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Choosing schools.

(19 Posts)
alfiemama Sun 07-Oct-12 15:29:08

Ds is statemented on band E.

Does priority go to statemented children when choosing a high school, if you are not in the catchment area?

Furthermore, another dilemma I have is that ds repeated reception (dx with ASD) the LEIS try every year to claim this year back. My question is do they have to go to high school by a certain age?

Basically, I am worried that ds will not be with his friends from school when the move on to high school. However, as he may have to go back to his chronological year, he may not be able to go with them anyway.

Does anyone know how this works?

alison222 Sun 07-Oct-12 15:35:21

I have no idea about the age thing, but my DS got into a school that we are not catchment for because he has a statement. I assume that this is similar all over the country.

alfiemama Sun 07-Oct-12 15:44:32

Thanks Alison, can I ask, was it a MS or SN school and how far out of the catchment was it?

alison222 Sun 07-Oct-12 15:49:16

It was a MS school. The nearest school to us is less than 5 mins away. This was one of the next 2 nearest. I was told though that I should put my preferred schools down on the form - they do it differently for statemented schools - before they allocate all the other places, and they contact the first school on the list and see if they will take them. IIRC the school has to take them unless they have a very good reason why it is not practical to do so. All the schools I had put down were in the same borough.

alfiemama Sun 07-Oct-12 16:04:28

Thanks Alison, that is really helpful.

Unfortunately, for us the school is in a different borough. We are looking at moving house, and the areas that we want are not in the area for the school. The school though is a feeder school from our Primary school, but it is very over subscribed.

AgnesDiPesto Sun 07-Oct-12 16:22:28

A child with a statement does not go through the usual admission process. Instead admission is via a change to Part 4 of the Statement. You can request any school you want in Part 4. The LA have to change the statement by 15 February (ie before the Sept start new school) - so places for statemented children are allocated before other children.

There should be a formal review of the statement eg may get reports like for annual review. LA may object if for eg nearer school suitable / transport implications but if its a mainstream school you want it is hard for them to refuse especially if you are not asking for SEN transport

The LA have to send the Statement and papers to the school you want who then have to say if they can meet need. this can be an issue eg many Academies being tricky about which children they take.

Have a look at SEN Code of Practice for children transitioning to secondary. There are special rules for these reviews

Its best to get in early. Schools sometimes try and refuse if they have already got too many children with statements

alfiemama Sun 07-Oct-12 16:26:38

Agnes, that is fantastic, thank you so much.
I don't suppose you know anything about the deferred year?

If he has to give back the year, he will not be able to go to high school with his peers.

messmonster Sun 07-Oct-12 21:57:10

Hi alfiemama. My DD will start school next year with a year deferred. What we were told was that her statement will record that she is offset by a year and that this will be adhered to by any subsequent schools.

BUT, in our LEA, our DD will "miss" her final year of education - this was described to me as her 3rd year of 6th form (the year she turns 19 I think). Since this is a very long way off in our case, we accepted this at face value and will worry about it nearer the time.

Not sure how helpful this is because I do know from other posts on MN in the past that different LEAs seem to have different rules.

AgnesDiPesto Sun 07-Oct-12 23:33:04

I dont know about the deferred year but as the govt intends to extend statements for children who need education post 19 (via education, health and care plans) up to age 25, then mm there must be a good chance you can demand your DD gets to stay and finish her education if that becomes law.

if you read the small print they are not saying these plans will def last until 25 - LAs will no doubt try and cease them before that - we are going to have to show a need for education and prospect of it achieving desired outcome - but lots of children with delays can do exams 2-3 years later than usual so i hope for those children there will be flexibility eg doing GCSEs at 19

alfiemama Mon 08-Oct-12 11:09:45

Thanks Messmonster, that is very interesting.
We were initially told by the Chief of Education that he would not have to give this year back. Then every year they to get it back. We then appeal and they then say they've made a mistake and so on.

Can I just clarify about the catchment areas? If we move to a bordering borough, and we have a statement. They should in theory grant us the place at the school of our choice?

alison222 Tue 09-Oct-12 20:18:50

I was on a course today where they said categorically that the legislation says that your child should attend the nearest suitable school for him if he has a statement. If this means in another borough so be it!

alison222 Tue 09-Oct-12 22:52:44

Oh and I was also told that if you have a statement then the word full should not be applicable.
If they want to try this apparently they have to show that taking one more pupil with the package of support in the statement would be detrimental to the other pupils - and show how it would affect them all individually. That is a lot of work for them and mostly they don't do it they just take the extra child

alfiemama Wed 10-Oct-12 11:38:21

Alison, that is fantastic news. Thanks so much for this.

spiritsam Wed 10-Oct-12 15:10:46

Alison thanks that may help me too , the "full" part smile

spiritsam Wed 10-Oct-12 15:36:10

Alison would the "full" comment apply to SS too please ?

alison222 Wed 10-Oct-12 16:58:52

I'm not sure about SS's.
It was an IPSEA course I was on - give them a call perhaps?

alison222 Wed 10-Oct-12 17:01:51

this is from IPSEA's website

What the law says:–
Paragraph 3(3) of Schedule 27 of the Education Act 1996 requires LAs to name a parent’s preferred school unless:
(a) the school is unsuitable to the child's age, ability or aptitude or to his special educational needs, or
(b) the attendance of the child at the school would be incompatible with the provision of efficient education for the children with whom he would be educated or the efficient use of resources.
So the only reasons the LA can use to refuse to name the school are:
 The school is unsuitable.
 Your child’s attendance would mean that educating the other children in his/her class would be impossible or very difficult.
 Your child’s attendance would cost the local authority too much.
To help you prepare your appeal you will need to know which of the above reasons the LA is relying on in refusing to name the school you have told them you want. If you can’t tell which reason it is, write to the LA and ask them.

Nowhere here does it say "full" is an excuse. If they are going to use that then they have to look at proving that educating the other children in the class would be impossible or very difficult.

I guess you write and ask the LA on which of these grounds they are refusing.

spiritsam Wed 10-Oct-12 17:34:45

That's brilliant alison thanks very much x

alfiemama Thu 11-Oct-12 22:06:46

Alison, thanks so much for info. It's just what I needed.

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