My feed
Premium

Please
or
to access all these features

AIBU?

Any school appeal experts here please?

20 replies

schoolappealhell · 28/09/2022 11:50

Hi.
We have recently moved areas and have been trying to get a mid-year transfer place for our Y8 child.

Academy School A - 1.5m away from house is full; have appeal in progress - date TBC

Offered Fair Access place at Academy School B which is 10m away. Child expected to leave house at 7am, walk 1mile to train station to catch bus, then wait at school until 5pm to catch return bus home, arrive at train station at 6pm, then again walk 1mile home. He is 12. I do not find this acceptable and have asked for this to be reassessed, not hopeful tho.

Academy A has its own admission policy etc, so aware LEA has no sway over decision, but I am trying to work out what case we need to put forward in an appeal to possibly win a place.
Also aware they won’t care about the impact of travel to other school.

My son is also bottom set of subjects, mostly down to massive gaps in learning leftover from lockdown learning.

I am massively concerned about the effect these long days 7am-630pm will have on his ability to focus and learn and do subsequent homework.

He suffers from anxiety and I am terrified of the stress this will induce on him long term. It will also be detrimental to his social circle, he already knows no-one here, any friends he does make at school will live 10m away.

My head is spinning, apologies if this is a load of waffle.

Really wishing we had never moved.

OP posts:
Mumofsend · 28/09/2022 12:00

You should be eligible for more direct transport to the school they've given him a place at.

schoolappealhell · 28/09/2022 16:30

Mumofsend · 28/09/2022 12:00

You should be eligible for more direct transport to the school they've given him a place at.

I am pushing back, but I don't hold out much hope.

OP posts:
Noviembre · 28/09/2022 16:33

The first school is full. They can't kick another kid out to accommodate yours. If you could circumvent difficult application processes by moving and jumping the queue, that's what people would do.

MrsElm · 28/09/2022 16:33

If school A don't have space, then what can they do? Are they allowed to increase class size?

TheBoxOfWhat · 28/09/2022 16:35

You are best reporting your own post and getting moved onto the Secondary board. Several MNetters who are experts in this area are definitely on there.

If my memory serves

@admissions
@panelchair2
@prh47bridge

TheBoxOfWhat · 28/09/2022 16:36

Also apologies to those I have @ if I have got you mixed up with someone else.

NerrSnerr · 28/09/2022 16:45

What reason do you think the admissions process has been unfairly applied? The school is full and imagine if they accepted every child that moved into the area- that's just what would happen at every desirable school and they'd have whole extra classes with no teachers.

Do you know what number he is on the waiting list? It may just be a waiting game.

Are there any other schools in between the two you've mentioned that he can go on the waiting list?

SummerHouse · 28/09/2022 16:46

Oh OP, sounds very stressful. Is it only the distance that's the problem or do you prefer to the other school for other reasons as well? That's not to belittle the issue of the distance - it sounds an awful lot for a 12 yr old.

clary · 28/09/2022 16:54

OP for your appeal you need to come up with reasons why the preferred school would be more suitable for your child. Closeness will not hold any sway sadly, tho I agree that commute to the offered school does not sound like a reasonable journey and length of day.

Focus on your child's skills. interests, abilities and how these are supported in school A. Does he pay an instrument and they have an orchestra? has he started learning German and they offer that? That kind of thing - subjetcs offered, clubs in school, anything that makes that school a better fit.

Is the other school OK apart from the distance? If so, I would continue to push back and ask for (for example) a taxi each day to school or to a bus stop much nearer school. It doesn;t feel reasonable to ask him to wait at school for 90 mins at the end of the school day.

gogohmm · 28/09/2022 17:06

If school b is acceptable to you transport aside, try negotiating a taxi pick up, cite anxiety etc. they can't create a space where there is none.
Also stress how lock down particularly affected your son due to his anxiety

titchy · 28/09/2022 17:15

Hopefully the experts will be along soon, but in the meantime as the school is over 3 miles away he has a statutory right to free home to school transport. Given the length of the journey that should be a taxi. So don't worry about that.

However if you want to go ahead and appeal the nearer school then you need to look for things the appeal school offers that others that it would be detrimental for your child if they didn't have those things at school - eg boys hockey team if you can demonstrate an existing interest. Moving to a new area and needing to integrate into the local community could be worth mentioning too. Also you need to chip away at the schools case for not admitting - realistically they will be able to cope with one extra child, so you could argue for example that their current year 10 is over and ask if anyone has had an accident due to over crowding or not been able to do science because of lack of room in the lab.

