To not want to push my DD ahead of others in the waiting list?
BPisme · 23/05/2011 14:54
DD1 is on the waiting list for four schools. There are literally no other schools we could get to - we don't drive, I actually receive low rate mobility DLA as I find it so hard to travel longer distances.
She is numbers 1, 3, 8 and 12 on the waiting lists, and they are all single class admissions. I happen to know (ie was told by someone on the council in an informal capacity) that there are at least 15 too many children, on the first applications, for the schools in the LEA. The LEA area is one of the most deprived in the UK.
I have been advised to appeal, even though the criteria have been followed, as apparently often just appealing makes the school reconsider. I can also ask people to speak on my behalf who have influence, not sure if it would make a difference, but they offered. My disability is apprently not relevant anyway.
I'm a bit about this though, as it seems unfair - whay should DD1 benefit because she has parents who are able to do all the appealling and so on, over a child whose parents might not be as "on top" of thier education? DD1 is already reading short words, doing simple sums and so on - surely a child who isn't needs the place more?
On the other hand, I genuinely don't know what we will do - even three of the schools would be a bit of a struggle as only one is in walking distance. We live quite near the edge of the LEA, so if they offer us a place anywhere in the area, it could be more than an hours travelling time away. We would most probably HE, but my health means I have to use part time nursery even now, so I don't know how we would manage.
I've always been very much of the opinion that things need to be fair, that sometimes it is difficult but you shouldn't push in the queue, etc. Then again, I have two DDs, we're talking 11 years of our family life here...at the same time, I'm not sure if I could look the other parents in the eye, knowing I wasn't meant to be there.
She is number 1 on the waiting list at our closest school. It's not got an excellent reputation, tbh, but me and DH are fully prepared to go in for PTA, governors and so on, in fact I am even considering if my health will bear me becoming a governor of a school in the really, really deprived area - although it would be too far to travel twice a day with two kids, I'm trying to work out if I could get there by myself for governors duties, just to help in any way I can.
The education person on the council, my MP, my councillor and so on are all aware of the situation, I have tried to keep it on the footing of "look at this problem that lots of parents are facing", rather than "look at my poor daughter", and a couple of local journalists have mentioned they might like to do a story, but I'm worried that it might unduly influence people in favour of my DD.
At the same time, she is my DD, I would move heaven and earth for a better life for her. Just not sure that a better life is possible in a world where she can get better schooling (and push other children out) based on her parents being able to shout. I would much rather shout on behalf of her and the at least 14 other children in the situation.
Or am I being too innocent here, and all the other parents are clambering over each other?
BPisme · 23/05/2011 14:56
Oh, and I would be genuinely shocked if anyone in the area of all but one of the schools can afford private. The other one I'm only a bit iffy about as it has a wider area due to being catholic, and we are atheists and number 3 on the list, so doubt we would get in even if said catholic child went somewhere else.
worldgonecrazy · 23/05/2011 14:59
Some parents will put their morals/ideals above their children's welfare, though of course, longterm it may be more beneficial for the children to grow up with such parents. Some parents won't put their morals before their children's benefits. I belong to the latter camp and would be quietly plotting the downfall of every family between my daughter and the best education I could get for her.
aldiwhore · 23/05/2011 14:59
I applaud your sense of right and wrong, fair and unfair, but I wouldn't think badly of you if you were to become a little more selfish... you can make your case via appeal, honestly. It may work, but you'll still not have lied or 'clambered' over anyone.
I sometimes wish I'd done that with my eldest's place, we were number 1 on the list, I considered appealling but I also thought that place was fair, so I didn't... I was I think, expecting to get the place, being at number one.
It turns out that a lying clamberer got the place, that made me a bit sick.
