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Primary School Appeal - Hampshire. Legal Info Sought

10 replies

PomsMum · 24/01/2009 18:07

Can anyone help - we've haven't been allocated our first choice school - it is an 'out of catchment school' but we are closer to it than our catchment school and expected to get in on the straight line basis.

We appreciate that this is the last category to scrape in on but I just don't believe that many kids can live closer to this school than we do.

If we appeal can we expect the school to have to disclose the distance from the school that the last child was accepted? Can we ask for this information?

OP posts:
cory · 24/01/2009 18:13

I don't know about the rest of Hampshire but in Soton the catchment lines are often drawn in rather an odd line- you can live across the road and still be out of catchment- and it's the catchment that counts, not the distance. SO you need to check the actual criteria. If it says catchment, rather than distance- then you haven't got much to appeal on unfortunately.

When we did our appeal for dd (on different grounds) I met several parents who had been caught out by this: they were fuming, but got no joy from the appeals committee'; were told they should have complained about the catchment boundaries when they were withdrawn but that the LEA were within their rights applying the catchment criteria.

wannaBe · 24/01/2009 18:14

no. The basis for acceptance is:

Siblings in catchment
Siblings out of catchment
all other applicants.

The siblings alone could have a massive influence on the entries - even within catchment.

I know of a school that one year had 24 siblings so were only able to admit six children within the catchment area, meaning that a lot of others who lived in the catchment area didn't even get in.

I do sympathize but the reality is that when you knowingly apply for a school that is not in your catchment area then you need to do so in the knowledge there is a better than average chance you won't get in.

Is the school a one or two-form entry?

cory · 24/01/2009 18:21

In Soton there are a couple of additional criteria: social and medical

We got into secondary school on medical: dd doesn't have Special Educational Needs and has no statement but she is disabled and can't do stairs.

A friend of hers got in on social needs, because of the special situation of this family (mother terminally ill).

There is also the rule that children in care take priority.

madwomanintheattic · 24/01/2009 18:28

hampshire are straight down the line wrt distance - they actually measure - get the blokes out from surveys lol, so generally it won't be a mistake...
we are north hants in a hugely oversubscribed school out of catchment. dd1 joined in yr2 and so ds1 and dd2 were able to get in under sibling rule, although dd2 also has SEN and school is named school on statement.
you could appeal, but probably easier to sit on the waiting list as generally unlikely to change if that is your only grounds for appeal...
is this yr R or juniors? juniors arrived today so just curious, we were allocated second choice for ds1, but are waiting for surrey allocations under sibling rule lol...

stringbean · 24/01/2009 18:34

We're in Hampshire too and have not got our first preference for Year 3, but other people further from the school have (I've posted about it on another thread). We're out of catchment too, but others further away and with the same criteria (ie no other children on roll at the time of application) have been offered places, so they do not seem to have applied the distance criteria in our case. Makes you wonder if someone has cocked up somewhere along the line.

madwomanintheattic · 24/01/2009 19:01

is it VA or VC? sometimes there's a funny local criteria that applies...
the way they do the distance sometimes seems quite odd, but they do it by the quickest route to school, not as the crow flies - so if there is a footpath route that is shorter than the road, they will use that when they measure from each front door lol. for dd1's junior place we missed it by 52 metres (her friend round the corner got in), but then got a place from the waiting list as we were at the top and one child dropped out...

PomsMum · 24/01/2009 19:04

It is for y R - we are only too aware of the criteria and obviously decided to chance our arm on the application. I appreciate that the siblings out of catchment could make a massive difference. Interestingly last year the furthest child admitted was 2.1 miles away - we live 1.1 miles away.

I haven't had a chance to check who has got in and wether they are further away than us, but I feel that they could have genuinely made a mistake? Stringbean I'm with you.....

Going on the waiting list or appeal - does it make a diference which way you go. They say that your appeal will only be successful if the independant appeal panel concludes that the schools admission procedures were not carried out properly - if I feel that this is the case then surely I should go with the appeal?

OP posts:
madwomanintheattic · 24/01/2009 19:18

out of catchment admissions for our yr r places are going down annually, from 8 children 3 years ago, to 5, and last year to two children only, (not counting dd2 who entered on both sibling and sen grounds)
we are all waiting with baited breath to see if there are any out of catchment kids at all who haven't entered on sibling grounds this year...
interestingly, they play it so straight that one of the teacher's kids didn't get a place, and she had to give up her job because she couldn't do the school run etc... quite rightly lol, as it followed the criteria...

stringbean · 26/01/2009 21:15

PomsMum, just looked here from the other thread. Following on from Madwoman, places at schools can differ hugely from year to year, which explains the distances you mention.

When ds was offered a place at our out of catchment school, the school was undersubscribed (allegedly due to a dip in the birthrate) and had been for a few years, so everyone who applied, regardless of where they lived, was offered a place. Only about half the places are filled from catchment in his year. Ds started in year R in 2006; however last September, no children out of catchment were admitted, unless they had a sibling on the roll. I know some children who are a lot closer to the school than we are, who weren't admitted. Apparently the birth rate is now on the rise, which is the reason given. I guess when the people who live miles away from the school have moved onto secondary school it will settle down and even itself out. What are you planning to do, having now found out the distances?

vicj69 · 31/01/2009 21:04

i live in north east hampshire and we have been unsuccesful in our 1st preference infant school Year R ad its our catchment school! so were very shocked, apparantly the school is oversubscribed as their PAN is 90, we have been offered an out of catchment school which is 2.5 miles away! and offers no transport so i have no idea how i will get my child there and back every day!
i have appealed the decision and am also on the waiting list.
what do you think the chances are of being succesful with the appeal as this is my catchment school and this particular school offers transportwhich we were relying on?
i'm hoping some parents have lied about where they live so we then get their place, as i heard that people lie about where they live to get into schools and will use a relatives address, and the school place can only be confirmed if they show a recent bill with the parents name on.
the school said that the distance from school to home is measured in a straight line and where 2 or more children live in a block of flats the child on the ground floor flat takes priority to the next floor and so on! i'm on the middle floor, but there are 2 of my neighbours who have also had the same result as me so we're not at all happy to say the least!
gonna keep our fingers crossed.

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