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Should we turn down allocated school?

(54 Posts)
Holymoly321 Thu 09-Mar-17 13:39:02

Hello, DS did not get offered any of his choices and has been allocated a totally unacceptable school. It's currently just six portacabins in a very run down area crime ridden area and he is not going to go there even if we have to sell our home and send him to private school. We will be appealing for his 1st choice, but wonder if declining the allocated school now would affect the appeal in a positive (i.e. He will have NO school and so needs to be helped) or whether it would have a negative effect on the appeal. Any advice most welcome. We are so tempted just to refuse this place now do that the local authority will be compelled to help but are we kidding ourselves? We are very clear that he will not be going to this school under any circumstances so should we just tell the local authorities that now?

LIZS Thu 09-Mar-17 13:46:16

No turning it down is unlikely to work in your favour at an appeal.

NWgirls Thu 09-Mar-17 13:47:09

Wait for MN experts before responding. Most likely they will convince you to accept even if you don't want it. In the meantime browse other threads with similar questions, and look out for posts by eg Prh, Tiggytape, Admissions.

Girlwhowearsglasses Thu 09-Mar-17 13:49:16

I was told by the admissions person at a drop in session that they aren't allowed to ask you if you have a backup - it's none of their business if you have a place at Borstal or Eaton - in theory.

Lindy2 Thu 09-Mar-17 13:49:20

The L.A. have offered you a place. Apparently that's all they actually have to do. If you turn it down they won't offer an alternative.
Accept the place and then work on getting something better organised.

ATruthUniversallyAcknowledged Thu 09-Mar-17 13:49:30

It depends. Would you be willing to home educate?

The LA have fulfilled their obligation by offering you a school place. If you turn down that one they are not compelled to find you another.

The best thing you can do now is to get on the waiting list of any school you would be prepared to send him to and hope he's at the top of one of the lists by September.

On what grounds are you appealing?

eddiemairswife Thu 09-Mar-17 13:54:24

The LA have offered you a school. They have fulfilled their obligation. The fact that you turn it down and have no place will not convince the panel to allow your appeal.

catkind Thu 09-Mar-17 13:56:22

No that will make no difference at all to your appeals.
Get yourselves on any waiting lists that would be more acceptable to you.

It might be kind to others to vacate the place now in case there is a waiting list. On the other hand even if private is your backup plan, self interest would suggest keeping a place open just in case your situation changes in some way, seeing as there is no cost to you in doing this.

Do visit the portacabin school and listen to what they have to say, because in 2 years time it could be a thriving school in brand new shiny buildings. DS got allocated a (primary) school that didn't have a permanent site or a single teacher let alone portacabins at that point, 2 years down the line it was the in demand school in the area.

ExplodedCloud Thu 09-Mar-17 13:58:50

Accept it. You won't be offered another because you refuse it.
Waiting lists and/Or appeal are the only way you'll sort this unless you go private or HE.

PuffinDodger Thu 09-Mar-17 14:03:26

It wouldn't help to turn it down. If it did then everyone would turn down all but their top choice in order to be allocated that choice and popular schools would be overcrowded.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Thu 09-Mar-17 14:04:42

I think that it can be seen as somewhat stroppy to turn down a place by the appeal panel and it certainly won't mean that you are more likely to get a place. I would turn it down though if it is an oversubscribed collection of portacabins. One man's rubbish is another man's gold and a space freed up there could be reallocated to someone (hopefully your ds) at a more preferable school. I would go on the waiting list of every school on your list and maybe appeal to them all too. Do make sure that you have a back up plan though before you reject it. How far away are the portacabins? Are they much further than all the other schools you applied to? Although it shouldn't matter, a sympathetic appeal panel might consider the need to have a local school over a school a long distance away so still holding the offer could go in your favour as that is the impicit comparison they are making.

EweAreHere Thu 09-Mar-17 14:05:44

Do NOT decline the place.

Pursue waiting list places at all the other schools you were turned down from and hope something comes through. Investigate other available schools with places. But do NOT turn down an offered place until you've secured another one ... because the LEA won't have to help you find a place if you do.

wickerlampshade Thu 09-Mar-17 14:07:12

even if we have to sell our home and send him to private school

is that idle words or a real backup? If you know of a school, which will take him in September (most private secondary schools that I know of are heavily oversubscribed) and you have the money available for him to start, or you are happy to home educate, then turn it down. otherwise don't for all the reasons given above.

