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Appeal how to word and what to say(10 Posts)
We have been given an appeal date of 10 days time. As we only decided to appeal a couple of days ago, I don't feel I have got my head round the process.
Our reasons for appeal are social and based on DS1s Developmental Coordination Disorder meaning he will find the transition harder than other children. His friends all have a place at our chosen school and DS is struggling to accept going to a different school.
He has been having help with transition to secondary school with an Occupational Therapist - (organisation, finding his way around etc.). She has agreed to support his appeal as he finds school hard, and being at a school he wants to go to will help.
The O.T. referral came from the school re. concerns about his ability to transfer to secondary.
I just want him to be happy and the idea of going to a school without his friends is making him anxious and unhappy.
I think having a supportive (they are) network of friends will help him settle.
So should I just say the above with letter from O.T. or do I need to talk 'prejudicial' stuff that I don't really understand?
The school is oversubscribed with a waiting list which DS is on.
Just say it clearly and succinctly what your reasons are, which you have done above, with a little bit more detail - how many friends going is one thing to include with anything else about his condition that has led to issues that can illustrate the nature of the problems he will face if he cannot go to this school.
Also, if possible, the letters should state why exactly they think he needs this school- not "mum says" or "he needs support from friends" - explicitly it needs to be a professional opinion and related to this school.
Thank you. I think I need to get it all down in writing and then hone it a bit. I am also nervous about talking at the appeal. If I have written it all down and they have read it, then what do I need to say?
I was asked a few questions and given the opportunity to say anything I wanted to say. And I could ask the admissions chap questions too.
It wasn't hard as you know the answers. You know why you are appealing but it was emotional and I really had to pull myself together (and dig my fingernails into my leg) in order to speak.
Have you considered applying for EHCP? That way you can nominate the School and get the OT and anything else you need, set into stone.
I don't think he would get a EHCP. Also we are running to a tight deadline. Appeal in 7 days and lots of other children with appeals for the same school. I know I need to do my best but a bit worried about fucking it up....
I will do some bullet points notes. I am nervous and would rather just give it all to them in writing and not talk, but want to do best for DS.
Why don’t you think he’d get an EHCP? The test in law is very low. It’s a longer process but once you have it you can name the school, and if it’s for September it can still be done.
We were in a similar situation a couple of years ago and like you totally dreading trying to explain myself to the appeal panel.
Ours was two parts, the first where the school put their case was pretty hideous, with a number of quite angry parents getting worked up with their questions. We just sat tight and watched really.
The second part was not nearly as bad as I was expecting, the panel were really helpful giving us time to explain, asking quite a few questions etc. There was one person from the school there, but she too was quite supportive. You can do this.
I think having back up from professionals made all the difference, otherwise "x needs to be with his/her friends" wasn't that strong a case.
The other point we made which seemed to get everyone thinking was that by being able to be at the same school as her friends we already knew most of their parents. That's our support network, we can still pull strings behind the scenes to arrange get togethers, find out what the homework is/what ingredients they need for cooking etc.
Because we don't meet the parents anymore we would be unable to re form that supportive network had she been placed at another school
The panel will read your case before the hearing. During the hearing you can emphasise the important points of your case. You don't have to say much if you don't want to but make sure the panel is clear as to why your son needs this school and what problems he will face if he is not admitted. You will also need to make a short statement to sum up your case at the end of the hearing, so be ready for that.
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