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How does someone get a primary school place directly through the school without LA being involved?

72 replies

Ellaeyre · 29/08/2015 22:29

Hi, I am sure someone will know the answer to this. I'm curious as I thought all school place (in-year) had to go through the local authority.

My child is at the top of a waiting list and the space that became available was given to a child with special educational needs who went directly to the school. The local authority have told me they were not involved in this allocation.

The space was left open for a term (since Easter) until the child can start in September.

Can anyone shed some light on the allocation process here? Thank you.

OP posts:
Ellaeyre · 30/08/2015 18:27

Thank you for all the opinions and also the advice. I think I will ask the questions regarding dates. I do know that the space has not yet been filled as the parents with children in that class and year have told me so. Not filled in as much as a new child hasn't physically attended. I also know the current class size is 29.

OP posts:
WitchOfAlba · 30/08/2015 18:31

When we moved house we phoned the schools that we were interested in, went to look round and the school offered us a place verbally and then via email. They didn't have a waiting list and so the local authority didn't need to be involved.

niminypiminy · 30/08/2015 18:37

I'm quite surprised that anybody at the LEA was prepared to discuss another child's case with you. I should have thought that confidentiality would prevent them from discussing the admissions arrangements for another child, even if the LEA had not been involved. If I was that child's parent I would be very cross that their case had been discussed with someone and I would consider that grounds for complaint - and it might well count as misconduct on the part of a member of LEA staff.

lifesalongsong · 30/08/2015 19:32

Is it misconduct?

I thought info about admissions was quite freely available. It's not unusual to know the make up of admissions is it i.e how many looked after, how many siblings, how far the catchment extends.

What's wrong with the OP being told that the reason her child didn't get a place was because a child with an ECHP took priority? The LA can't lie or refuse to answer the question surely

LIZS · 30/08/2015 19:40

If she has friends and another dc at the school she would be able to identify the particular child. Sad

hiccupgirl · 30/08/2015 19:45

I would suspect that the LA admissions team and the LA SEN team didn't talk to each other in this case.

If the SEN was already talking to the school about the child with a Statement/EHCP starting then when a space came up, the school could well assume that child would just have the space and that the SEN team would tell the admissions team what was happening. Clearly they should have spoken to each other about the places but a child with SEN would get priority over a child with sibling link in a standard LA primary school.

hackmum · 30/08/2015 19:51

Arsenic: "No hack it does NOT sound dodgy.

This isn't the first thread recently making snide insinuations about SN school admissions and it is not very pleasant."

What I mean is it sounds dodgy in the sense that it should have gone through the LA rather than the school. Obviously admissions rules state that SEN children have priority over other children on the list. So get off your high horse!

Fizrim · 30/08/2015 19:56

In our area, I don't think the in-year admissions are done through the LA - you have to go to the school.

honkinghaddock · 30/08/2015 20:02

If a child has a ehcp they would have to go through the LA.

AuntyMag10 · 30/08/2015 20:13

If you want to ask questions particularly about why your child hasn't got in, you can. I think it would be horrible to ask why a child with SN is a priority. As a pp mentioned above, it may be the only school to accommodate the needs.

AndNowItsSeven · 30/08/2015 20:18

Op and others can you stop saying SEN child please. Child with special needs, or more accurately additional needs is the correct wording.

SouthWestmom · 30/08/2015 20:24

Well seeing as the legislation in September and all the guidance refers to Sen not additional needs, I'm not sure why Sen is less accurate. However agree Sen child is not kind - apologies if I used it earlier to those offended.

Arsenic · 30/08/2015 20:45

It will have gone through the LA hack, but most likely through the SEN team.

niminypiminy · 30/08/2015 21:31

The OP stated that she had been 'told by the LA that they were not involved in this allocation'. As I understand it that means that they have discussed a child's individual case with her and that is quite wrong.

That is a clear breach of confidentiality and would constitute a misconduct. Discussing allocation of places at a particular school without reference to a particular child is one thing, but discussing a particular child's case (even if it is to say that the LA has not been involved) is another.

prh47bridge · 30/08/2015 23:51

The OP stated that she had been 'told by the LA that they were not involved in this allocation'. As I understand it that means that they have discussed a child's individual case with her and that is quite wrong.

My guess is that this means the admissions team were not involved in the allocation, not necessarily that the LA were not involved. If that is all they said I do not see that as a breach of confidentiality. If they identified the child involved or gave information that allowed them to be identified that would be another matter but I don't see anything in the OP's posts to suggest that they have.

