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Advice needed- appeal for secondary school due to relocation!

(15 Posts)
Gunby88 Thu 04-Jun-20 08:24:58

I am hoping someone could please give me some Much needed advice.
We have very recently relocated to a new area, so therefore have had to apply for a year 7 place at an oversubscribed school.
The application has been declined and a place has been offered at the next nearest high school which is over 5 miles away. I have a younger child, so driving my son to the other high school would not be logistically possible and public transport means a train and a bus ride taking over an hour there and then back.
I am going to appeal the decision, but would like some advice on what I should state as the reason for the appeal? The journey itself is bad enough, but then the thought of making my 11 year old leave all his lifetime friends, moving him over 40 minutes away to a new place to start a High school which is nowhere near where he is living, so having no new friends close by is making me loose sleep!! 😞

Please help!!

OP’s posts: |
myrtleWilson Thu 04-Jun-20 14:13:41

there are some admissions experts on here so I hope they see your post and give you some informed advice.

In general I think the advice on appeals is to focus on what your preferred school offers that matches your child's needs rather than logistical issues like children at two schools. Does the preferred school offer particular subjects or sporting opportunities for example that would meet your child's needs? So your son learning mandarin that the preferred school offers would be a stronger appeal case than logistics...

As I said, hopefully some of the experts will pop along soon...

catndogslife Thu 04-Jun-20 14:47:19

As the previous poster has said the logistics argument isn't great. You would receive help with transport costs if this is the nearest school with places to your new address and it is over 3 miles away.
What are the admissions categories for this school - is there anything e.g. SEN or medical needs that would put your ds in a higher category than distance?

catndogslife Thu 04-Jun-20 14:50:47

Tagging some experts who may be able to help @prh47bridge @admission

Gunby88 Thu 04-Jun-20 15:35:33

Thank you so much for your responses!

I think the biggest problem with been offered a school which is (actually 7 miles- I didn’t realise it was just as far as this) is not the cost of travel, but the expectation of an 11 year old to have to take a 90 min trip each way, each day to get him to school, I really think he would grow to hate it, pretty quickly, and potentially lose interest in school! (I know if I had to travel 3 hours to work each day, I’d very quickly loose interest...)?!
As well as this, we have moved to a new area where we don’t know anyone, and I feel as though it will totally isolate him going to a school so far away.

Would this not be good grounds for appeal?

OP’s posts: |
myrtleWilson Thu 04-Jun-20 15:48:50

Am not sure if there are guidelines about reasonable commute lengths - am sure one of the experts will know though.

HouseOfEdwards Thu 04-Jun-20 15:52:47

I successfully appealed for an in year place at my catchment school however the LEA weren't able to give me any other place at all as they couldn't find a place anywhere. hmm

The school was nothing special and so I think that helped my case as it didn't look like I'd just moved to get in!

Is there any before and after care provision for your younger child so you can take your older child? Or can't you drop him off much earlier, somewhere he can walk the last 20 minutes and pick him up after your youngest finishes.

HouseOfEdwards Thu 04-Jun-20 15:53:37

Also, you might as well start applying for any other schools in the area.

prh47bridge Thu 04-Jun-20 16:52:09

As the allocated school is presumably over 3 miles away by the shortest walking route the LA must provide free transport for your son.

If the journey is genuinely 90 minutes each way you can argue that the refusal to admit your son to the appeal school was unreasonable. Official guidance is that the journey should not be more than 75 minutes each way. What matters is the time it will take by whatever means of transport the LA will provide, so if they will provide a taxi rather than expecting your son to use public transport you will need to figure out how long that journey would take.

The other thing you should do is look for things the appeal school offers your son that are missing from the allocated school and are particularly relevant to him. For example, if your son is sporty and the appeal school offers more sporting activities than the allocated school that is something you should raise.

Gunby88 Thu 04-Jun-20 17:42:25

@prh47bridge would the fact that he is moving to a completely new area and needing to make new friendship groups locally to him be considered something relevant for him? Or a strong reason to want to attend the school local to us?

OP’s posts: |
lanthanum Thu 04-Jun-20 18:08:04

Do you know where you are on the waiting list, by the way? Just because it was oversubscribed doesn't necessarily mean you'll be at the bottom of the list. The waiting list is usually ordered by the admissions criteria, so if you live very close to the school then he may be at the top of the list and stand a good chance of getting a place if someone else leaves.

That's not to say that you shouldn't appeal, but it may mean that all hope is not lost if the appeal doesn't go your way.

lanthanum Thu 04-Jun-20 18:10:09

(Actually you might be near the top even if you're not particularly close, as those on the waiting list, apart from any in your situation, will be those who were further away; if you're close enough that you would have got in if you'd applied at the normal time, that might put you at the top.)

Gunby88 Thu 04-Jun-20 18:37:34

@lanthanum he is number 2 on the waiting list. There are over 20 appeals going ahead..!

OP’s posts: |
prh47bridge Thu 04-Jun-20 18:50:33

would the fact that he is moving to a completely new area and needing to make new friendship groups locally to him be considered something relevant for him? Or a strong reason to want to attend the school local to us?

Most appeal panels would not give that any weight. By all means raise it but don't spend too much time on it.

Houseplantmad Fri 05-Jun-20 14:20:00

Have you done the journey or looked at the transport planner? I work in a school and the number of parents who say it's too far away when they haven't explored all travel options, astounds me. Someone was recently complaining about a 1.5 hour journey and when I looked on the planner there was an alternative which was only 35 mins each way. The parent hadn't looked at the options properly. Make sure you do this.

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