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Advice needed - withdrew secondary child from school

(57 Posts)
CallmeFP Sun 17-Sep-17 11:51:21

I am a parent with a child attending an academy in Fulham and Kensington.

I have been trying to ascertain since June the exam results and sets for my son since June and also request he be removed from a certain group at school which has made him very unhappy. I was assured by the assistant head that it would be looked into. He is Year 10 so it is a tricky situation.

I wrote 4 emails over summer, one of which was answered the rest ignored.

My son goes back to school to find he has been put in with the same group after I was assured he wouldnt be.

I write to the school, no answer. I call the assistant head who tells me that they didn't have time to look into it.

In a fury, I apply to council for new places for my child. I write to the head saying my son is leaving and outlining the reasons why, to which his answer in effect was 'bye and good luck in your new school'.

I am so utterly shocked at how they have handled it, stonewalling my emails and not trying to resolve it.

Now my son has not been at school for two weeks. I have rang the education officer who is aware of what is happening and I am home schooling until a new school place comes up.

Trouble is, my son now tells me he wants to go back to his school. I feel guilty for having jumped the gun and taken him out without trying again but the school were offering me no alternative.

My question is, does he still have a school place there and if he wants to go back can they stop him?

Many thanks

CrumpettyTree Sun 17-Sep-17 12:04:54

I think they should have let you know his exam results, although you wouldn't get a choice of what set he is in as the teachers are in the best position to know which set he should be in.
I wouldn't expect a reply to an email during the summer holidays. If you informed them he is leaving then they would accept that decision rather than pleaed with you to keep him in school and promise to do what you want. He won't still have the place i don't think, but they may have a space available for you to take up if they aren't full. It does sound as if you were a bit hasty if your son didn't want to leave. If there is a place for him to return maybe try to meet with them and discuss things, but you may have to accept that they don't want to do everything you want them to.

MaisyPops Sun 17-Sep-17 12:11:48

request he be removed from a certain group at school which has made him very unhappy. I was assured by the assistant head that it would be looked into.
Looking into isn't the same as moving children because home have called up.

I have had over half a dozen complaints about groups this year and I'm not even senior leadership. I looked into it. There isn't another group to move them to without home having another issue with the new group.

I wrote 4 emails over summer, one of which was answered the rest ignored
The clue is in 'summer'. Why should staff on holiday be replying to your emails? They are not at work.

I write to the head saying my son is leaving and outlining the reasons why, to which his answer in effect was 'bye and good luck in your new school
Fair do. You've said you're moving your son because you don't like the classes and you're annoyed they didn't reply over the summer.
A school isn"t going to grovel and persuade you to stay.

My question is, does he still have a school place there and if he wants to go back can they stop him?
It depends if there is a place in his year.
If it was my school then we have a waiting list for every year. As soon as the form was submitted to leave, we would have given the place to the next child on the waiting list.

It's not an ideal situation but you don't have any right to his place back after you removed him from the school.

CallmeFP Sun 17-Sep-17 12:13:08

Thank you and you are right

I did not give a date that he would be leaving or state that I would be taking him out immediately, I just said that he would be leaving and they signed his transfer form and he didn't return.

So legally he will not have a place at that school now?

Many thanks

CallmeFP Sun 17-Sep-17 12:16:18

So when schools receive the transfer form they are taken off the school list? Surely this cant be right?

MaisyPops Sun 17-Sep-17 12:18:28

The transfer form has been signed. In my experience that means he is off roll at that school. That's what you asked them to sign.

You may need advice from someone in SLT or pastoral for the details.

Usually when I've had students leave, they get their place agreed with their new school, the new school and us talk to make the move and the transfer form is the last part to be done (because parents would take that form to the new school so the child can then be formally enrolled at their new school).
Where places come up short notice (like we've had people join with a couple of days notice), the parents have had the transfer form from their old school ready to be signed and then they get it signed as soon as we offer the place.

MaisyPops Sun 17-Sep-17 12:22:59

Like I say, I've not come across someone in your situation so someone with more experience may correct me (I've only been involved as a tutor and class teacher).

Put it this way, if you've pulled your child out of the school and his place has been offered to someone else (who has done all their paperwork etc) it's not really fair to tell that child "you don't have a place now because someonr has changed their mind".

CallmeFP Sun 17-Sep-17 12:30:29

Many thanks

I will wait until Monday to clarify it with the school

Until now I am still receiving parent emails etc.

Hopefully he may be able to stay.

Lily2007 Sun 17-Sep-17 12:44:10

I would discuss with school / LEA, probably depends if place has been allocated already.

I still got Parent mail for my y7 from primary so I think its up to you to stop that and it may not mean much.

Hope you get it sorted though.

noblegiraffe Sun 17-Sep-17 13:31:41

Crikey, this is a real case of act in haste, repent at leisure!

