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S*** I have our appeal date..

(32 Posts)
Gileswithachainsaw Wed 09-May-18 13:56:23

Wtf do i do now

Any information I need to try and find out before hand?

Should i start researching Stuff?

My appeal is on the same day as the first stage is that good or bad? In fact my "slot" is pretty soon after the school states their case so does that mean there will be like fifty cases after and mine will be long forgotten?

How do i not blow this the second o walk through the door?

What does one wear to an appeal? I own jeans and a funeral dress neither really suitable if I want to look like we belong there and aren't part of some project where we get the sympathy vote...

Oh god I'm so nervous.....

OP’s posts: |
prh47bridge Wed 09-May-18 15:16:07

Being on the same day is neither good nor bad. Don't stress about the order in which appeals are heard. The panel will take notes during the hearings and will refer to them to ensure they are fair to all appellants.

You won't blow this the second you walk through the door. Appeal panels are used to parents being nervous and sometimes getting emotional. Just try to relax as far as you can (not easy, I know) and make sure you have everything you need with you to help you get your case across. Don't rely on memory. Personally I recommend having cards with bullet points you can refer to, but some people prefer to write exactly what they intend to say. But don't read out your written submission. The panel will have already read it. They don't need you to read it to them.

You won't be judged on what you wear. The panel and the clerk are likely to be reasonably smart - suits or similar. But no-one will mind if you turn up in jeans and t-shirt and it won't affect the outcome of the hearing.

GrockleBocs Wed 09-May-18 19:43:40

Giles we were on the allocation day thread together. Our appeal has happened and we won smile Good luck with yours.
I wore jeans, a shirt and my black interview jacket. Our stage 2 was on the same day as stage 1.
I went in ready to answer questions with a few notes about things that I hadn't included in my statement but I hoped to get across. I did burst into tears at one point and it isn't unusual. Otherwise I tried not to ramble and be calm. I explained why the allocated school was a poor fit and my child too. We had 20 minutes so it was important to focus.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 09-May-18 22:42:24

Cards- great idea.. thank you.

Sorry for late reply been at work.

I guess I had better try and work out what I want to say . First step I will see if I can go visit the school . Might help.

They already have the evidence do i just bring the original copies of that?

Do I need to find out how many over PAN the school have taken either this yr or previous years ?

Thank you so much for responding smile

And grockle go you! That is wonderful news I am so thrilled for you flowerssmile

OP’s posts: |
prh47bridge Wed 09-May-18 23:19:34

You don't need to take the originals of your evidence but there is no harm in doing so.

Finding out if the school has been over PAN before is helpful. If they have it suggests that they can go over PAN again without too many problems.

As well as working out what you want to say, think about what questions you want to ask the admission authority's representative. That is your chance to highlight any weaknesses in their case.

And, when working out what you are going to say, remember that, as well as presenting your case, you are likely to be asked to give a short summing up statement at the end of the hearing. Keep it brief. Use it to highlight the strongest points of your case and the weakest points of the admission authority's case.

Good luck.

GrockleBocs Wed 09-May-18 23:36:42

Giles I will try and PM you.

EdWinchester Wed 09-May-18 23:49:47

I would go smart.

I spoke for an hour at ours.

I had loads of stats inc vacancies in other year groups, as school said an extra admission would be too much for whole school assemblies etc. The County Council gave me lots of audit info. I was lucky enough to find an official adjudication from a few years earlier which stayed the school could comfortably go over its PAN by a certain number.

Also, anything on offer from your preferred school that your allocated school doesn’t provide.

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 10-May-18 07:27:41

Thank you all. I had a brief look whilst having my coffee and I have found a little info that could help and I will do further research over next few days. I'm calling today to arrange a visit which will hopefully give me a few extra things to say.

If anyone can give me a rough idea of what to ask the school that would be great.

I remember from previous threads I think that I shouldn't mention Ofsted reports and results right? But if the Ofsted report gives the numbers of students can I print off that bit and take that?

