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Secondary School Appeal

(9 Posts)
user1490699822 Tue 28-Mar-17 12:35:17

My daughter didn't get any of the preferred school but given a faith school which is not acceptable for us so we rejected. She didn't get admission due to distance as we live out skirt of the town. The first choice is single sex school. Can anyone help me what documents do I require and what grounds? it says docs can be submitted 7 days prior to hearing. am I very late to prepare appeal. I couldn't do it earlier due to my health.

Hersetta427 Tue 28-Mar-17 12:45:45

Can I ask what do you propose to do if your appeal fails. As you rejected the school place offered the local authority has no duty to come up with another one that is acceptable to you. Will you be home educating?

2014newme Tue 28-Mar-17 12:46:55

Never reject the place, they are under no obligation to offer you another one! Accept it as,a backup

PatriciaHolm Tue 28-Mar-17 13:16:41

You need to show that the detriment to your daughter of not attending is greater than the detriment to the school of admitting another pupil.

What does the preferred school offer that make it exceptionally suitable for your daughter? Subjects, sports, etc - things that matter strongly to her that she can't get elsewhere.

Things like distance or wanting a single sex school aren't grounds for appeal unless there are documented medical/social reasons for these being very important.

Showing that the school has gone over its PAN in previous years with no detriment can help, so ask what the current year group sizes are.

As PPs have said, if you aren't in a position to Home Educate or send your daughter to private school, you could find yourself school-less in Sept if you have rejected the offer you have been given.

tiggytape Tue 28-Mar-17 13:23:34

The most important document is the appeal form so get that filled in and returned ASAP.
If you miss the appeal deadline your appeal may be heard later than other people's which can put you at a disadvantage

The other documents you submit will depend on the nature of your appeal eg if it is a medical basis then one of those documents might be a letter form a Dr. However you can submit those closer to the appeal date (but not too late or you may end up getting the appeal adjourned) so don't' delay appealing now just because you lack any documents you will be relying on.

2014 and Hersetta are both right though. Do not rely on an appeal at all to get you a place. Rejecting your offer doesn't give you any priority for winning at appeal and it is up to you to find a school with a space (private or state school) or Home Ed if your child still has no offer by September. The panel will not take the view that you must win since your DC has no school place. Your case will be judged on its own merits and potentially against other cases but your child's lack of place will be seen as something you need to rectify preferably before appeal as other schools will fill up too.

As for the appeal itself - you are probably advised to do several. Join the waiting list and appeal to every single school that is vaguely acceptable or vaguely realistic. This will decrease your chance of not getting any school at all.

Then think about what the appeal school offers your DC in each case. Ideally you wan to explain to the panel what the school has or does that is so important in terms of your child's interests or needs. Some people rely on the options a school offers where a child is interested in performing arts perhaps and where only one school offers a range of related qualifications. Some people rely on clubs eg a musical child wanting a school with a band and an orchestra. Some people have medical reasons eg a child with a hearing impairment needing a school with fewer open plan classrooms. Things like transport and childcare generally carry little weight unless related to disability.

Things like Ofsted and school performance are not considered as needs in terms of appeals - panels have to work on the basis that all schools are equal or at least that no pupil is more in need of an outstanding school than any other pupil. Someone has to attend the least as well as the most popular ones.
You can mention the religious nature of the school if you wish but unless it is an overwhelming part of the school day, this may not be seen as a big problem since all parents have the right to withdraw their child from religious worship in.

ArriettyClock1 Tue 28-Mar-17 13:26:49

From personal experience - you need to do a lot of research.

Get trawling the internet and find out any relevant information from the school.

We used the single sex argument on philosophical grounds and also found things on the curriculum our preferred school offered that our allocated one didn't. You're not there to criticise other schools - just to prove not attending would be to the detriment of your child and her admission would not adversely affect the school.

In our case, one of the school's arguments against admission was that there would be overcrowding at whole school assemblies etc, so I found some stats on actual pupil numbers and could argue against this as some years higher up in the school had vacancies.

I looked at national comparators wrt classroom/building sizes and was lucky enough to find an old official adjudication in which is was decided that this particular school could accommodate more pupils than the PAN.

Basically, going in prepared with loads of facts to support you will help massively. I spoke for an hour at our appeal - I think I ground them down!

Rudi44 Tue 28-Mar-17 19:37:31

ArriettyClock1 can I pick your brains re your comment on appealing for single sex on philosophical grounds. Do you have any insight you can offer? We are appealing for a girls school and haven't really used the fact that it's single sex as a grounds for appeal (there are lots of other reasons we are appealing) but there is a factor that we have mentioned and evidenced that that means DD would prefer a girls school. Any tips you can give would be very welcomed. Thanks

ArriettyClock1 Tue 28-Mar-17 20:01:30

Rudi44. I will confess that I didn't really believe in single sex education, but for the purpose of the appeal, I was its biggest cheerleader. But now, a few years on, and able to compare with my friends' experiences, I totally believe that a single sex education has been the best possible experience for my boys.

I found as much statistical and research based info on the advantages wrt to different learning and emotional needs, adapted learning environments, gender specific techniques and attainment.

Our preferred school is single sex (obv) and the allocated is mixed, so I felt it was a very strong point to use.

I don't know how much this affected the result as I wanged on about so many things, but it was mentioned in the summary of the decision they sent me afterwards.

Good luck!

Rudi44 Tue 28-Mar-17 20:39:59

Thanks for your reply and well done on winning your appeal.
Sorry user149... for hijacking your post, all the best to you too. I wouldn't want my DD to attend a faith School either for what it's worth.

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