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Advice on MEDSOC appeal. Have they made a balls up?

(7 Posts)
Catgotyourbrain Fri 12-May-17 12:00:35

Appeal date has come through from our MEDSOC application for secondary. We applied on this criteria which comes above oversubscription in the school criteria.

The school have sent the date and 'reasons for refusal' exactly to minimum of ten school days before the appeal - the last minute essentially.

The only reference to us specifically in the bumbf of admissions criteria documents and standard 'why the school can't take extra children' stuff is to say the reason for refusal is 'oversubscription'! - so no reference to the fact we applied on MEDSOC grounds.

I can't get through to them at the moment but I'm fuming.

Also: in the docs it says that the wait list will be administered 'in accordance with the oversubscription criteria'. Am I right in thinking that if they let us through they then essentially absorb the place and recalibrate their waiting list and they won't 'actually' have to have extra children in the school....?

If they turn you down on the grounds that an extra child would prejudice the education of other children only, do you then get to jump up the wait list if they accept the Medsoc reasons(so above those on distance criteria)

Sorry that's complicated.

Ceto Fri 12-May-17 12:09:28

Have they given a breakdown of how they allocated places? School statements usually do that, and throw in a lot of stuff about why they say they will be prejudiced if they have to admit another pupil. I think it would be worth writing to the school, copying it to the clerk, saying that you are entitled to know what case it is you have to meet and a simple reference to being oversubscribed doesn't do that, so please could they explain what criteria they operated and why your child wasn't allocated a place. Also ask whether they have taken any pupils off the waiting list since the original allocation of places.

If they allow the appeal, they presumably have one over the required numbers unless and until someone drops out.

If you lose the appeal but they accept you should have priority on medical grounds, you should be at or near the top of the waiting list.

Catgotyourbrain Fri 12-May-17 12:44:10

Thanks, I've emailed as she's not in. I don't have a contact for the clerk.

Its so disheartening

Witchend Fri 12-May-17 13:08:30

Isn't it the county that decides whether they count on medical grounds rather than the school?
In which case the school can't answer that.

Catgotyourbrain Fri 12-May-17 14:50:03

Not in this case it's all between achool and parents. Spoke to LEA admissions and no help whatsoever

titchy Fri 12-May-17 15:45:41

You need to find out if your child was actually considered under that criteria. The usual process is that an independent panel considers all medsoc applications and agrees or disagrees. Those applications that are disagreed under that criteria are then just considered under the next eligible criteria, so sibling or distance.

It may be that a panel decided your case wasn't strong enough to qualify, and your dc has then not got a place as the distance was too far. In that case you need to find out the reasons for the rejection. It is very unlikely the panel consisted only of school staff.

Or if your application was not considered under this criteria then that points to a possible error - did you submit on time, include all the required evidence?

Normally your rejection letter says what criteria you were considered under.

admission Fri 12-May-17 16:08:02

If the school is their own admission authority then it is for the school to decide the admission criteria and then administer them.
The first question is to make sure how the medsoc criteria is being applied at the school in question.
You need to look at the booklet that the LA produce to see what exactly it says for this school. The LA booklet should be taken as the definitive list of what is the admission criteria for each school and I would expect that there should be some detail, assuming there is a MEDSOC criteria about who and how a decision will be made about this.
Best practice is certainly to come to a conclusion on any MEDSOC application as soon as is practical but when the school is their own admission authority that will certainly not be till after the cut off date for on-time applications. They should then have informed you whether or not they were prepared to accept your application under that admission criteria. Many admission authorities set a very high standard for accepting such an application so it is quite possible that you application was considered but rejected. You would then just be considered under other criteria such as distance.
I am afraid that there is no legal requirement to send the information ten school days before the appeal, it simply says " a reasonable time before the date of the hearing." The ten school days is the minimum length of time to tell you the date of the hearing, though obviously they can be the same thing..
If the school acknowledge that they did not consider your application under the MEDSOC criteria and agree it was valid, then they should award you a place at the school. This would be over and above the number of places allocated based on the PAN of the school. However many admission authorities do not like admitting they made a mistake and will go to the appeal but then accept it was not considered and "allow" the appeal panel to decide on whether to give you a place. All places allowed by the admission appeal panel are over and above the PAN for the school.
If the school say that they did consider your application and rejected it then your place on the waiting list is based on other criteria other than MEDSOC - distance. It is then up to the admission appeal panel to make a decision as to whether the school can produce evidence to substantiate the statement that you were considered and rejected (in which case why not say that in writing). If they cannot substantiate that they rejected your MEDSOC application then the panel will have to make that decision. So when you go to appeal make sure you have all the evidence submitted for the MEDSOC application with you.
If the panel makes the decision to give you a place the you get the place no matter what the admission criteria. If the panel reject your appeal then they have in effect turned down you application to be considered under MEDSOC and therefore you will be on the waiting list on distance not under MEDSOC .

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