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Secondary school appeal

(19 Posts)
Susue999 Tue 03-Mar-20 19:00:17

Looking for advice. My DD has been given her 3rd choice which none of us wanted. Her PS is feeder for this school although we live in catchment for our first choice. I am assuming the LEA did nothing wrong it’s just bad luck that there were more applicants at feeder schools and with sibling priority etc than places. However the bus to this school goes past our front door. My DD has complicated friendship difficulties and was desperate for a fresh start with a new group of peers. She is devastated and the runny aches etc have already started. I wasn’t going to appeal as I’m aware I don’t really have grounds. But am now thinking I have nothing to lose. Any advice anyone?

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Susue999 Tue 03-Mar-20 19:01:05

Runny aches should ready tummy aches!

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Laurendelight Tue 03-Mar-20 19:03:33

I’m not at this stage yet but I know lots of neighbours and friends who appealed when they didn’t get their first choice and got it. Not sure whether you need to accept place or not though so check with your councils website.

prh47bridge Tue 03-Mar-20 19:48:11

You are right that you have nothing to lose by appealing. The worst that can happen is that you are in the same position as you are now. On the other hand you could get a place at your first choice.

The bus going past your door isn't really relevant. The friendship issues are also unlikely to be relevant. Look for things the first choice offers your daughter that are missing from the allocated school and that are particularly relevant to her - subjects, extra-curricular activities, clubs, societies, etc. If you can build a case that she will be disadvantaged if she doesn't go to your preferred school you will have a chance of success.

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 03-Mar-20 21:24:39

frankly from people we know they seem to take a huge number of appeals who really had no grounds to appeal based on the official appeal information so you have nothing to lose.

admission Tue 03-Mar-20 22:22:04

The other thing that you need to do is accept the place you have been offered. That acts as your fall back position if appeals for schools one and two fail. Do not reject the place as the LA have then done their legal duty and it will be up to you to find another school. If the appeals fail then you could well end up with another school with places that is significantly worse than the 3rd school.

Susue999 Tue 03-Mar-20 22:31:41

Thank you everyone. I just very naively didn’t think for one moment that we would ever get our third choice. I clearly didn’t understand the importance of feeder schools. I’m just so upset and would do anything to increase my DD chances of getting into her first or even second choice.

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tararabumdeay Tue 03-Mar-20 22:51:50

Just do it. I had to go in front of a 'tribunal' to appeal for my son. I had handwritten the letter in perfect cursive script with a fountain pen and they commented on that.

I accentuated my son's strengths and what he could offer to the school rather than his needs - which no one can really identify at the age of 10.

I did not mention negative elements of the other schools. I did mention friendship groups and older community peers.

I don't think transport was an issue because the larger catchment school was a railway line's width of the three miles walk so we'd have had to pay bus fare anyway.

It was a good move to do it for DS because he was in an exceptional year group.

lanthanum Tue 03-Mar-20 23:29:43

I don't know what the rules are nowadays, but years back I taught kids who had appealed on medical grounds because of stress brought on by not getting the school they wanted.

AlissKezamMoivit Tue 03-Mar-20 23:42:28

was your first choice school allocated on distance? if so what was the difference between your distance and the furthest offered? are you sure that the distance used for your house is correct?

while there is no harm in appealing, it may be unnecessary. given that you are in the catchment for the preferred school you might well be pretty high on the waiting list. there is always some waiting list movement from march to September - people who were allocated your first choice school mau also have offers from independents, may need to move to the other site of the country or may be appealing for a place at an even better school elsewhere. so you may get what you hope for just by sitting tight and making sure you are on the waiting list.

