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In Year Transfer Appeal - Now below PAN(11 Posts)
Hi there, have asked for help here before on behalf of friends so hoping yet again someone can also help.
Friends DD had problems with bullying and anxiety in secondary school, school tried to intervene but the situation did not improve. A decision was made to home educate as there was a genuine worry that her DD's mental health was in rapid decline to such a degree that there could be tragic consequences without immediate intervention. Appropriate professional support was accessed and her DD is now doing really well.
Unfortunately my friend was diagnosed with a serious medical issue that now means it is impractical to continue long term with home education.
An in year transfer request was made earlier this year to a local school (not the one previously attended). School is an academy and its own admission authority. Governors refused request due to the year group being over PAN by 1 at that time. My friend has requested an appeal and also requested some info so she is able to prepare for her DD's appeal.
She received the school case in writing on Friday and as she was expecting their case is one of "prejudice the provision of efficient education resources".
However after emailing the school last week she has now received up to date information that the current number on roll for her daughters year group has dropped to -1 PAN.
As such the school case at appeal seems to potentially be void. In regular circumstances she would ring up the school but in these strange times everything is via email communication. When she queried the fact the school was below PAN she was told to address any questions to the school rep at appeal hearing. She is happy to do this of course but wondered if she had to go to appeal given there is room in the specific year group for her daughter now?
She does not yet have a fixed date for appeal due to understandable delays caused with COVID 19.
If she is top of the waiting list she'll be offered the place.
If she is not top of the waiting list then presumably the space will be offered in turn to the people above her?
I don't think a waiting list is in operation as it is only kept open until the end of the first school term.
If there is a space, she is waiting for an appeal and there are no other applicants and no waiting list they should award it to her without an appeal. If they are still under PAN at the time of the hearing your friend should win. And if they are full up because they've admitted someone else, your friend can argue that they should have admitted her daughter.
The process is quite slow as all in year transfers admissions have to be approved by the governors and the application cannot be considered until the next scheduled meeting takes place after her application is submitted. Unfortunately recent events mean that the next scheduled meeting date (which I assume will be remote) is not yet arranged and may not be in the immediate future.
She thinks it may be more timely to carry on with the appeal process which will take place within the next month but was wondering if the fact that they are now below PAN means that her case will automatically succeed as the schools case seems to not be relevant?
Thanks @prh47bridge this is what she thought should happen but does not seem to have occurred.
It seems common sense to award her daughter a place and bizarre that they are making her go through the appeals process as essentially that year group is under PAN so can accommodate an extra pupil. She does not see how the school can present their case in this situation.
If the school is saying that they are 1 below PAN and are still going to appeal, then there two possible answers. The first is that the school simply does not know what they are doing, in which case it should be a short appeal. Or there is a reason why that space is not being released to your friend. If your friend has received the school's case then the reason for being one below PAN should be on there. If not then they certainly should not be coming to appeal before they come up with the answer.
One answer could be that the school think that you have appealed twice in the one academic year and therefore should not be being given the opportunity to appeal again. It is worth just checking that this has not been the case.
The school are aware it is an in year transfer appeal and that she has not appealed before because she has asked them about how the procedure would work as she has been through the process before.
The school are above PAN in some other school year groups but not in her DD's specific year group, would that be an explanation as to why the school would still argue prejudice ?
They could try and use that excuse but normally it’s the relevant year group that counts due to classroom sizes, lab space etc.
I’m amazed that in year offers have to go to the GB. When I was a primary governor, these decisions were delegated to the Head. Who would wait for a GB meeting once a term or even an Admissions Committee to meet? It’s totally over the top. It’s not strategic, it’s clearly operational and as long as admissions meet the criteria set out in the admissions policy, it can should be speedily dealt with by the Head when it’s an in year admission.
I would be asking under what guidance does this situation have to go to the trust / governing board for a decision. If the school is below PAN then they have a legal duty to admit and that is an operational issue for the headteacher to make sure happens. If the school is at PAN or above PAN, then that decision is always delegated to the head teacher to say no.
If the school is truthfully agreeing any admission to the school at a governing board meeting then I would be questioning what the school is doing. Are they actually making decisions about pupils they would admit or not? If so that is illegal.
If you want to PM me the school and LA I will look at the admission criteria and policy and see what that says and if casts any further light on what is happening.
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