OP’s posts: |
prh47bridge Thu 10-May-18 09:19:01

If you mean during the hearing, you should use your questions to highlight any weaknesses in their case.

If you mean to prepare for the hearing, you need to know if the school has been over PAN before. It is also worth finding out the calculated capacity figures if they have them. They may not but, if they do, that will give a range (e.g. 1890 - 2100). The lower figure will be 10% below the higher figure. If they have set their official net capacity towards the bottom of the range that will help you.

EdWinchester Thu 10-May-18 13:25:30

Ask school re vacancies in each year group.

lucie1978 Thu 10-May-18 14:48:08

GrockleBocs what did you win your appeal on?
I have an appeal next week and am hoping to get in due to the fact they are already over their PAN for this year and were for last year and also they are over their net capacity for the lower school but under for the whole school so do have space to accommodate more children.
Also the school they have offered is over the statutory walking distance and it is a total walking time of 25 mins plus 2 x buses which i think is unacceptable for a child of 11.

Any advice would be appreciated.

prh47bridge Thu 10-May-18 15:14:23

If the school is over 3 miles away by the shortest walking route the LA must provide free transport. You may think the journey is unacceptable but you are unlikely to persuade the appeal panel unless the journey is over 75 minutes each way using whatever form of transport the LA provides.

Even if you convince the panel that they have space for more children that is unlikely to be enough to win your appeal. Unless you convince them that there is enough space for all the appellants the panel will look at the strength of the cases to decide who to admit. If what you have posted is your entire case it is very weak.

You need to show that your child will be disadvantaged if they are not admitted to your preferred school. This will be around things the appeal school offers that are not available at the allocated school and which are particularly relevant to your child. For example, if your child is good at sports and the appeal school provides more sporting activities than the allocated school that is worth bringing up.

lucie1978 Thu 10-May-18 15:58:24

prh47bridge Thank you for your comments.
I do have more in way of the appeal in terms of why my son should be given a place over other children appealing and it is as you have stated around them offering what the other school does not.
I was just hoping that distance to the offered school would help.

In your opinion is the fact that they already have 10 classes and 246 children in current y7 (PAN 240) and they have already allowed an additional 2 for this years y7 intake any help to me. They say they cant take anymore yet they took 6 over the PAN last year.
The 2 additional in this y7 intake were 1 looked after child and 1 exceptional circumstances.
They already have to make 10 classes to accommodate the 2 extra children.

Also they say they have no funding to expand school yet i have information that the council have been paid a substantial amount from a builder for the expansion of that specific school due to new houses that have already been built, yet no expansion of the school has happened.


prh47bridge Thu 10-May-18 16:55:07

Distance rarely wins appeals unless it is really unreasonable or the child has issues that mean they can't be expected to manage the journey. It does no harm to mention it but don't spend too much time on it as it isn't your strongest point.

Yes, the fact they went over PAN by 6 last year and have already gone over for this year does help. It suggests they can accommodate a few more pupils without undue difficulty.

I think you need to dig into the funding a little more. What has the council done with the money? If it is available or will shortly be available to the school it is worth bringing it up as a question during the hearing - something like, "You say you have no funding to expand but I understand the council is about to release £x for this very purpose. Can you clarify please". It isn't a huge direct help as, even if the money is available, any new buildings or alterations will take time. But it could undermine the school's case a little.

GrockleBocs Thu 10-May-18 16:57:09

lucie I don't know which particular bit swung it for us but we were very focused on why the school we wanted was right in the terms prh mentioned. At the appeal we were able to talk about why the allocated school wasn't right in a number of ways. My dc has SEN so it was very specific.

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 10-May-18 17:33:25

<waves at *lucie> hi smile

I really can't thank you all enough for your help!! flowers

OP’s posts: |
TheWoollybacksWife Thu 10-May-18 22:52:55

Would it be unreasonable to ask for admissions and capacity data going back to 1997? Our appeal school took an entire extra class then and their case is based on the school not being able to admit over PAN due to facilities.

prh47bridge Thu 10-May-18 23:18:58

That is 21 years ago. A lot has changed since then. I think you would struggle to convince the appeal panel that something that long ago was relevant to the case.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 22-May-18 12:21:56

Sorry back again. Been frantically trawling through info.

