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Help - Secondary School Appeal

(17 Posts)
Khadz Sun 03-Mar-19 08:50:22

Hi all,

In need of some advice! My son unfortunately didn't get his first place choice secondary school and got a place for his second choice which he is not happy with as ALL his friends are going to the first choice school he chose. I am going to go through the appeal process and was wondering if anyone can provide some advice. My son is currently taking tablets for Cholesterol and is now refusing to take them as he is really upset at not being able to attend the school he would like. I am not fearing the worst for him as I don't want his Cholesterol to go high causing him other issues.
Also it would make sense for my son to go to this school as we had initially planned for a car share with his other friends that will be attending. Every morning I have to drive around 5 minutes to my parents house as my second son attenda the primary school which is a minute walk from my parents and all of my first sons friends live in this area and I also work in this area. Therefore, I can drop my second son to the primary school, drop my frost son to his friends for car share and I can attend work. More so, the majority of our time during the weekdays I am at my parents house. I eat here too in afternoon and evening. Just sleeping is at my house which is further away. If my son was to catch a bus this is literally outside my parents house and my place of work therefore, much more convenient. The school he wants to go to also has a class in the morning which he wants to attend that the other school does not have. Yesterday, his football team mates are also attending the school he did not get. I have concerns about his social life and he currently feels ag much ease with his friends. Can anyone provide some advice please. And also what evidence will I require? So the argument points I am looking are as follows:

1. Refusing to take Cholesterol tablets and not eating aswell.
2. All his friends (primary school and weekend football team) are attending the school besides from him.
3. The school has a morning class which he would benefit from. After school he attends a private class with a special teacher to help him memorise a book. This school provides a class in the morning before school commences to help students memorise this book and it is recommended by his teacher after school he attends this class if he was to get a place.
4. Car sharing with his friends.
5. Majority of our time is spent at our parents house which is closer to the school he didn't get and the bus stop is right next to it if he was ever to take a bus.
6. I work near my parents house so easier to drop him off.
7. Majority of our time is at my parents house. Even after school they all go straight to my parents house to get ready and once I finish work I go there too to eat and then around 9:00pm we go to my house to sleep.
8. His friends' parents work with me too.
9. Dropping my second son to the primary school will be easier as I will not be going in the opposite direction.

Any advice would be great. And also what evidence I will need to gather.

Sorry if I have confused anyone of you! It's such a nervous and stressful time not only for me but for my son! I can already see the change of attitude where is not socialising as much and keeps mentioning he doesn't want to go school.

P.S. Worth mentioning the school he has been offered is much closer to my house where I sleep but then would be a nightmare to drop him off and pick him up aswell as dropping my second son off.

Thanks in advance!

OP’s posts: |
FanDabbyFloozy Sun 03-Mar-19 09:24:38

The appeals process doesn't work on "soft" reasons, e.g. commute arrangements (unless truly unsupportable), social aspects like friends going there, clubs etc.

Take a step back and consider how your son would be disadvantaged by not going there over another boy who didn't get a place. An example may be medical - e.g. his cholesterol condition is such that a parent/grandparent needs to be close in an emergency? Another angle may be that he is in effect living at his grandparents although I think this would be a hard angle to prove unless that address is also on file for his current school.

Appeal aside, I presume he's on the wait list for his number 1 choice? Lists do move fast in some areas.

suitcaseofdreams Sun 03-Mar-19 09:28:47

I’m afraid to say that almost none of the arguments above will be taken into consideration by an appeals panel. Your strongest one is point 3 about the morning class (assuming offered school does not have something similar).

Panel will not consider travel issues and secondary age children are expected to be able to get themselves to and from school up to 3 miles or 75 minutes travel - if offered school is near home then it sounds like he could get there and back no problem?

I also suspect that unless you have professional (eg doctor/consultant) letter to state that your child will be significantly disadvantaged (and his health/mental health affected) not to attend same school as friends, then this will also carry little weight as many children attend different secondaries to their primary friends.

You need to focus on what the desired school offers (and offered school doesn’t) which makes it a better fit for your child. Eg he is very musical, desired school has extra choir and music opportunities, he is fluent in x language, which only desired school offers etc.

I must stress I’m no expert, I’m sure some of the admissions experts will be along soon to help some more.

Assume you are already on the waiting list? You may find you don’t even need to go to appeal if there is movement on the waiting list, it is early days yet

Good luck, I know it’s a very stressful time

prh47bridge Sun 03-Mar-19 09:35:56

Just to correct the previous poster slightly, clubs can help an appeal. Transport arrangements, social issues and the like won't get you anywhere. And keep well away from the cholesterol tablets - that will feel like an attempt to blackmail the appeal panel.

You need to show that the disadvantage to your son from not attending this school outweighs the problems the school will face from having to cope with an additional pupil. Does this school offer subjects that aren't available at the allocated school and that are of particular interest to your son? How about extra-curricular activities? Those are the kind of things that help build a case. A case built around medical need is strong but to win with that argument you need to show that this school can meet his medical needs and the allocated school cannot. If his condition is high cholesterol it is unlikely you would be able to build a compelling argument around that in my view.

