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Local catchment school refused my SEN DD a place despite space because of her SEn

(21 Posts)
mulranno Fri 12-Oct-12 00:00:03

Can they do this? She does not have a statement as has been in the private sector - need to transfer to state primary. My local catchment school - with spaces in her year have refused her a place on account of her SEN as they say thay have too many SEN children already in that year group. Is there anything I can do?

wasuup3000 Fri 12-Oct-12 00:09:51

Apply for a statement?

Foxy800 Fri 12-Oct-12 09:15:05

Apply for a statement? If you can prove that is the best school for her I believe they should take her but not sure if that is 100% correct though. Statement is definaltely the way to go though.

coff33pot Fri 12-Oct-12 09:36:13

If the school is named on a statement of needs then the school is obliged to take her in. At least that is how it worked for me.

If they refuse when they get statement then they have 15days to advise la of their reasons and they have to be good ones smile

it could be just a funding issue and no money in pot and a statement may rectify that but I would be wary in a school that won't take your child x

mummytime Fri 12-Oct-12 12:06:33

If they have a place they can't refuse to give it. Talk to the LA and apply via them.
Although the attitude of the school doesn't sound good for the future.

DeWe Fri 12-Oct-12 12:37:31

I think, but I'm not sure, that a school can appeal about being named on a statement with the reason being "too many SEN in that year". I've certainly heard that quoted before.

However if they lose the appeal then they have to take them.

But I would assume that was with a full school/year. Don't know if they can say that if it's not full.

I think they can say they don't think they can cope with a specific SEN, but I don't know whether that's a "tell the parents, and hope they change to a different school" or a "we refuse to take them and legally we have the right to do so".

You could try asking in education as there's some people there who are fairly experts in admissions. However I don't know how much SEN knowledge they have.

inappropriatelyemployed Fri 12-Oct-12 12:49:57

If you don't have a statement, you are like the parent of any child applying for a place at a school. You apply through the LA and if there are places, you will be offered a place. The school have no right to pick and choose and there is no argument of 'we already have too many SEN children'.You should report that comment to your LA Inclusion officer.

However, as another poster has said, do you want to send your child to a school with this kind of piss poor attitude to SEN? Think long and hard about it. Schools that don't want children with SEN will do everything in their power to make life difficult, with or without a statement.

If you do have a statement, you can ask to name a particular school in part 4. The school can reject the statement but only on the grounds set out in the Education Act, namely that it is not compatible with the provision of efficient education for other children.

mulranno Fri 12-Oct-12 12:52:15

Thanks All - How long does a statement take to do? Apparently the school rather than the LA have the last say - so the school tell me.

inappropriatelyemployed Fri 12-Oct-12 13:01:04

A statement is very difficult to get and there is no guarantee that you will get one. You will evidence of your child's needs through reports etc. The IPSEA website is helpful.

A school cannot simply refuse to take a child if they apply without clear valid reason and you can challenge that reason.

bochead Fri 12-Oct-12 13:27:17

My son's current school initially refused to take him, but were over ruled by the LA. I was very hurt by this tbh. It made me feel VERY uncomfortable about sending him there. I went in to ask the HT why. During the conversation with herself and the SENCO quite a bit emerged:-

1/ He'd be entering a KS1 class with 34 children confused
2/ 2 children were already statemented and a couple more should have been iyswim in his class.
3/ DS was an anxious child and several children in the class had the sorts of behavioral issues that might frankly scare him a bit.

Instead of taking umbrage, at their refusal, after our chat I found myself agreeing that their school was far from the ideal setting.

Both school AND myself were over ruled but it did create the seeds of a good relationship with DS's SENCO that continues to this day. (School and I were both forced against our will to basically make the best of a bad job.)I learnt before my lad ever stepped foot in his current school that his current teachers aren't the enemy, it's the LA bods in their ivory tower that need sorting (in my case via a Tribunal).

Disabilities don't come in a nice orderly fashion, you may get one year with 6 children who have severe disabilities, and then the next year none at all. Children aren't identical factory assembly pieces, despite the best efforts of "the system". Talk to the school face to face and then make up your mind how to approach your next step.

mummytime Fri 12-Oct-12 14:34:37

Is the school in England?
Is it an academy?
Is it voluntary aided?
Have you spoke to the LA? If it is a normal community or VC school them they have the final say whatever the school may think.
If it s VA, then you might need to approach the Diocesian equivalant.
I'm not sure about academies or free schools.
Contact the LA and get their advice, you do not need to mention SEN if there is no statement.
If you don't get any joy, repost I the "Education" area and the admissions gurus can help. You could also contact SENSOS! For help and advice.

AgnesDiPesto Fri 12-Oct-12 21:35:56

who is the admission authority the LA or the school? Have you formally applied and been rejected. If so you should have a right of appeal.

mulranno Sat 13-Oct-12 17:54:53

It is a CoE school - so the school have the last say. I can appeal (to the board of govenors?) but feel so exhausted and floored by it all. Too late not to mention SEN - I have done so already and they have reviewed reports from her private school.

mummytime Sat 13-Oct-12 21:49:52

The school does not have the last say. Have you spoken to the LA?
Even if it is C of E it does not have the last say, I think it is the LA regardless if it has a place in the appropriate year. However there will be a diocesian level appeal board as well.
Have you had them refuse you a place in writing? Because this could be referred to the ombudsman.

Veritate Sun 14-Oct-12 09:01:24

The appeal is supposed to be to an independent panel, but "independent" is of course a relative term when the faith school gets to appoint them. Some schools play it straight and just use the LA list of panel members, some pick and choose. But really, as a matter of law if they've got vacancies the school isn't allowed to refuse a place, and the panel isn't allowed to dismiss the appeal. If that happened you would have a very strong judicial review case for which your child would get legal aid.

mulranno Sun 21-Oct-12 22:56:39

I have appealed - it goes to the diocese apparently. Not sure what happens next I filled in a form - not sure if I turn up to a panel hearing or not. I will wait and see.

mulranno Sat 27-Oct-12 16:29:31

Update!! Out of the blue her non sen sister has just got a place - I asked if they could review her case due to now having sibling points. They said it made no difference. I asked could she go on a waiting list - they said no. I asked could she go on an sen waiting list - acknowleging their issue that they have too many sen in that class despite only 28/32 places being filled....they said that she couldnt as they didnt have one - my next email suggesting that they should consider starting one as it appeared discriminatory was followed immediately with a phone call offering a place...

vjg13 Sat 27-Oct-12 17:05:50

I know people have already said this but do you really think this school will be helpful when dealing with your daughter's needs?

mulranno Sat 27-Oct-12 20:30:18

she will only be there until the end of the year as she moves on to secondary we are moving her from private to state due to major financial issues - we need her to go local with her sister - I will support her at home and get a tutor....we are very tempted just to leave her where she is until the end of the year and somehow weather the financial storm -- but I am not convinced her current private school is meeting her needs (she has only been there a month), it is a long commute and she has no local friends.

justaboutchilledout Sat 27-Oct-12 21:23:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mymatemax Sun 28-Oct-12 11:31:15

No unless they can prove that your child would have an adverse impact (safety etc) on the other children.
But under no circumstances would i allow my child to go to a school where he had not been welcomed from the start.
If its a battle to get the school to allow them in how hard is veryday dealings going to be?

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