you'd actually done any research into your chosen school or just knowing that was the sort of thing you had to write for appeal.

4men1lady Fri 03-Mar-17 14:11:05

Ok..I think I have to agree.
Dc doesn't particularly do any other after school activities other than sport..he does absolutely everything with regards to sports clubs. Maybe I should go down that route. His current school doesn't provide maths clubs etc but he would definitely want to do them if they were available.

I will try again over the weekend.

boobyooby Fri 03-Mar-17 14:44:39

We are in the same situation. My brain feels about to pop.

How did you find out the admission numbers for this year and the previous?

Should we ask for DS to be put on waitlist too, can we ask for his number in queue and what waitlist there was last yr v how many got in?

Is there any weight to teachers from primary school writing letters to support appeal (not sure if Ive read elsewhere this isn't allowed?)

Any help gratefully received .... first 2 children were a breeze but we now in a different area to their old schools so no sibling connections sad

tiggytape Fri 03-Mar-17 14:53:48

Thank you..I think I do need to do more comparing with both schools. This is just a draft but was wondering if I was going down the right route.

I dont' think comparing both schools is necessarily the way to go. You don't want to fall into the trap of turning your appeal into a list of reasons you don't want the allocated school because all the panel want to know is why you do want the appeal school.

I think it possibly needs to be more specific and you could use the school website and newsletters to help you. For example:

My son is gifted at maths and recently won the bronze award at school in his maths challenge. The appeal school offer both maths and further maths at GCSE and A Level and this is important to my son as they are likely to be options he selects. Further maths is not offered at any other local school. The appeal school also has a Wednesday lunchtime maths workshop for those keen to try challenging maths puzzles and has close links with the local college's maths department including Year 10 and 11 visits for those who may be considering a degree or career in maths. I feel these opportunities, not offered at other local schools would be of benefit to my son in matching his educational needs and preferences.

4men1lady Fri 03-Mar-17 15:06:59

Booby..it's mind boggling isn't it.
I rang up the pupil admission dept and they told me the numbers of pupils they took last year. I also asked what the last distance offered was which was 1.5m, we are 1.57 so that drops us down one in the criteria.

Dc primary school head teacher has also offered to supprt the appeals by writing a letter but not sure if this is worth it??

Unfortunately, his current school don't run anything with regards to after school maths but it is his favourite subject and I know he would explore this further given the chance. Offered school doesn't provide after school maths activities but appeal school takes part in maths challenges etc.

Also, offered school don't compete or offer the sport that dc play out of school and has done in primary school. Not sure if that'll provide any weight!

4men1lady Fri 03-Mar-17 15:08:30

Yes I know what you mean tiggy, I will avoid what the offered school don't have and focus on what appeal school does have. But your last paragraph is exactly how I wanted to word it. I'll use that as a draft smile thank you again!

eddiemairswife Fri 03-Mar-17 15:10:13

I would also say take your time and listen to advice given on here. So long as your appeal is received before the deadline there is no advantage to sending it in early. Also check whether you need to request to be on the waiting list. In my LA some of the academies have changed over the last two years from automatically putting unsuccessful applicants on their waiting lists to only putting them on if requested.

4men1lady Fri 03-Mar-17 15:10:46

Booby..our deadline to get on the reserve list is 10th march. After then, I've been told to ring up and find out where on the reserve list we are. But yes, get dc down on as many reserve list as possible.

Also found out that 20 appeals were successful last year!

boobyooby Fri 03-Mar-17 15:12:28

OK I will call them now then and gets some facts and figures together and ask for the distance too.

I had read somewhere that LEA do not accept letters from primary head / teachers etc as it is not allowed but am on a fact finding mission to see if this is true. DS doesn't really have any over-riding star qualities that the preferred school will give him but I will look further into this.

He does sort of know what direction he wants to do as a career so this might be worth me looking into as future options may well be disadvantaged at the school he was offered as they can't offer him sixth form in the subject he would need v school one I think does, this may well be my lead advantage at present!

Stay in touch .... think I might need a glass of wine tonight though

ALittleMop Fri 03-Mar-17 15:14:05

Really think why it is you want that school
And how your DS needs are best met by it
Academic AND pastoral

I have a friend who appealed on the basis of a particular sport only being available at their preferred school. Was turned down as the prejudice to the school was obviously greater than the disadvantage to the child. He got in from the waiting list.

At only 0.07 of a km from furthest offered - unless you are in London - you might find sufficient people go private/move/change preference that you get offered something

Setterlover Fri 03-Mar-17 15:16:14

I wouldnt count on last years as an indication of how many will win this year. It would help you in saying the school can cope with extra in the year, but equally the school could say that another big year would be impossible to manage given the overall numbers in the school

I've won 3 appeals now, each very different reasons but they were very compelling and were backed up by multiple professional letters.

My sons school appeals last few years
Won/number of appeals

2016. 2/54
2015 3/43
2014 14/38

Setterlover Fri 03-Mar-17 15:18:06

And both my children had letters written by headteacher. Mostly about how their medical conditions affected them day to day at school and their involvement in the social aspects of our appeals.

TeenAndTween Fri 03-Mar-17 15:22:01

Are your last distance offered figures for this year?
So last distance offered was 1.5miles and you are 1.57 miles?

I would have thought you will be near the top of the wait list then, so fingers crossed you get in from there.

4men1lady Fri 03-Mar-17 15:35:28

Yes, just out by 0.07. Fingers crossed it doesn't get to the appeal stage! I have heard of a few people getting our appeal school who didn't want it and are appealing for another school so hopefully it frees up enough space for us!

Reception lady at appeal school said appeal success rate is quite good and the head does their best to get as many in as possible!

boobyooby Fri 03-Mar-17 15:52:52

Just had an encouraging convo with admissions department, including places offered this yr was 285 v last year at 308 so it seems there is room for more.

Talked me through appeal process and that they do accept letters from Primary School so will get those included .... awaiting appeal pack through post from the council now, hoping its on doormat when I get in from work.

and breathe cake

Acornantics Fri 03-Mar-17 16:18:47

booby we appealed a couple of years ago, and included letters from the primary head teacher and the school counsellor, and these were accepted by the panel as supporting evidence. They may/may not have made a difference, but we felt it was a case of creating as robust an appeal case as possible, and these formed part of it. We mentioned DSs career aspirations and why the school in question had the best facilities/clubs/extra curricular activities to support his continued development.

As it was, our appeal was upheld because the school (which was the admissions authority in this case) had made an error during the application process, and we had written evidence to support this.

4men1lady Fri 03-Mar-17 17:59:13

Just thought..could I also go down the route of outlining subjects dc doesn't excel in and how the appeal school can offer more than other schools in respect of improving these areas?

tiggytape Fri 03-Mar-17 18:37:41

Yes - if it is something special or different they do. If for example they have a specialist intervention scheme for children who need extra help with literacy (or whatever it may be) that would help a child starting secondary school below the expected standard, then you can say that a child who struggles in that area would benefit from being able to access help that isn't offered to the same degree elsewhere.

Of course though all schools are going to work on helping along children who struggle in any area so it would probably have to be something above and beyond the norm that this school does.

ALittleMop Fri 03-Mar-17 18:44:34

Are you appealing for all 3 schools?

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