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School offer withdrawn

(55 Posts)
Khushi12 Sat 10-Mar-18 23:28:22

My daughter got admission in a faith school for year 7. We accepted the offer on March 5 by calling the school directly (kept a snap-shot) in my mobile. The school said everything is fine, and they will inform us about all the procedures by month of May. Friday, 9th March, we got an email attachment stating that offer has been withdrawn due to administrative error. My daughter is devastated and so do we.

Arkestra Sun 11-Mar-18 00:05:32

Hopefully one of the posters who work in admissions will respond tomorrow. But from other threads you may have grounds to keep the offer? For instance see

Good luck.

prh47bridge Sun 11-Mar-18 00:27:23

It used to be the case that an offer made in error had to be withdrawn within 3 days or it was too late. However, the Admissions Code changed a few years ago and many local authorities and schools now think that deadline no longer applies. Unfortunately this has not been tested in court so we don't know for sure. My view is that offers can only be withdrawn for a few days after being made but I may be wrong.

You should go to the LA and ask them to reinstate the place on the grounds that they were too late to withdraw it. Quote LGO case 99C01876 - this is the case that set the 3 day limit for withdrawing an offer. If they refuse you should appeal, again quoting this case.

Has the LA made another offer? If not, I would also tell them that, if they refuse to reinstate the original offer, you trust they will offer the place that would have been offered if they had not made a mistake.

Khushi12 Sun 11-Mar-18 08:23:24

LA in the letter had made another offer which was our second preference. But our daughter was all set to go the school where the first offer was made (our preferred one). From their primary school, 21 students out of 30 going to the same school and they all got their first offer. In our case, we also got it but later LA has withdrawn it. The second preferred school record is very poor.

OpalTree Sun 11-Mar-18 08:54:32

I think it's a dreadful thing to do and they should be forced to take the kids they wrongly offered to

Khushi12 Sun 11-Mar-18 10:30:55

Thank you? But How do we proceed?

prh47bridge Sun 11-Mar-18 11:57:25

You proceed as per my post. You ring the LA and ask them to reinstate the original offer on the grounds that they were too late to withdraw it quoting the LGO case at them. If they refuse you appeal, again quoting this case. You should also ask the LA for more information about the administrative error given that you have accepted the offer.

By the way, did the offer letter tell you to accept with the school rather than the LA? If the offer letter said you should accept with the LA send an acceptance to the LA as well, ignoring the email withdrawing the offer.

PatriciaHolm Sun 11-Mar-18 11:59:58

prh has told you how to proceed. You need to go to the LA and quote the case above. They may not back down, in which case you take it to appeal. There are no guarantees though unfortunately - this is one area where the admissions code is sadly woolly.

Khushi12 Sun 11-Mar-18 14:40:36

Offer letter from Leeds LA always tell to call school to accept it. We did that on March 5, 2018 around 12 noon. All communications to us are through LA. Offer withdrawn also came from the LA and in both they say please call the school or email the school. We follow and called, and the school answered over the phone everything is fine on March 5.
The second letter from LA (withdrawn letter) said that first offer was offered in error and therefore they must withdraw it. The LA sent the email Friday late so that we even could not call the school where my daughter was offered first or the LA.

Khushi12 Sun 11-Mar-18 18:41:19

Shall we call the school where she got admission first (they are the admission authority as it is a faith school) or the LA?

admission Sun 11-Mar-18 19:21:04

You should go via the LA because whilst the school is its own admission authority, it is the LA who at this stage of proceedings will be handling all queries and allocation of places.
When you speak to the LA you need to confirm that you have accepted the 2nd preference school but only because you do not want to be left with no place. You need to ask in writing for the place back as PRH has said and the reasons in detail why the offer has been withdrawn and that you are on the waiting list for the 1st preference school and where you are on the list. That will force them to reconsider your application and you might get some relevant information as to why you got the place withdrawn.
It is vital that you keep all the correspondence and that you confirm everything with the LA in writing. Experience of appeals says that this will become an argument about who did what and when.
Knowing it is a faith school the likely explanation is that they have put you in the wrong admission criteria category. Does the original document offering the place say anything about what admission category you were in and distance. If so does this seem right or obviously wrong. If it obviously wrong then that will damage your case at appeal significantly. If it seems OK, then the admission authorities explanation for the mistake becomes even more important that you get full details now at this early juncture.

Middleoftheroad Sun 11-Mar-18 20:21:15

We had our secondary place withdrawn in June last year - 15 weeks after accepting and receiving written confirmation - due to a council error.

Unforunately the LA or school did not back down and we were forced to go to appeal - which we won thanks to prh Patricia and others.

