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Appealing based on precisions of distance criteria

(15 Posts)
Jomomope Sun 05-Mar-17 09:40:48

We did not get our first choice for 35 metres, based on my measurement of distance (straigth line on googlemaps).
I am thinking about appealing. Taking the offical postal address we are 35metres away from the cutt of distance.Taken the back of our garden (some property legally), we are 30-40 metres closer to the school - so in theoretically!.
Any experience on appealing based on distance criteria?
Any sense of how to challange the precision of measurement?
Thanks,

Trb17 Sun 05-Mar-17 09:49:49

I've no experience of appealing but my daughter's school states in its admissions code that they will use the ordinance survey point which is usually the centre of the property. Might be worth checking what measurement method the school concerned says it would use.

meditrina Sun 05-Mar-17 09:52:32

Doesn't the back of the garden mean a longer journey? Or do you have a back gate that leads on to a different (and shorter) path?

Though you say it's a straight line distance, so that wouldn't make any difference,

And all applicants will have had their distance measured from a datum point for their address that is set by the same terms for all. So I don't think that there will be any prospect of making an appeal-winning argument based on saying you should have been treated differently to all other applicants on how distance is measured.

Pooka Sun 05-Mar-17 09:53:18

Locally, they measure from the front door of the applicant's house I believe, to the front/main gate of the school. I seem to recall that with dd, if they'd measured from the rear playground gate to our front door we would have been in, but they didn't, and so we weren't!

eddiemairswife Sun 05-Mar-17 10:09:22

In my LA they use a global positioning device which measures from a 'seed point' on the home to the school 'seed point'. It gives measurements to 6 decimal points.

Jomomope Sun 05-Mar-17 10:55:41

Thanks. I have checked the address point based on survey and gives a point in the middle of the road (5-10 metres away from the door and thus more distant to the school ). Also they take a point of in the middle of the playground of the school vs main entrance 50metres away closet to our house.
If I take the closest points I am definitely in.
The admission statement for the school is very vague. It does not establish the measurement point.
Any thoughts?

SoulAccount Sun 05-Mar-17 11:23:03

Do they not tell you which system they use?

I would ask what system they base their measurements on and go from there. The important thing is that they use the same mapping / measurement system for every applicant and apply it without mistake.

I don't think you can argue that if only they used a different method you would have got in.

But they should tell you.

Hopefully, bring so close, you will get a waiting list place? Good luck!

meditrina Sun 05-Mar-17 11:23:14

They'll have used the same point of the school for all applicants.

If the reference point they have used for you is not actually the correct one for your property, then yes there might be an error

(though that error possibly affects all other applicants too, so there's no way to be sure that your new distance will actually make you qualify for a place as their distances might all change too).

To know your datum point, you must have found info on measuring system used. So not clear what else you need to know.

Jomomope Sun 05-Mar-17 11:45:59

They used Ordnace survey data. Some websites also use it as data point. It shows a strange coordinates for our home a few metres away in the middle of the road. Anybody with experience in this detail?

tiggytape Sun 05-Mar-17 12:08:07

Have you found the council desription of which two points they used and checked it is crow flies distance?

If it is 'as the crow flies' the council use highly accurate software that fixes a datum point usually on the centre of your house and a datum point on the specified place at school that they measure to (the centre of the school gates, the centre of the school office or whatever is specified). The result is accurate down to fractions of a metre and has the same definition and points applied to everyone

When it is shortest walking route, it is also done by computer but with authorised routes plugged in. For example walking over a park or private land or using an unlit alleyway may not be allowed and the software avoids the unsafe and disallowed routes to find the shortest one between the point on your house and the point on each school.

Crow flies is pretty much 100% accurate (as long as they get your address right!) but shortest walking route is contested sometimes if parents believe there is a shorter route and have to debate with the council whether or not it falls into the official definitions of "safe"

If you are doing it at home, determining crow flies distance by measuring with a ruler and using the scale on the map to convert it to metres is accurate enough to find that you live 250m from a school that normally goes out to 800m. However it is not accurate enough if you live 780m from a school that normally goes out to 800m and you're trying to work out which of your neighbours may or may not get in. It would also not be accurate enough to dispute the council's figures if they say you are 801.28m away and you think it is more like 796m.

It seems though you have reason to doubt that the datum point is even fixed on your house. I am not sure how you have checked this but if you are in about doubt, you can ask the council for clarification. Many will send you a pdf document showing your house, your street, a big red dot fixed on an outline of your house and with a calculation to the corresponding datum point at school. That way, if your red dot is in the middle of the road, it can be challenged.

PanelChair Sun 05-Mar-17 12:21:52

You can't substitute your measurements from those generated by the computer package used by the LEA - they usually use a data point at the centre of your property and another on the school site. By all means check that their measurement is correct, for example, if they use safe walking route that they've included any permissible footpaths.

If you're saying that the data point for every house is actually in the middle of the road, you can query that, to check that it's been applied consistently to everyone, but you can't then argue that you should be a special case and they should have measured from your front door or back garden or whatever - if that did that for you, they'd have to do that for every child and you'd be no further forward.

Jomomope Sun 05-Mar-17 12:41:22

Thanks. They use as the crow flies approach. I was just surprised to see the data point in the ordnance survey online search (which is theorically the same that the LA would use). As we are a few metres away I still have hopes with the waiting list and any movements in the next few weeks/months (this is Norh London). I was just wondering whether appealing and challenging the measurement (as I feel there is case) could increase our chances.

SoulAccount Sun 05-Mar-17 12:58:55

If you know the exact programme / package that they use, and if you have access to the same package and think they have made a mistake or something has gone wrong, then appeal!

But arguing that they should use a point at the end of your back garden sounds unlikely to succeed. Likewise if they have used a point in the middle of the road, that sounds wrong.

prh47bridge Sun 05-Mar-17 14:57:34

I was just surprised to see the data point in the ordnance survey online search (which is theorically the same that the LA would use)

No, what you see online is not the same as the LA would use. They will almost certainly be using Ordnance Survey AddressBase. This is not available online - it is an expensive product. What you are looking at online is almost certainly the centre of your postcode. AddressBase is a lot more accurate than that.

admission Sun 05-Mar-17 17:45:18

I would ask the LA to clarify exactly what they are using for the datum point on the school and the datum point on your house. If they say that it is a set datum point which equates to the middle of the school and the middle of your house then I am afraid that the distance is going to be far more accurately measured then you can and any appeal will fail.
However if the datum point is on the front gate or the front door of the school or on the front door of your house then there is the start of an argument that the distances measured are not accurate enough because they are using different positions.For instance if they say, as has happened, the main gate of the school but actually there are a number of gates then that is then open to some interpretation, which could be more than 35 metres.
However I have to say that the accuracy of the measurement can be down to 10cm, when necessary, so your 35 metres is looking like it is not likely to be a winning arguement. Probably best to concentrate on appealing over other things to do with the school.

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