I have the case from the school and they seem to have basically phrased it in a way that gets around all the possible points people could use. Ie explaining new buildings being for art and drama (so if I remember from points on other threads and forums they wont count as a capacity/space?

I'm so not smart enough to be able to gather any weaknesses here..

OP’s posts: |
PatriciaHolm Tue 22-May-18 15:56:59

i have information that the council have been paid a substantial amount from a builder for the expansion of that specific school due to new houses that have already been built, yet no expansion of the school has happened

Ah - I suspect what you are referring to is the Community infrastructure levy, which is essentially a tax imposed on new builds/expanded buildings which is payable to the local authority in order to develop the local community to support the new build.

In many cases this ends up being touted (often by the developers themselves!) as a "contribution to expand X school" - but there is no requirement for LAs to spend it on that, or indeed on any specific school, just on infrastructure needed to support the local area - and LAs can decide what that means.

So in reality, the builders won't have given X amount specifically, and only for, expanding this school - it's a general contribution into a council pot. Which doesn't need to be spent on schooling at all if the council decide there is something else to spend money on...

(Also if the school in question is an academy, it's capital investment doesn't come from the LA anyway....)

lucie1978 Wed 23-May-18 12:44:52

Hi Just an update, We had our appeal last week and have received the letter yesterday to inform us we have WON. So happy.

All i can say is that we played heavily on the fact that we did not choose the school we were offered and that the travel route was unsafe for an 11 year old to do on their own.

We also showed them the crime statistics for that area from the police database. It was quite a high crime area.

We also explained in detail why we chose the school and how it fit our child in not just educational needs but sports, music and other interests that were not offered at the school he was allocated.

We talked about the wording the head teacher had used on the statement. He said 'ideally' he would like his classes to be a certain size. I said that by using the 'ideally' it suggested that he could take more children.

We made it clear that we thought he had been a victim of the criteria as we were a cross border applicant, missed out on 1st choice school due to distance (feeder school not part of criteria) and missed out on other 2 schools (different council who do accept feeder school) as we did not attend a feeder school. Leaving our child to be criteria 5/6 for each school applied for.

We did use a document that we had regarding to money being paid to the council for the expansion of the school but i do not know what weight this held but it may just have cast a bit of doubt that helped to swing the decision in our favor.

We held ourselves well and were polite but firm and made sure we got all of our information over to them. I believe this went in our favor as the panel wont take kindly to any rude or aggressive behavior.

I hope some of this will help you in your appeal.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 23-May-18 14:24:35

That's fab news!! smile

I think I'm good to go I feel sick though tbh. I went and saw the school today and it's lovely. And I can really see Dd there. Such a shame it probably won't happen but gotta try.

So nervous about tomorrow. Not looking forward to the drive or the appeal... I'm gonna be a wreck

OP’s posts: |
Markh294 Wed 23-May-18 20:17:37

Good news we had this with our daughter went in with some prepared questions it's not easy to judge the room but found being relaxed and decisive with your answers helps put the point across and always bring it back to the best for the child even lighten the mood a little if you can at the end of the day your presenting yourself as well as your offspring it helps if you come across as likable people this approach got our daughter into an over subscribed school in good area a friend who I went to school with went in suited and booted had provided spread sheets of academic success even a report on how many times the police had been called to the catchment school they wanted to his kid into ..he didn't get in sometimes you can push to far

GrockleBocs Thu 24-May-18 10:59:40

Giles hope I'm not too late to think winning thoughts for you and lucie well done smile

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 24-May-18 13:17:14

Thanks smile

Went as well as could be expected I guess. Not hopeful.

All the other parents and the panel and representatives seemed lovely so it's even harder cos I'm now rooting for them all as well as myself.. hmm

It's not over til it's over I guess....ill update. Right now I need food and coffee blush

OP’s posts: |

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