SQ196 Wed 04-Mar-20 07:51:18

Admissions Yr 7

I’m devastated my daughter hasn’t been offered a place at her preferred school, has sibling link Yr 10, attends feeder school, walking distance, SENCO visited her twice in yr 5 happy they can meet her needs but school outside catchment. I’m preparing for an appeal and have evidence of her SEN since 2015. Paediatric Consultants, Speech Language Therapists, IEP and SENCO. Detailed assessments with reports. ASD, Difficulty with Social Interaction officially diagnosed. School are applying for EHCP with my consent, recommenced by medics too. All her class have been offered places at school. I provided evidence with application but school said they’re unable to assess at selection. I’m worried and first time experiencing anxiety attacks when discussing current position, I won’t be able to argue my case although her school have offered to attend appeal with me. What else can you suggest? PLS.

prh47bridge Wed 04-Mar-20 09:21:53

@SQ196 - You've posted this on two threads. You should really start your own. However, looking at what you've written, it sounds like you may have a case. If you get an EHCP you will be able to get your daughter admitted to your preferred school regardless of the outcome of your appeal, but a successful appeal will be quicker. You need to show that the preferred school is better able to meet her needs than the allocated school. In theory all schools can cope with SEN so you need to show specifically what this school can offer your daughter that is missing from the allocated school.

If you really feel you can't argue your case you should get someone to go with you and present your case for you. I would avoid solicitors - most of them don't know anything about admission appeals and I know of far too many cases where they have given very poor advice or behaved in ways that have antagonised the appeal panel. I would also stay away from the various "experts" who advertise their services on the internet. There may be some good ones but I've come across far too many that don't seem to know what they are talking about. Personally, if you really can't do it yourself I would suggest getting a friend or family member who can present your case for you and taking advantage of the advice available from experts on Mumsnet.

SQ196 Wed 04-Mar-20 12:15:39

This is Ofsted report fro Dec 19 for offered school -

Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) do not learn well enough across some subjects. Teachers do not always adapt the curriculum well enough for pupils with SEND. As a result, some of these pupils do not achieve as well as they should.

The curriculum is not planned well enough to support the needs of all pupils with SEND in some subjects. These pupils do not always achieve what they are capable of. Leaders must ensure that staff adapt their teaching so that these pupils achieve their best in all subjects.

School hoping to appeal for report Feb 2014 -

Students of all abilities and groups, including those eligible for pupil premium funding, disabled students and those who have special educational needs, make outstanding progress throughout the school.

Activities and courses throughout the three key stages match students’ levels and aspirations very closely and are adapted to meet any individual needs. As a result, students of all abilities learn very well. Through special ‘Bright’ days, students’ learning is extended so that they are able to make informed lifestyle choices. Students speak highly of the wide-ranging after-school clubs, visits and visitors, which add to their academic as well as personal skills.

LIZS Wed 04-Mar-20 12:26:29

You appeal for the school you want, not against the one allocated. It also needs to be specific to your dc needs ie. The desired school has an onsite SALT offering daily group support sessions, as recommended by x in the report of y date.

Better to start your own thread to get advice for your circumstances?

Susue999 Wed 04-Mar-20 13:31:36

Alisskazaam - First choice school was offered based on feeder schools, sibling priority and then distance last. We were not at a feeder school nor did she have siblings there.

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ChicCroissant Wed 04-Mar-20 13:36:29

OP, I can only quote the MN line that you are applying for the school you want to go to, not against the one you've got. Highlight the good points for your DD, does it have any specialist subjects that she has an interest in - languages, for instance, dance or drama if she already does that outside school.

Make sure you are on the waiting list for schools 1 and 2 as well, some Councils put you on automatically and others you have to request so well worth checking on that one.

Good luck with it, it is a stressful time.

AlissKezamMoivit Wed 04-Mar-20 13:41:34

@Susue999 I do understand that - but now the first round is done, everyone who was at a feeder school for choice1 or had a sibling there and wants to go there already has an offer.

there will almost certainly be further places offered to people on the waiting list between now and mid September. All those places will go to people in your category - not feeder school, not siblings, allocated on distance.

No guarantees, I am just saying it's not hopeless.

Susue999 Wed 04-Mar-20 20:10:33

Thanks for the pointers. Really it is very much appreciated.

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MarchingFrogs Thu 05-Mar-20 07:39:43

All those places will go to people in your category - not feeder school, not siblings, allocated on distance.

Unless new DC join the waiting list (DC at feeder schools or siblings who didn't originally apply for a place, who got somewhere they really didn't want because the schools they did apply for were unrealistic / people moving into catchment nearer to the school), which is a possibility, unfortunately, as waiting lists have to be ranked according to its ovrtsubsciption criteria.

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