Holymoly321 Thu 09-Mar-17 14:20:23

Thank you everyone. God this is such an awful situation and I feel sick all the time. Will not decline the place but we will not be accepting it if that makes sense.

BertrandRussell Thu 09-Mar-17 14:24:32

Have you really considered the school he's been offered? Have you looked round? What's it's OFSTED like? Is it really just 6 portakabins? Why?

BertrandRussell Thu 09-Mar-17 14:25:06

Do you know anyone else who goes there?

2014newme Thu 09-Mar-17 14:25:38

Op have you checked that the private school have a,place for your son? If you don't have a secure offer there then do jot turn down the offer you have as they will not be obliged to offer you anything else so unless something comes up by waiting list or appeal toy won't have any place for September

Obviously if you have the private school sorted then you can decline the place you have been offered at the portakabin school

mummytime Thu 09-Mar-17 14:30:50

The steps are:
make sure you are on waiting lists for all schools you prefer.
Look at all schools you prefer and see what grounds you have to appeal for a place at this schools - grounds include reasons this school is especially suitable for your child such as subjects offered which match talents, or clubs which will develop interests, or sometimes a need to avoid certain children (often if parent has a job like social worker or police officer).
see if the offered school is really as bad as you thought? Are special measures being put in place to change the school etc?

And if there is a large group who haven't got a place and no good alternative provision, can you campaign for a "bulge" class?

(Oh and don't forget if there are new options such as a Free school etc.)

But actually near me there is a Free school which at present is a group of Portacabins - it is already highly oversubscribed, and when its new building is built will be wonderful (if I lived close enough I'd definitely apply).

southall Thu 09-Mar-17 14:33:08

Has there been high immigration in your area?

Seems like the LA has created this portakabin school like they create overflow car park areas.

catslife Thu 09-Mar-17 14:45:12

Turning down this place or the fact that this wasn't one of your preferences has no effect on your Appeal.
If you don't qualify for any of the schools that you listed on your form, the LEA offer you the closest school to your home that has places still available. If it's possible that there is another school in your area that still has places available but is a bit further away then it may be possible to apply for that school. My LEA has a list of schools that still have places left, so my first recommendation would be to phone the LEA and see if there are any other schools with spare places.
You can go on the waiting lists for all your closest schools by the way, not just your first preference.

BertrandRussell Thu 09-Mar-17 14:46:53

You did put "safe" choices on your form, didn't you?

LilyBolero Thu 09-Mar-17 14:48:36

It depends. Won't make a difference at appeal, but might make a difference as to whether you stay on waiting lists - I know in our LA they take you off waiting lists if you accept a place, and I think is tricky to get back on until July. I was really surprised but it is the LA advice.

mummytime Thu 09-Mar-17 14:57:37

LilyBolero - if that is what your LA does then that in itself might be grounds for appeal. Because that is incorrectly applying the admissions code. And they can't "take people off waiting lists", but sometimes they don't automatically put them on them.

Theoretically everyone should be offered a place somewhere - and for most of England, everyone is offered a place (there may be a few not offered anywhere on offers day, usually in London). So if everyone who accepted a place was removed from waiting lists - there would be no waiting list!

Oh and if told something by another parent or a teacher do not necessarily believe it - the only ones who really know how admissions work are the admissions officers (and not necessarily temporary staff brought in to handle phones during this tricky time).

HelenDenver Thu 09-Mar-17 15:02:49

Agree with the others.

What do you mean you won't decline but you won't accept? Follow whatever the form says to do, as if you have to return it but dont, the LA has still fulfilled its obligation to you and the place may be lost!

Holymoly321 Thu 09-Mar-17 15:04:08

Hi, the school has been created in a deprived area that has seen a huge influx of immigration in the past few years. It is in fact advertising itself as a modern language specialty school. DS had no interest in languages. The school is already a year behind building schedules and there is no guarantee that building will be finished in 2018 as they predict. There have been a number of violent street crimes in the area, DS would not know any children there at all. I am not prepared to send my child there when he is an extremely academic and sporty child and there are no proper sports facilities at the school.

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