Fortunately my eldest is more than happy at his school, 3 years on and it all seems a long time ago and I'm certainly harbouring no grudges now, but if you can appeal honestly, give your personal circumstances I would think of you as a clamberer if you fought your case.
lynniep · 23/05/2011 15:02
I havent read this properly. Lord knows I'm exhausted from all the nutty admissions procedures going on in Cambs this year (our LA la messed up the admissions in an already massively oversubscribed year - fortunately for us DS got into a good school anyway)
However what I will say is - this is your child we're talking about - you are not in any way 'cheating' by appealling. It is your right to do so. However it is handled is out of your hands. So just do it. Because nothing will happen if you don't.
BPisme · 23/05/2011 15:04
All the schools are pretty equal when it comes to Ofsted etc - ie not fantastic, but nothing worrying. The one with the longest list (or at least with DD furthest down) is the one that looks nicest, but you can't really read into that too much. The catholic one gets the best results, but I'm not overly happy with it being a faith school anyway, and results aren't the end of the world, as she has plenty of academic support at home - it is the social stuff we are more bothered about for school.
Dancergirl · 23/05/2011 15:05
God, don't worry about everyone else. Really!
Just do what you need to do to get your daughter in. Chances are, though, she will get a place where she is first on the list - there is a LOT of movement between now and September.
Perfectly reasonable to appeal.
FabbyChic · 23/05/2011 15:12
If she does not get into the closest school I would appeal on the grounds of your disability. I sent my two children to schools that had shit ofsted reports, but both of them are University Students studying Maths, and both of them have a fantastic future. It is not where they go but the drive they have in themselves, a child can succeed anywhere if they want to.
Happymm · 23/05/2011 16:09
Appeal to all of them, just in case your first appeal fails, and so on. We had to appeal for DD, I was otherwise driving her for over 2 hours a day with my LO's screaming in the back, when local school was a 5 min walk. DS was offered place in local school so think that helped-couldn't be in two places at once doing school run obviously. LEA thought they could send a taxi for DD! Yes, of course I'll wave my 5 year old DD off for an hours taxi ride to school each am with some stranger!! They did eventually see sense, to my utter joy and relief. I don't think it's wrong for anyone to go through the appeals process as they take each case as it comes and consider all reasons. Good luck :)
GreenToes · 23/05/2011 16:18
I think it's admirable that you care about fairness and that you are thinking about all the other children, but unfortunately many of the other parents are not thinking about you or your child. I'm exactly the same and often try to make things fair but then end up with the worst deal as everyone else is apparently out for themselves - my Dad gave me a stern lecture about not being so naive and the different between being fair and being a doormat! (Not saying you are a doormat)
I have absolutely no idea about the appeal process or anything, but I think you should appeal for the local school, as you have said you may have difficulties home educating or taking your daughter to a further school so it is in the best interests of your family. You can still campaign on behalf of all the parents, but also do your best to get your daughter into a school that will work for you. You sound like a lovely woman and your daughter is lucky to have you for a mum :)
ThursdayNext · 23/05/2011 16:27
Generally I agree that it is wrong to try and push ahead of others in the waiting list, by pretending religion, renting temporarily etc. I wouldn't do this whether other parents were doing it or not, I think it is undignified, unpleasant and a bad example for our children.
But I think your position is rather different, you are not trying to push your child ahead of others in a waiting list for school which you think is 'better' than others. You simply want a local school which is close enough to get to with your disability. Other parents will be able to manage a longer journey more easily than you can. I don't think you would be trying to queue jump by appealing, your disability makes it much more difficult to travel than for most people. It's a pain for everyone to have to travel longer distances to school, but for you it's impossible. If we had to travel further to a school because someone in your position needed the place I would think that was entirely fair.
Any interest from local councillors, MP, journalists etc. has to be good.
redexpat · 23/05/2011 16:59
Treating people fairly does not necessarily mean treating them identically. So it's not unfair to "jump the queue" because other parents have the capacity to get their children to a school further away.
I've also read several studies that show that the parents' attitudes are the most important factor in affecting children's educational outcome. So even if the school isn't great, your kids sound like they'll do fine.
And well done for being so altruistic and thinking about other people. It's admirable and I hope you do get to be involved with the PTA and governors etc because you sound as if you'd be a very positive influence. Hope it all works out for you.
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