I hope you get it sorted because it's a really crappy thing for them to do. My story is somewhere on mumsnet if you want to see what we did (and search on my name/secondary school place withdrawn). Good luck.

Khushi12 Sun 11-Mar-18 20:32:26

The first offer letter based on which we have accepted the offer says:
"This offer is being made on behalf of the admitting authority for that school. The Admission Authority for the school decided which criteria of the admission policy your application met. In making offers, the Local Authority has also taken account of admission policies in neighbouring local authorities and the coordinated admission arrangements we have made with them."

prh47bridge Sun 11-Mar-18 20:54:42

That's good because there is nothing there that would alert you to any error. As Admission says, if it was obvious that the initial offer was made in error it would weaken your position. But you do need to know more about why the offer was withdrawn. Did they place you in the wrong category? If so, which category did they put you in and which category are you in now? Which category is correct? And so on.

I agree with Admission that you need to do everything in writing. Email will do. If you have any telephone conversations with the LA or the school about any of this, send an email to them immediately after the conversation setting out your understanding of what was said. This will all be potentially useful as evidence if it ends up in front of an appeal panel.

Khushi12 Sun 11-Mar-18 22:13:42

Thank you. Only thing is that when I called the school from where the 1st offer is made, I didn't send any email. The school said that they will send every requirements for admission by month of May.

tiggytape Sun 11-Mar-18 22:30:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tiggytape Sun 11-Mar-18 22:32:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Khushi12 Mon 12-Mar-18 06:11:58

Thank you All. Will keep you all informed and seek suggestion.

Khushi12 Mon 12-Mar-18 13:43:34

Following your suggestions, we already wrote to the council and inform them that we do not accept their withdrawn letter. We also told the LA that we need more information about the administrative error given that we have accepted the offer.

We also went to the school to request an appointment with the Head-teacher. We were told at the reception that he is busy at a meeting. The reception today told us: a) Evidently the "administrative error" is not something that the school (admission authority in this case) can throw any light on and we should get in touch with the council for this. Our daughter has been inducted into the waiting list and were told that by Wednesday the school should be able to provide some information as to where exactly she stands in the waiting list. We were at the reception also told to get in touch with the clerk of the independent panel who is supposed to inform us about the appeal process. We did that and waiting for the form.

prh47bridge Mon 12-Mar-18 15:09:47

I wonder if the school doesn't want to tell you what went wrong or if they really don't know. If they really don't know the mistake must have happened at the council, which is curious.

admission Mon 12-Mar-18 15:19:49

As the school is a faith school and therefore their own admission authority, it is for the school to take the full list of applicants and put them in the right admission criteria order and then return it to the LA to do all the computer stuff leading up to admission places being offered. That is usually where the mistakes are made in this kind of situation.

So if the school did their bit right and returned the admission criteria order in the right order, it is, as PRH says, curious what the LA could have done wrong to get to this situation.

PatriciaHolm Mon 12-Mar-18 15:35:47

Given OP only spoke to the receptionist, I would guess that the answer is the stock one she has been told to say to anyone. OP, I would write to the school as well if you haven't already and ask them to put that in writing. As the others suggest, the most likely source of error is the school if they are the admitting authority.

Khushi12 Mon 12-Mar-18 18:15:10

Thank you.

We have written an email to the school to that effect. In the email to school we have even written that we visited the school in the morning and after the short discussion at the reception today we have the following understanding:

Evidently the "administrative error" is not something that the school (admission authority in this case) can throw any light on along with a further request to meet the Head-teacher. The school did not reply to the email yet which was sent today around 11:12 am in the morning. As PatriciaHolm said that we ask them (I think the school) to put that in writing. They did not respond to the email and how can we force that upon them? Also the reception at school said that apparently they also got the same kind of email from LA on Friday (the same day as us).

LA had sent an automatic reply: acknowledging our email, and telling that if our email requires a response, we will be contacted within 10 working days.

What should be the next steps?? Shall we write to the Director of Services for Children, Schools and Families at our LA?

prh47bridge Mon 12-Mar-18 18:28:38

I would call the LA and see if you can get any information that way. Remember to send an email afterwards setting out what was discussed. That apart, prepare and submit your appeal (you only need an outline of your case at this stage - you can add to it later). But you are somewhat stuck until someone tells you exactly why they have withdrawn the place.

You could try contacting the Director but I'm not convinced it will achieve anything at this stage. Personally I wouldn't contact them yet. I would only contact them if the LA said it was up to the school to tell you what went wrong whilst the school is saying it is up to the LA.

Khushi12 Mon 12-Mar-18 18:33:44

Thank you prh47bridge. Is there any sample appeal letter that can be shared so that we can prepare ours?

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