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Appeal for admission to year 9 of oversubscribed school - Beechen Cliff, Bath

(13 Posts)
MrsFlittersnoop Fri 03-Jul-09 10:05:42

Apologies for the length of this post! blush

We have an admission appeals hearing next Wednesday for DS to join Beechen Cliff school in September. Our application was rejected on the grounds that the year is currently oversubscribed, and any more pupils would affect existing pupils on Health & Safety grounds.

We are moving to Bath in August. Our appeal is based on the fact that we are moving into the area so need a school for DS, and because DS was badly bullied at his London school for being a "posh geek" we need a school which will support him academically. He is a shy only child, excrutiatingly well-behaved at school, and quite academically able. Beechen cliff is a Foundation school, so can set it's own entrance criteria. It has a very strong academic ethos and anti-bullying policy.

It is also a 10 minute walk from our new home which is important because DS has become phobic about using public transport unaccompanied after bullying on buses/tubes in the past.

We have provided a written statement with all the above info, as well as offering our support as parents with extra-curicular activities etc. I've stressed that attending such a local local school will help DS make local friends. We have provided a letter from the Director of Kidscape (the anti-bullying charity where DS attended an assertiveness workshop for bullied kids) strongly supporting our application, and also a letter from the GP, because DS has been referred for counselling.

We have visited the school with DS and met the headmaster, who offered to find other pupils walking the same route to accompany DS if he were to be offered a place.

I'd really appreciate any advice on how to handle the appeals hearing next week, does/don'ts, and how to counter the argument re. Health and Safety. I know for a fact that the school does take in extra pupils and the school's performance has improved year on year in spite of this, but I each year but cannot find any hard figures for admissions to each year.

mummyrex Fri 03-Jul-09 11:22:25

You should ask the local authority for the figures about the school. We were supplied them when we recently appealed for a place for my dc at another school.

As I understand it you basically have to make the case that the prejudice to your son by not giving him a place is greater than the prejudice to the existing children at the school from having an extra child taking up room and resources.

If in fact the school has previously taken in extra children then that is a BIG point in your son's favour. I think you case sounds very strong especially as you have got external evidence to support your various claims. They have probably just turned your claim down on paper not because it isn't valid but because they can and sometimes this makes people give up and go away.

If your appeal is as thought out as you have presented here then I imagine you stand a very good chance of winning.

MrsFlittersnoop Fri 03-Jul-09 12:36:13

Thank you so much mummyrex! I have just phoned the LEA and will be able to speak to the person who deals with admission numbers on Monday.

We are giving this hearing our best shot. If it fails, we will have to home-ed sad. I'm just praying that they regularly admit a significant number of pupils over the stated limit.

mummyrex Fri 03-Jul-09 13:25:58

No worries. We were supplied with a copy of the school's/LA's case against admitting anymore pupils as part of the appeals process. I would have thought this was a legal obligation?

In case you haven't, you need to look at this page if you haven't already done so and I think phone some one in this department for the information that you need, ie their case against admission and information regarding present and previous years figures.

Don't worry about home-ed, there are lots of other people doing it and lots of support.

In the meantime you can stay on the waiting list.

Fingers crossed for you

MrsFlittersnoop Fri 03-Jul-09 15:27:18

Thanks again! We have been supplied with the school's case. We have contacted the numbers on that page, and the person I need to speak to about admissions figures will be back in the office on Monday.

In some ways I'd really like the chance for DS to be home-educated, for a while at least. We have a good network around Bath of (lovely, eccentric and mostly mildly Aspergers) mates of DH's who are all brilliant prize-winning mathematicians/ obsessive amateur historians /published authors /juggling and circus skills experts/ genius computer folk / musicians /combinations of all the above grin who have offered to help us.

It would be a great chance for DS to acquire new skills, build up his confidence and make new friends out of school, as well as getting to know and "own" a new city properly before starting a new school.

I would also be able to take him travelling with me........... grin

magentadreamer Mon 06-Jul-09 06:46:45

I don't have anything concrete to add but I do remember your initial thread and wanted to say good luck with the appeal.

loveandlight Tue 07-Jul-09 14:55:10

Our situation is very similar to yours so lots of luck for next week and I'll watch your updates with interest. Our appeal will be within the next few weeks.

MrsFlittersnoop Thu 16-Jul-09 07:43:46

We won the appeal! grin

DS has been offered a place starting in September. The appeal hearing went really well, I was able to get all our points across and went armed with all the relevant statistics about admission numbers and current class sizes (obtained from the school at the very last minute!)

Fortunately, the year he wants to join has fewer pupils than other year groups. ALL the year groups have pupil numbers over the stated limit, and I was able to point out that in spite of this, the school's GCSE results have been steadily imporoving year on year.

We are so relieved!

magentadreamer Thu 16-Jul-09 07:56:59

Thats wonderful news MrsF!

TEJQ Thu 16-Jul-09 22:50:42

Well Done!

Brookesy1 Thu 20-Aug-09 13:33:49

Hello,

We are moving to Bath in 2010 (to be closer to my husband's work in Bristol) and I would like my Son to attend Beechen Cliff.

We plan to keep him in current Primary School in Wiltshire - he is only entering Yr 4 in Sept. However, I worked out that I would have to apply for school place in September 2011 for entry in 2012.

We are looking at property around Poets Corner or Bloomfield and had hoped that by living so close to the school our place would be certain - but reading your story it is not always so?

I am not keen to move Son to a Bath Primary School as he is settled with friends etc. Although he does Rugby and Cricket camps in Bath and has made links with some children who may end up in BC.

Any thoughts from anyone!

Thank you

Brookesy1

MrsFlittersnoop Sat 22-Aug-09 15:25:52

Hi Brookesy1.

I can't really offer you any advice based on our experience, because DS applied to join year 9, and the entrance criteria are completely different for children joining in year 7. Provided you are actually living in the area when you apply though, I don't imagine that you will have a problem, but you need to check with the school.

The person you need to speak to at Beechen Cliff is the admissions officer, Sue Davies. She is really lovely and helpful!

Good luck!

sdr Mon 21-Sep-09 20:08:29

Hello,

Having made the move to Bath in summer last year, I may be able to help a bit. My girls go to Hayesfield Girls, but similar admission policies. One was going into Y10 and the other Y7. Because we didn't have an address in Bath until May we had to put in a late submission for Y7 DD. Luckily they had a few places left and as we'd previously met the Head and they also had space for older DD she got in. The best option is to always be in the right address in October of the year before they start and then if you're close to the school you should be fine. You mentioned that he is just going into Y4. Just a word of warning, that year is very full in the primarys here (have a DS in that year), so we had trouble getting him a place. We ended up at a school 45mins walk from home. Hope this all makes sense.

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