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Exceptional social grounds

(6 Posts)
user1488391504 Sat 18-Mar-17 22:48:34

Could I ask anyone what your views are on the below events,
Firstly a school advertise admission numbers for exceptional social and medical as being higher than is actually offered according to council stats, example school stats offers 3, stats released by council 1. ?
Secondly the council website states a panel of local authority experts will review the documents for social and medical but when we enquired we get pushed to the school and get told they make all the decisions. Differing information.
Lastly for last 5 years only one has been accepted under said criteria however before that the numbers varied 2,3,4 never 1. It's almost like there is a policy that only one is accepted. Any views would be most welcomed.

prh47bridge Sat 18-Mar-17 23:28:06

This sounds like the school is its own admission authority.

On your first point, my guess would be that the school decided that three applicants qualified for priority under social/medical grounds but two of them also qualified for places at schools that they had named as higher preferences, so only one was actually admitted.

The statement on the council's website regarding a panel of local authority experts will apply to community schools and VC schools. The council is the admission authority for these schools. Other schools are their own admission authority so they have to make their own arrangements to assess priority under social/medical grounds.

If they really are operating a policy to only accept one under these criteria without stating it in their admission arrangements that would be a breach of the Admissions Code. However, I don't think that is what is happening here. The numbers for previous years are higher than you would normally expect for social/medical priority. It isn't simply a case of having a medical condition. It has to be something that means the child needs to be at this specific school. That is pretty rare. A more likely explanation for the reduction is that they were being overly generous in placing children into this category before and they have tightened up a bit.

Overall I don't see anything suspicious in this.

Am I right in thinking that you applied for priority under this category and didn't get it?

user1488391504 Sun 19-Mar-17 07:56:28

@prh47bridge yes and yes. What you say makes perfect sense. I do feel a little duped however, what you have said is clear and precise, the school purports that you have a chance if you submit the correct evidence and it shows it's exceptional, the stats show they accept a few exceptional social and medical grounds 4 for example it is a large intake school. If I base it on what the school tells me what to do it's a small paragraph that tells me letters need to be sent in explaining reasons and what would happen if said child not admitted. If I go on the authority it informed me who would attend and who make the decisions. I dont get info like that for the school. When I asked a question about esm before application the authority answered (in my view now they should have pushed me to the school) . Now the process is over the authority have said they don't deal with anything it's all the school. It feels very odd and a little underhand. Have you got any advise on the sort of questions that I could now ask to find out what the actual process it and who actually made the decisions? The stats have infuriated me, what you have said makes sense but they push these stats at open evenings ! Obviously I feel I had enough evidence but I'm sure everyone does who applies under esm grounds. I am appealing.

prh47bridge Sun 19-Mar-17 22:31:47

You can simply ask the school who made the decisions and how they made them. They are required to answer any reasonable questions you ask to help you prepare for your appeal.

user1488391504 Wed 22-Mar-17 20:43:53

@prh47bridge is there any time limits for answering questions? before the appeal is heard I assume at the latest. I checked the school admissions code can not see anything. thank you

prh47bridge Wed 22-Mar-17 22:08:49

There is an Admission Appeals Code that covers the rules relating to appeals. However, no, there isn't a time limit. Having said that, since it is to help you prepare your case for appeal, they clearly need to provide information in time to allow you to do that. Waiting until the day before the hearing would not be acceptable.

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