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Changed mind on offered school - appeal

(12 Posts)
Fatcatfat Sat 22-Jun-19 15:15:17

A question for secondary admissions experts.

The parent (not me, asking for a relative), ranked 4 schools. She made the first choice largely on a glowing Ofsted report. Soon after the application deadline last year the first preference school was downgraded quite dramatically by Ofsted following an inspection.

Parent contacted the LEA in January and asked for school to be removed from list of preferences. LEA refused.

Offer day comes around. First choice (now unwanted) offered. Parent appealing for fourth choice which would have been allocated on offer day if first choice had been withdrawn. Now on the waiting list and appealing.

My question, was the LEA correct in telling her she could not withdraw a school from her list? I understand the reason they gave was that it was too late and have a knock on effect on the whole system ( pan London).

OP’s posts: |
PatriciaHolm Sat 22-Jun-19 16:14:02

Changing in January would have resulted in the application then counting as late, which means it would have been processed after all the other applications, so there is no reason to think they would have received option 4 - they would have been offered whatever was left after all other applications were processed. Why are they so sure they would have got 4?

That said, the LEA probably should have let them withdraw their application and put in a new, late one (which is essentially what changing options at that point is) but again I'm not sure how they can be sure they would have got option 4.

Fatcatfat Sat 22-Jun-19 16:43:06

Thanks for clarifying that. In respect of option 4, the category they are under is allocated on distance only and they are much closer than the last place offered.

OP’s posts: |
BarbarianMum Sat 22-Jun-19 21:47:59

That would make no difference. Had their offer been late, the LEA would have offered places on the basis of distance to all families w on-time applications until places were used up. Only after offers day would they have drawn up a waiting list.

I don't think arguing that the lea stopped them making a bigger mess of things then they already had would be helpful.

Danglingmod Sun 23-Jun-19 09:02:26

How do they know they wouldn't have been offered school 2 or 3 if they had been allowed to bump off school 1?

MyOtherProfile Sun 23-Jun-19 09:04:52

And this, dear friends, is why you should never choose a school because Ofsted rate them.

MarchingFrogs Sun 23-Jun-19 09:08:37

She made the first choice largely on a glowing Ofsted report. Soon after the application deadline last year the first preference school was downgraded quite dramatically by Ofsted following an inspection.

So, they visited the school, talked to the students and the teachers, looked at the facilities (and - surely? - the GCSE/ A level results?) and they and their DC liked the school enough to put it first when all that came with an 'outstanding' Ofsted rating? How long ago was the school inspected, prior to the most recent inspection? What they saw when they looked for 2019 entry and liked was how the school was at that time, just as it was about to get criticised by Ofsted, not how it was at the time of the open evening which had most recently taken place before the previous Ofsted inspection. It didn't suddenly change dramatically between 31st October 2018 and the date of the new inspection. Unless the downgrading was mainly due to an unfortunately timed major safeguarding failure?

Or did they actually visit?

And yes, after the deadline, the only change you may possibly be allowed to make to your application after 31st October not have the whole application deemed late is a change of address - and then only up to a certain date (in our LA, not even that - the address used is where you live at the submission deadline).

If random preference changes were allowed, the system would probably grind to a halt.

Thursday452poh Sun 23-Jun-19 09:09:44

@MyOtherProfile my thoughts exactly!! Are rank are they on the waiting list for the 4th school that they wanted.
I think they need to be realistic, if they liked the first school they still go with that, a poor ofsted report means it can only get better.
My DSS secondary school went into special measures within 2 months of him being there in Year 7, it’s now outstanding, he’s on track to get exceptional gcse results (just done his GCSEs). Parents withdrew their children when it went to special measures, BUT it can only get better from the lowest.
What wil they do if the 4th school gets a crap ofsted report next year??? Withdraw their DC?

TheRedBarrows Sun 23-Jun-19 09:42:13

Technically they may have a case, I don’t know, that will be fine to the small print in the Schools Admissions Code, the statutory national rules for admissions.

But logically, it was after the deadline. Re-jigging her list would move her other schools up and would affect all the interconnected lists, not just the schools on her list. Because every time a place moved a huge connected chain of other places move.

She hadn’t moved house or changed any other circumstances that would affect her preferences, e.g put in a late application in an area she had just moved to, simply changed her mind. And there was a deadline for making up her mond.

If I were the LA I would strongly resist anything that set a precedent for system disruption due to posts-deadline change of mind. You’d never get the job done.

Is she not appealing for schools 2and 3?

If she would have been ‘in distance’ for 4 she presumably has a good chance on the waiting list? Places become available throughout the summer.

What is the basis of her appeal?

00100001 Sun 23-Jun-19 09:49:53

well, it's tough luck isn't it?

she put down her choices, got what she asked for, and now wants to move to a school she put in LAST place. confused

Schools aren't just their OFSTED inspection report, surely she visited these schools? why is number 4 now the 'best' all of a sudden and wasn't down as her second choice?
she has no way of knowing she would have got school 4 with a late application. She may have got a school 20 miles away, she has no way of knowing.

All she can do is go on the waiting list and hope...

ittakes2 Sun 23-Jun-19 15:33:07

We are outside of london but our borough lets people change the order of their list up until a certain date in January. You can't add or take out a school but you can reorder the list. Its not a well known thing - we had an emergency and only found out it was possible after approaching the council. It doesn't sound though like she researched her schools before writing her list.
I would have also thought she could reject her first offer and chance another school coming up on her list - but she should speak to the council for this.

ChicCroissant Sun 23-Jun-19 15:42:42

Why would the fourth choice have been offered, what about the second and third choices? Were they not very likely in the first place, then? Why would they appeal for their bottom school?!

You may not have the whole story here, OP. It would seem that there was a gap between the OFSTED report and the request to withdraw their application. I agree with a PP that making a late application at that stage would have put them in a worse position really.

Did they actually visit the school they put first?

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