Frusso · 30/08/2015 23:58

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HaplessHousewife · 31/08/2015 15:02

Well I don't know what's gone on prh47bridge. All I know is, is that we have had 29 children in the class since October at a school with a long waiting list and I know the family still live in the same house and the elder sibling is still attending the school.

We shall wait and see if the child returns in a couple of days time.

Greenlandrover · 31/08/2015 15:52

My daughter was over a year on a waiting for in year admission for Year 2.

I was daily bussing my daughter to her old school in the village we'd left. It couldn't continue as my son was due to start school.

There's a small department within the education team - I've forgotten what they're called now, they don't advertise themselves at all - but they got together and talked with the headmistresses at her old school and the new school because I'd emailed both heads prior and asked if they would consider giving me references/reasons as to why my daughter should 'jump the list', and eventually the new school head took her on, making an extra space in a class limited to 30 normally.

I had been emailing this department constantly though, trying to explain I couldn't afford the bus fares daily and the dilemma when my new son started achool meant I couldn't keep my daughter in old school and so on.

I did say I'd have to take her out and home educate in that case. Luckily the old school headmistress didn't like me (we were always late for school so her Ofsted figures were being singlehandedly sabotaged by me, and my daughter is naturally pale which she had a thing about, plus we'd had so many run-ins about me bringing my baby to school plays when siblings werent allowed and so she reported me to social services for child neglect Hmm so that probably helped, I imagine she wanted to get shot of us Grin

Anyway, we had a need to be allocated outside of usual criteria, so all those unusual factors above got us a place. It was a combination of the head teachers getting together and agreeing, the 'secret team' within the education department, my constant badgering of everyone involved, and no doubt, the 'child neglect' report combined with me threatening to home educate unless she got a place. Perhaps they thought I'd feed her even less greens and meat if she was home all day instead of in a school environment..

Anyway, it worked. It wasn't luck or a space becoming available.
It was digging, investigating, badgering, making the two school heads talk to eachother, and having a genuine need outside of usual allocation requirements.

If you don't have a genuine need, it won't happen.
But are class sizes now increasing due to immigration? It's been a few years since I've been on the education boards so I'm not up to date.

Greenlandrover · 31/08/2015 15:53

That's a long post! Sorry. Anyway I do recall prh47bridge had excellent advice for me at the time, and is resident expert on this matter.

2boysnamedR · 01/09/2015 13:32

I have two kids with additional needs. One has a statement of SEN. extremely complex Problems and I'd rather say SEN than list of his diagnosis. I had no idea SEN was a offensive term. I think I will go back to non neuro typical - but it's a mouthful. But I'm dyslexic so words aren't as important to me.

I do think it's strange that a place seemed to be available yet it wasn't offered to you. I don't think the consensus in this thread suggested its dodgy that a child with "unknown needs outside of normal parameters" might have been given the place.

You have a reasonable question, I don't think it's unreasonable to have a answer and unless you get one, via appeal. I don't think the problem is "why did someone get preference" it's "why if the place was available didnt we get it"

Seems like the place might not have been available. But maybe it was, so maybe you could win the appeal

JaniceJoplin · 01/09/2015 13:47

Is it a possibility that the school were running their own waiting list as an in-year process and you were not on the list ? Our VA school clears the waiting list (as provided by the LA) at the end of the summer and starts their own, so anyone that doesn't bother to reapply directly to the school, doesn't stay on the list...

insanityscatching · 01/09/2015 14:01

I can tell you that I have been the parent of a child with a statement who took a place in a school without involving the LA (no waiting lists as far as I was aware though)
Dd was in a school that was failing to meet her needs and so I looked around a few local schools for an alternative whist dd still had a place. I liked a particular school,met with HT, took dd to view the school. HT then offered a week's trial to see whether dd could be happy there and that they could meet her needs. At the end of the week we (HT and I) agreed that they were a good fit and offered a place that I accepted.
I expected there to be a delay whilst it went to governing body and LA changed the name of the school on her statement but what actually happened was that the HT asked that she start the following Monday. HT phoned the LA to tell them that he had admitted a child with a statement advising them that he felt it was discriminatory that she should have to wait for the change to the statement when a child without a statement wouldn't have to and phoned her allocated school to advise them that the week currently marked as educated off site was now her last week.
So whilst it might not be usual it has happened in practice from my experience.

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