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Appeal for a School with a sporting specialism

(10 Posts)
Rudi44 Sun 26-Mar-17 18:51:05

Hi, we are working on the basis we may have to go to appeal for a yr 7 place at our preferred school although may have luck on the wait list. I wondered if anyone had any experience or advice for us as part of the basis of appeal for this particular School is my DD is a swimmer in a club, is very focused on achieving high level in her sport and this school has a sports specialism. We have other aspects to our appeal which we have evidence for but for the sports element we have a letter from her squad coach outlining DDs potential and saying his opinion is that she would benefit from a sports school to supliment her club training if she is to reach her potential. Is there any more we can do to evidence this? Any specific questions I should prepare for? Also wonder how seriously they will take a ten year who states she wishes to compete a high level, will they just dismiss this as pushy parents? Thanks so much

Witchend Sun 26-Mar-17 19:07:24

I'd have thought only if it has some swimming link-have they a pool or are they particularly sympathetic to missing school for training etc.

I don't know how seriously swimming specialism is taken with regard schools applications though. When dd2 was in year 6 there were I think 3 from her school that were competing high level (national or just below-nothing to do with the school) and they've all gone to standard state schools and continued to compete at that level.

bojorojo Sun 26-Mar-17 21:15:32

I thought specialist schools had been phased out. Stating why you want a school is always positive but whether this will be enough at appeal I would not like to speculate.

Rudi44 Sun 26-Mar-17 22:08:28

Thanks, they may be being phased out (due to no additional funding) but this school still actively encourages sporting applicants and advertises itself as a School with sporting specialism.
Anyway will give it go and see what sticks at appeal!

titchy Sun 26-Mar-17 22:22:21

All secondary schools have a named specialism. NONE of them continue to be a specialist though. That was phased out several years ago.

You need to look specifically at what this school offers. Clubs, extra classes for elite sports kids to catch up missed lessons. Being a sports specialist means nothing now. You may as well be trying to justify why you want your child to go to a school with a J in its name.

Rudi44 Mon 27-Mar-17 07:14:55

Ok thanks that helps

tiggytape Mon 27-Mar-17 07:48:12

As others have said, the specialism itself isn't going to be so relevant anymore but some schools who once received funding for a specialism still retain links or resources related to that specialism.
So it may be that this school still has more sporting facilities, opportunities and clubs than other schools tend to as a legacy of once having a set specialism. If so, it is those features you can highlight as being of special benefit to your child.

SoulAccount Mon 27-Mar-17 07:57:37

The labelling as a specialist school is not the issue.

Grounds for appeal would be that your dd is an actively engaged swimmer, trains, competed, is in a team or club, and this school has a pool or use of pool, swimming clubs, a team, swimming coach etc, whilst the school she had been allocated has not. Appeal for this school though, not against the allocated school.

The balance of the decision is on the disadvantage to your dd, not on whether your dd will be a benefit to the school swimming team.

So: specialist status not relevant
Swimming opportunity at the school is.

prh47bridge Mon 27-Mar-17 08:09:41

The central question is what this school offers that will be particularly relevant to your daughter. As others have said, the fact it supposedly has a specialism in sports isn't really relevant. The question is whether that means anything in practice. And, since your daughter's sport is swimming, it needs to be specific to that. So extra-curricular swimming activities and/or a swimming pool (or access to one) will help providing the allocated school does not offer these things.

To help strengthen your appeal I would try and look for other things that this school offers that are not available at the allocated school and which are particularly relevant to your daughter. Do they offer subjects that are not available at the allocated school? Extra-curricular activities?

It isn't the end of the world if you only have arguments around swimming. That may be enough to win your appeal. But if you can show other ways in which your daughter will miss out it will make your case stronger.

Rudi44 Tue 28-Mar-17 07:15:38

Thanks, that's all really helpful. This particular School does have recent girls who are very high achievers in a wide range of specialist sports that the school doesn't necessarily offer on a daily basis (gold olympians etc) so there is something in the culture (or the water!) that means sporty kids can reach their potential but I am now focusing it on specifics rather than culture which is harder to define. The sporting factor is just one part of the basis for our appeal

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