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Secondary School Appeals - written statement

(5 Posts)
Jax57 Sat 11-Nov-17 19:31:45

Hope someone can advise me here...I have been asked to provide my written statement with supporting evidence by Nov 15 (noon) to the Clerk via the preferred school. Despite emailing and phoning the school for information on year group admission numbers, class sizes etc, and contacting the Admissions Authority (LA) for information on how distance is calculated and last 5 admissions details etc - nothing has been forthcoming. this leaves me in a quandary when writing the statement because I cannot argue against their case about admission being detrimental to the pupils and school if they take one additional pupil.
I have supporting letter from HT/Year 6 Teacher from previous school, medical evidence of Dyslexia traits tests taken in Jan 2017 but due to outstanding pedagogy kept her issues to a minimum, newspaper article confirming importance of peer support and friendships groups (she is only student to attend current school). She no longer travels independently to school because of frequent rivalry between schools locally and maps of catchment areas demonstrating no social group/peers to go to school with. I also have planning documents where part of the buildings have been adapted for a larger dining hall etc to accommodate 1704 pupils (PAN is 240 for year 7 and 300 for 6th form entry). Can't confirm current roll number as school has not responded to me by latest numbers are 1688 (summer 2016). I have copies of year 7 timetable and additional curriculum the school offers, plus GCSE subjects she is interested in to demonstrate why it is better for her.
Do I just put our case in the statement with a note at the top regarding that we have not received the responses we need in a 'reasonable time' or is the time between actual hearing still 'reasonable time' to come up with evidence against Academy?
Any pointers would be really really gratefully appreciated - thanking you all in advance.

admission Sat 11-Nov-17 20:28:08

The clerk to the panel does have to set a deadline for receiving written appeals, so that they can then send out your case and the schools case to everybody involved, especially the panel members.
You should write it up as now and say that you have not received the info you have asked for. You can also say, if it appropriate, that you believe that you will need to submit some more written evidence when you have seen the schools case. I suspect quite a bit of what you are asking for will (or certainly should be) in the schools case.
When you see the schools case in detail you can decide whether or not whether it is worth trying to submit more written information. Unless there are significant differences from what you are expecting then I would concentrate on formulating suitable questions for part 1 of the appeal to try and reduce the schools case for not admitting and also on exactly what you will say at the hearing in part 2. It is possible to introduce some new evidence orally at this stage if you feel it is important.

Jax57 Sat 11-Nov-17 20:41:32

Thanks Admissions - I know there may be questions over how distance is measured (whether to centre of house or front door-as ours is on the side is the building by some 3/4m it may constitute incorrect measurement?) and I know a new student is starting Monday so turnover could be argued over they are likely to lose further students during the year so won’t necessarily end the year with full PAN...so this can be presented at first hearing orally? How detailed do I need to be regarding curriculum (I have obtained timetable and extra curricular timetable too) should they be used as supporting evidence attached to statement or is that not necessary...

admission Sun 12-Nov-17 15:51:12

How the straight line distance is measured can be important. Normally it is to a set point of the school and a set point of the home in question but there are still plenty of schools where the measurement is to either a gate or a front door. The admission criteria that the school has published must confirm this. If it does not then it brings into question whether the admission process has been carried out correctly. Having said that how the distance has been measured is important, you do need to accept that if for some reason the distance has been incorrectly measured to your home, then it is likely that this also applies to other appellants and even those who have already been offered and accepted a place. You would only get a place if the distance is wrongly measured and you would have got a place if it had been correctly measured.
Not sure what you are trying to say about pupils leaving. If a pupil leaves the school and that then reduces the number in the year group below the PAN of 240, then the school by law has to admit another pupil , who will be the person at the top of the waiting list. If you are top of the waiting list then you should be offered the place. If you are not then the admission appeal sits outside of the number of pupils in the year group and the appeal is about whether the school have a stronger case not to admit than you have to admit. You can present this case at part 1 of the appeal but it has to be done in terms of questions about what the school have said. So for instance you can ask "I understand that the school has 240 in the year group, what happens if a pupil leaves?" followed by " so how many pupils on average does the school have leave in an academic year" followed by "so would it not be sensible to admit my child on the basis that there will be places becoming available as the year goes on?". The questions will not win you a place in their own right but will indicate to the panel that there is likely to be movement and that the school's case may not be as strong as they might make it out to be.
I do not believe that there is a need to present the curriculum in evidence, the school are not going to argue about what subjects they teach. It is simply for you to illustrate in part 2 that these subjects are subjects that are available at the school you prefer but not at the current school.

Jax57 Sun 12-Nov-17 18:37:00

Thanks Admissions - someone suggested that I should focus on my daughter’s emotional welfare and the possibility of mental health issues arising (EBSR) but I am awaiting an appointment with my GP in order to get a letter of support regarding her decline in self esteem, days off through illness etc...I am not sure about this as evidence to support her case as such - that by denying her a place will increase the likelihood of mental health issues?

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