Namechangeforthiscancershit Sun 03-Mar-19 09:41:37

Can you explain more about this special class? What sort of book do they need to memorise?

BrieAndChilli Sun 03-Mar-19 09:54:48

*
1. Refusing to take Cholesterol tablets and not eating aswell.
This won’t be a valid reason, medical issues are only taken into account if that school is the ONLY school that can deal with (for example my friends son has cerebral palsy and applied to a school that had lifts/much fewer stairs as was newly built over our catchment that is old and full of stairs) they will say that he can take his tablets at any school

2. All his friends (primary school and weekend football team) are attending the school besides from him.
They don’t care about whether friends are going or not and to be honest most kids make different friends when they get to secondary anyway!

3. The school has a morning class which he would benefit from. After school he attends a private class with a special teacher to help him memorise a book. This school provides a class in the morning before school commences to help students memorise this book and it is recommended by his teacher after school he attends this class if he was to get a place.
If the school you have been given does not have such a class this may be a valid point

4. Car sharing with his friends.
They won’t care about how you get to school

5. Majority of our time is spent at our parents house which is closer to the school he didn't get and the bus stop is right next to it if he was ever to take a bus.
Again they don’t take into consideration a nothing apart from your official registered address.

6. I work near my parents house so easier to drop him off.
They don’t care where parents work /arrangement for getting to school. Especially if the school is within the reasonable walkable/public transport distance from your official addrsss

7. Majority of our time is at my parents house. Even after school they all go straight to my parents house to get ready and once I finish work I go there too to eat and then around 9:00pm we go to my house to sleep.
They don’t care where you spend your time. Again it’s your official address that counts

8. His friends' parents work with me too.
They don’t give too hoots who you work with!! Why would they??!!

9. Dropping my second son to the primary school will be easier as I will not be going in the opposit
They don’t care where your other kids go/if they start school at the same time/how far apart they are. They don’t care when it’s 2 different primaries. Secondary are expected to make their own way to school so this point will hold no weight with the committee

my2bundles Sun 03-Mar-19 11:53:20

I agree tbe reasons given are not strong cases for an appeal. Medical grounds usually take into account meeting the needs of children with special needs and disability s, not refusal to take a tablet for what has only been 2 days. But make sure you are on the waiting list

Tetouan Mon 04-Mar-19 22:51:51

I won two appeals for my child but on your ground of appeal you don't stand a chance ,you must convince the appeal panel why the this typical school is in the best interest for your child than other school.
If you need any advice you're welcome .

Khadz Tue 05-Mar-19 11:06:47

Thanks for all your messages. I have now got a better stand for appeal and all the reasons I have mentioned I have taken off. I have done some research as to what this school offers that the other school don;t such as clubs, curriculum and will be appealing on them grounds hopefully. For those who have won appeals please can you PM me so I can get some more advice.

OP’s posts: |
Khadz Tue 05-Mar-19 11:13:55

Hi Tetouan, I have DM'd you.

OP’s posts: |
kjj3 Tue 05-Mar-19 13:45:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bellinisurge Tue 05-Mar-19 13:50:28

Please accept the place offered. That is step one of your appeal.

For what it's worth- I appealed last year and failed. My dd goes to a different school to all her primary friends. She is an "in the background " sort of personality in a social situation. But she has really thrived in her new school. In fact, her form tutor didn't realise she was completely new to everyone there. She has really taken to it.

Starlight456 Tue 05-Mar-19 13:55:24

I am not an expert on appeals but have a Ds with Adhd who needs medication to stay in school . If your Ds needs this medication you need to get on top of his compliance now . Hormones and teenage years he will be refusing to get his own way.

My Ds has gone to school without breakfast if he refuses but never his meds.

prh47bridge Tue 05-Mar-19 14:04:37

kjj3 - The sports issue is a good one. See if you can find other things the school offers that are relevant to your son to strengthen your appeal. But you should accept the place offered otherwise the appeal panel might feel that you are trying to blackmail them. Accepting the place does not commit you to anything. You can reject it later if you want.

converseandjeans Tue 05-Mar-19 14:06:40

We are in the same boat as you - but I honestly think you need to try and be positive for your son's sake. If he senses you are anxious then he will just feel the same way. You need to teach him how to make the best of things that don't necessarily pan out as planned.
I don't think they will consider your reasons to be a major deciding factor. As others have said he would be expected to get the bus & a 5 minute detour is not really much.
I also think they make new friends once they are at secondary school.
bellini this gives me some hope - my DD is really sweet but always rather on the edge of what is happening & I am hoping that she might come into her own a bit more with meeting some new people. At the school she has been given though it is all girls and none of them know each other. So that might help.

kjj3 Tue 05-Mar-19 14:07:05

So sorry I posted in this thread, meant to start a new one. Have asked them to remove it for me. Sorry and good luck, know how stressful it is

converseandjeans Tue 05-Mar-19 17:54:46

OP didn't mean to sound unsympathetic. I hope it works out for DS.

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