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Secondary schools waiting lists @tiggy especially!

(21 Posts)
HolyShet Tue 13-Mar-18 14:51:04

Hello admissions types I could do with a little advice if that's possible

I posted on another thread about our LA's waiting list procedures. They limit the number of waiting lists you can be on and take the names of any children off the waiting list if they do not appeal.

I emailed to clarify their protocol following tiggy's advice suggesting that closing the waiting lists was in breach of the code. They have added DC to 3 waiting lists, whilst retaining the place currently offered which is good. However they have replied to say:

"How each admission authority operates that waiting list must then be published as part of their own determined Admission arrangements, which are consulted on each year and submitted to the DfE. Different admission authorities will have different processes in place for operating waiting lists, current arrangements for waiting lists can be found in our guide for parents available to download in full from our website. Only If you appeal for a school will your child’s name will remain on that waiting list until December 2018 if need be"

We are low down on one list, and in the teens on the other 2. The appeals deadline is 12 April (immediately after Easter Hols) so essentially, DC will only be allowed on the waiting list for another 2 weeks.

Our grounds for appeal are not strong at all, and related only to the GCSE options that are available really. The school DC have been allocated is ok, and I am trying to learn to love it. I feel that making an appeal will be a lot of wasted energy for everyone really.

Are they breaking the admissions code if they close the waiting lists?

Thanks so much. TL/DNR I know...

HolyShet Tue 13-Mar-18 14:55:58

shamelessly tagging @tiggy

This is what is on the website:

If you have not been successful in obtaining a place at an Academy or Community School you expressed as a preference, your child’s name will automatically be placed on the waiting list, only until the deadline for submitting appeals which is 12 April 2018. We will keep the waiting lists in order of the individual school’s admissions criteria, and if a place becomes available, we will offer it to the next child on the list.

For those allocated a place on 1 March, only those children for whom an appeal has been submitted by 12 April appeals deadline will remain on the waiting list. If you do not submit an appeal you will not be included on the waiting list after 12 April 2018. NB: At any time new applicants can be added to the waiting list and they must be placed on the
list in priority order using the school’s admissions criteria. This means that waiting lists may change because of house moves, late applications or children accepting places at alternative schools.

After 1 September 2018 if a place becomes available, the applicant at the top of the waiting list will be offered a place. If the place is not accepted within 7 days, the applicant will be removed from the waiting list and the place offered to the next applicant on the waiting list.

TeenTimesTwo Tue 13-Mar-18 15:26:22

Not an admissions expert.

So people who accept that their child doesn't have a great need, they just prefer the school and so don't appeal lose their waiting list place? Shocking.

I'd be so tempted to appeal with no grounds just 'The LA has told me that to stay on the waiting lists I have to appeal' just to see what the appeals panel says. smile

tiggytape Tue 13-Mar-18 17:36:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HolyShet Tue 13-Mar-18 17:42:11

Thanks both - it seems ridiculous to me. I can see how it saves them a whole lot of effort

They quoted that bit of the code back at me tiggy. But then said they had published their consultation doc and all LAs operated differently.
I just don't really know how to go about challenging it.

tiggytape Tue 13-Mar-18 17:48:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tiggytape Tue 13-Mar-18 17:50:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HolyShet Tue 13-Mar-18 17:58:57

thankyou!

I am really infuriated by it

I may appeal for one of the schools anyway on the basis of its languages and creative arts offers (which are DCs thing), plus provision for more able students (which DC is). Just to keep our foot in the door iyswim but I also feel like it needs challenging as I think we would have a reasonable chance of a place at at least one of the schools once the summer shakedown happens.

prh47bridge Tue 13-Mar-18 18:04:50

Please refer this to the Schools Adjudicator. What they are saying is clearly in breach of the Admissions Code. I'm sure it is frustrating for LAs to offer a place of the waiting list only for the parent to say they no longer want it, but that does not justify this or similar nonsenses I've seen from some other LAs (making people re-apply for the waiting list every few weeks, for example).

tiggytape Tue 13-Mar-18 18:05:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HolyShet Tue 13-Mar-18 18:06:11

Can I actually do that?

tiggytape Tue 13-Mar-18 18:07:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tiggytape Tue 13-Mar-18 18:07:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PatriciaHolm Tue 13-Mar-18 18:41:55

Totally agree with prh. What they are saying is nonsense.

Email -
osa.team@osa.gsi.gov.uk

Outlining the problem.

HolyShet Tue 13-Mar-18 20:27:30

Ok - I will do the appeals...ugh, what a Waste of public money and energy

For the osa - something like this?

I write with reference to the waiting list arrangements made by XXX for admission to secondary school in September 2018.

My understanding is that the Admissions Code requires that school waiting lists must maintained until December 31st.

Following the allocation of school places I contacted xxx to request that my child be added to the waiting list of 3 schools. I have been informed that this will be possible only up until the deadline for receipt of appeals on 12 April, at which point the waiting lists are closed.

I queried this and received the following reply.

"Different admission authorities will have different processes in place for operating waiting lists, current arrangements for waiting lists can be found in our guide for parents available to download in full from our website. Only if you appeal for a school will your child’s name will remain on that waiting list until December 2018 if need be".

This information was found on the LEA website:
"For those allocated a place on 1 March, only those children for whom an appeal has been submitted by 12 April appeals deadline will remain on the waiting list. If you do not submit an appeal you will not be included on the waiting list after 12 April 2018".

I feel that I am being forced to appeal simply in order to remain on school waiting lists. Could the regulator advise me whether this is a reasonable and appropriate interpretation of the Admissions Code?

prh47bridge Tue 13-Mar-18 21:11:22

That's excellent. Clear and to the point. Go for it!

admission Tue 13-Mar-18 21:24:08

I find it difficult to believe that an LA can be so obviously bending the law on admissions and expecting to get away with it. I am trying to be charitable and say somebody who did not read the guidance well enough has rewritten their admission appeal / waiting list process but failed to grasp essentials
Every parent in the LA who has not got the place they wanted should appeal which will let them know how foolish they are being.

prh47bridge Tue 13-Mar-18 21:53:44

I've identified the LA involved. It is there in black and white in their booklet for parents. If you've got a place you will be removed from waiting lists on 12th April unless you appeal. They also say that they hold waiting lists to the end of the Autumn term which is another breach of the Admissions Code as they are required to hold the waiting list until 31st December. Whilst it is true that little happens over the Christmas break, it is still possible that stopping the waiting list early could negatively affect applicants. Information on the internet suggests they've been doing this for at least 3 years. Sadly no-one has yet referred them to the Schools Adjudicator over this policy.

HolyShet Tue 13-Mar-18 21:58:02

Their email to me intimated that they had put this waiting list arrangement in their "consultation" document, and that was all they needed to do......

admission Tue 13-Mar-18 22:16:12

I also know where it is and nothing surprises me about this LA. Every year the LA have to consult on changes to their admission arrangements (if any) and agree the processes. The suggestion that just because we consulted means it is OK, is silly, they still have to obey the law.

HolyShet Tue 13-Mar-18 22:37:23

Thankyou all. Is this LEA notorious? They are a bit crap with everything else so I suppose its no surprise.....I imagine it has't been a problem so much in recent years as most children got their first or second choice places - but this year and last there are just more kids!

I've prepped the email to send and am thinking about the appeals. I will just have no qualms about saying what you said upthread about appealing purely to stay on the waiting list, nothing to lose after all.

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