ExperiencedPanelChair · 28/09/2022 17:17

Help is at hand...
You need to appeal for the school that is your first choice.
In Part 1 of the Appeal, the Panel will look at the fullness of the school and decide whether admitting an additional child would 'be prejudicial to the efficient education or use of resources' - the fullness of the school is far more than a numbers game, the panel will look at the space in school overall, the staff/pupil ratios/health and safety issues/toilet and changing facilities/size of classrooms and number of pupils in teaching groups - I could go on but you've probably got the idea by now. If the Panel find that admitting another child into the year group would cause prejudice it then moves on to stage 2 (all one hearing divided up)
Part 2 of the Appeal is what we call the 'balancing stage' this is where we balance the needs of the child/family against the needs of the school. Things for consideration would be siblings, safe route to school, medical/mental health issues, peer support/friendship groups, local support network etc.
All appeal panels are independent of the school and the local authority and the decisions they make are final and binding.
I hope this helps, come back to me if you need more info.

KnackeredHag · 28/09/2022 17:19

You have to be able to prove that it would be more detrimental to your child to not get a place than it would be to the school to admit them.
Are you happy to cut and paste their admissions policy?

ExperiencedPanelChair · 28/09/2022 17:22

I was panel chair 2 but have had to open a new account - happy to help :)

prh47bridge · 28/09/2022 17:34

If academy B is 10 miles away, the LA must offer free transport. At a minimum, they must pay your son's bus and train fares.

If the journey to academy B takes more than 75 minutes each way, it is regarded as unreasonable. Whilst that is an argument against the school you've got rather than for the school you want, it is something you can use in your appeal.

As others have said, you are looking for ways in which your son will be disadvantaged if he is not admitted to academy A and trying to show that this outweighs any problems the school will face if they admit him. You need to look at the things this academy offers that are missing from academy B and that are particularly relevant to your son.

You talk about stress. That would be a valid argument if you can get a letter from a medical professional to support your case. Note that, for the appeal panel to give it any weight, it must be clear that the medical professional is stating their professional view, not simply reporting your view.

NeverDropYourMooncup · 28/09/2022 18:54

titchy · 28/09/2022 17:15

Hopefully the experts will be along soon, but in the meantime as the school is over 3 miles away he has a statutory right to free home to school transport. Given the length of the journey that should be a taxi. So don't worry about that.

However if you want to go ahead and appeal the nearer school then you need to look for things the appeal school offers that others that it would be detrimental for your child if they didn't have those things at school - eg boys hockey team if you can demonstrate an existing interest. Moving to a new area and needing to integrate into the local community could be worth mentioning too. Also you need to chip away at the schools case for not admitting - realistically they will be able to cope with one extra child, so you could argue for example that their current year 10 is over and ask if anyone has had an accident due to over crowding or not been able to do science because of lack of room in the lab.

Year 10 possibly being over PAN (or under, for that matter) is irrelevant to year 8 cohort size. And there always comes a point where taking 'just one more' simply isn't possible.


However, there is still significant movement over the next fortnight (coming up to Autumn Census), so a space still might come up if he's high enough on the waiting list.

RafaistheKingofClay · 28/09/2022 19:06

Year 10 possibly being over PAN (or under, for that matter) is irrelevant to year 8 cohort size. And there always comes a point where taking 'just one more' simply isn't possible.

It is relevant if Y10 has more pupils in than the current Y8. It won’t guarantee a place but it does weaken the school’s argument slightly if they are claiming they can’t cope with 121 in Y8 of they’ve been managing fine with other year groups at 123/124. Obviously there is a point where the school is full but it’s worth finding out what they are able to manage in other year groups.

OneFrenchEgg · 28/09/2022 19:10

Help is at hand...

Thank god after the first few responses. I'm out of practice but was thinking of dusting off my knowledge and giving some advice !

schoolappealhell · 28/09/2022 19:16

ExperiencedPanelChair · 28/09/2022 17:22

I was panel chair 2 but have had to open a new account - happy to help :)

Hello, I am so grateful for your reply. Could I possibly PM you?

OP posts:
ExperiencedPanelChair · 29/09/2022 11:56

Certainly

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.