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In Year Appeal Advice(8 Posts)
Hi, I'm looking for some advice on the secondary school in-year appeal process.
Ds13 is in year 8 at an all boys school (the school most local to us) where he is very unhappy - it's rough and the behaviour is appalling. When he joined in year 7 he had major problems settling in due to the atmosphere and disruptive behaviour that is the norm in most lessons. He was so anxious about being there that the school had to give him an Exit Card to use in lessons if he felt overwhelmed. He eventually settled after one term and made some friends. However, since Christmas things have been bad again. He got in a fight a couple of weeks ago and received an internal exclusion for it - after investigation it became clear to the school and us that the boy he fought with had been bullying him for the last 4 months, though he hadn't told us about it. Ds is now utterly miserable - the general bad behaviour in the school and the fall-out from the fight and bullying have made him very low. He is desperate to move school to our second closest locally - a mixed school that is very popular and oversubscribed. He wants to move to this particular school because he has a strong and supportive friendship group there. He spends most of his time socially with these kids when he is out of school. He is on the continued waiting list, but is only at number 9 so is not likely to be moving any time soon.
Please could anyone give me advice on whether or not we have grounds to appeal for a place at his desired school? Most of the other schools locally are oversubscribed and the only one that does have places free is also very rough. Having seen the way he struggled with settling in at his present school, I would be very worried about him going anywhere where he doesn't already have friends.
I think my main questions are would we be able to appeal on social grounds? And what kind of evidence would we need to supply? We don't have any medical evidence from the doctor about his anxiety. Would we be able to ask his present school for an account of his issues there - or would it be unlikely that they would give it?
Sorry for the long post - any thoughts/advice on how to go about this would be much appreciated.
Social grounds are unlikely to work unless you have evidence from a medical professional that he needs to be with his friends. Your best bet from the sounds of it is if you can show that he is being bullied and his current school is not doing anything effective to stop it. If you have evidence to support that it may well be enough to win an appeal.
Thanks bridge. The school actually dealt with the bully fairly well once they knew what was happening. It's early days yet to see if he will try to continue. I'm really stumped over what to do.
Think that you need to consider what else you can realistically appeal on because at present I cannot see that you will an appeal. You also need to consider that you can only have one appeal each year unless there has been a very significant change in circumstances. I think you need to find some additional evidence that is going to give you a reasonable chance of success at appeal before you do it.
Maybe the best bet is to leave it and see how things develop at school if the school have handled the bullying well. If there is continued bullying then you need to show in writing that you have tried to address the problem and the school have not dealt with it.No appeal panel will accept the bullying argument without written evidence.
Thanks Admission. I am not sure what other evidence/angle we can go from, I will have to have a think. It seems so clear to us that he is miserable and needs to be where he feels comfortable and safe. Proving it to a panel is another matter.
I have just realised that one thing I do have is copies of all the emails I have sent to the school regarding his state of mind and the behaviour at the school. They go all the way back to his first week there. Would they count as evidence?
Yes, they are evidence. However, it sounds like they are only evidence about your son's unhappiness. That is unlikely to convince an appeal panel he should move unless his unhappiness is so severe that a medical professional felt able to produce a letter stating that your son needs a different school for the benefit of his mental wellbeing.
Thank you, bridge. Maybe I need to talk to a doctor. He is unhappy and anxious but ironically, I have never spoken to one because I know that it's not medical treatment that will solve his problems, but moving schools!
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