You've removed him from the school physically and in writing, so they could absolutely defend having given his place to someone else.

What happens next depends on whether his year was full, and if so, when he left whether his place was given to someone else. That would be possible, and in that case, you've got a big problem, as now your DS has no school place and I don't think the LA have a responsibility to find him one as you withdrew him. If all other local schools are full, that's a real issue as you could be stuck homeschooling or sending him much further away.

So finger's crossed that his year group wasn't full, or that his place hasn't already been given to someone else. I think there isn't anything they can do to block him returning if they have the space for him.

Userwhocouldntthinkofagoodname Sun 17-Sep-17 14:03:35

I wonder what full in this instance means? MY DC school has more than their PAN in the year group. So even if they haven't offered a place to anyone new could they still be considered full?

admission Sun 17-Sep-17 17:15:08

First question is what did you say in your letter. If you said he is leaving and I am going to home educate, then the school is perfectly entitled to remove him from the register as they know where he is going to.
If you just said he is intending to leave then the school should officially have established where he was now attending school before removing him from the register. It is a basic safeguarding / child protection issue that this should happen.
However it quite often does not happen. As soon as the school has removed son from the register they are able to offer the place to somebody else. If that has happened then there is no school place, assuming they are up to PAN or above. If they are not up to PAN, then you can apply for a place again at the school and they have to take your son back if you officially apply.
Your mistake was in sending the letter in the first place, you should have found an alternative school place before writing the letter.

gillybeanz Sun 17-Sep-17 17:19:41

You have deregistered him from the school and even though you haven't given a date if he isn't attending and you haven't given an attending until x day, then he will be considered as off roll now.

CallmeFP Sun 17-Sep-17 17:34:04

I said that due to issues not being resolved he would be leaving. I did not give a date. Subsequently, the admissions officer of the school asked me to let them know which school he would be going to. So I said I will let you know as he has not had an offer yet.

I did not give a date but DS did not return.

Have had an email back from assistant head today to say a decision would be made by headteacher.

CallmeFP Sun 17-Sep-17 17:35:50

Admission - this is what I thought. They would ask me when he is leaving or if he has permanently left.

gillybeanz Sun 17-Sep-17 18:24:28

Have you told the LA that you are H.edding until a place becomes available, because if so I believe you have deregistered him and are now a H.edder.
They may not continue to look for a school with places for him it depends on how good your LA is.
I know from stories I heard when H.edding that once deregistered they tend to forget about you, even if you have stated you are looking for another school.
It might help to post in H.ed for some more advice.

CallmeFP Sun 17-Sep-17 18:47:00

Jillybeans - thanks for replying

No I haven't told them that, only that DS is wanting to join a new school.

gillybeanz Sun 17-Sep-17 19:11:19

That sounds far more positive OP.
I thought for one minute you'd deregistered him completely.
If he doesn't get offered his place again at the same school unless you want to H.ed just don't let the LA think it's a posibility.
We arrived in a new area mid term and there was a place for ds1 but not ds2, the LA kept asking if I was happy to H.ed and I kept refusing, it took them 6 weeks to find him a school.
I know from the incompetence at ours that he wouldn't have been offered a school if I'd agree to H.ed in the short term.
Good luck, hope it works out well for you.
It's ok to say acting in haste was wrong, but as a parent you'd do anything to keep your kids safe and happy thanks

Plop5 Sun 17-Sep-17 19:23:26

Instead of pulling him out on a whim you should have ...

1) formally complained to the head. Gone above the deputy head

2) formally complained to the governors and LEA

Plop5 Sun 17-Sep-17 19:24:10

I'm all for home ed or moving schools is needed

CallmeFP Sun 17-Sep-17 19:26:06

Yes, you are right Plop.

It wasn't so much a whim as we had concerns but I accept I did it completely the wrong way around.

CallmeFP Sun 17-Sep-17 19:28:57

Gillybeans,
It is so hard to know whether to wait it out at new school, or go back to the school.

In the email I received the said that the head would decide whether to let him back in so they do see him as having left.

Thanks all for commenting.

CallmeFP Sun 17-Sep-17 19:30:24

In the heat of the moment, it felt like they didn't care and it still does.

However DS is missing school, even though there are people there that make his life hell, there are people that he cares about a lot.

2014newme Sun 17-Sep-17 19:43:39

Next time, arrange to go in and discuss your concerns face to face. Emailing when school is shut is bizarre.
Hope the school you get offered us a good one within reasonable commuting distance.

GreenTulips Sun 17-Sep-17 19:51:55

The school may have places but they don't have to offer you one.

It isn't that plain sailing.

The issues haven't been resolved at all!

If there was bullying etc you should've kept a paper trial and rang school until they gave you answers

I'd ring other schools and see if they have places and quickly

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