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Can anyone help with appeal please?

(30 Posts)
gillybob Thu 05-May-16 13:04:50

I wondered if anyone had any experience or advice on appealing against a school admission refusal?

My DS and DDiL and the 3 children moved house last month. They have moved 6 miles away from their previous home. Before they moved I telephoned the (primary)school close to their new house and had a long chat with the school secretary. She told me that the school was oversubscribed and that the vast amount of children in the school come from out of the area as this is a feeder primary to one of the better Comprehensives. I spoke to the LEA who said that there was very little chance of the children getting places but they should apply anyway, which we have done. They have been refused places (oversubscribed) and have been invited to appeal. I don't know how long we can manage to get the children to and from school as parents work full time and they rely on me (and other grandma and great-grandma) to pick up and drop off. Any advice would be gratefully received.

daphnedill Thu 05-May-16 13:37:28

This happened to me a few years ago. I went to appeal and lost and had to wait a term until a place was available. Sadly, with three children it's unlikely that they'll all get places any time soon.

You might be better posting on Mumsnet, where a couple of appeals 'experts' post. Unfortunately, I expect you'll get the same answer as I've just given you, especially if any of the children are in KS1.

On a positive note, if the children are still at their previous school and it's six miles away, the local authority should pay for transport (taxi?), unless there's a nearer school with places.

gillybob Thu 05-May-16 13:58:36

Thank you for your reply daphnedill. I am not a member of Mumsnet unfortunately.

Yes I can see getting three places being a major problem. I have heard from the secretary that there might be a place in year 3 but I can't see how we could be at 2 different schools at the same time. The children are (years 1, 3 and 5) if the eldest child does not get into the primary by next year it is highly unlikely she will get to the nearest comprehensive either and that would be a logistical nightmare as the feeder comp from their existing school is even further away.

As it stands the children can no longer participate in any after school clubs as it is too far to go home and back.

annodomini Thu 05-May-16 14:47:17

I have, in my time, sat on appeals panels and, though things have probably changed a lot since then as well as from one LEA to another, I can confirm that schools can't be expected to go beyond their prescribed limit and it's very hard to get past that on appeal. But do go ahead with it gillybob on the grounds that your family is being put in an impossible situation.

Anya Thu 05-May-16 14:53:25

People do appeal and some win their case. Find out all you can about the criteria such cases ar judged by in your area and stick to these when writing your appeal.

gillybob Thu 05-May-16 15:07:16

Thank you for taking the trouble to reply anno and Anya I really appreciate it.

Stansgran Thu 05-May-16 15:38:12

Gillybob it will only take a moment to join Mumsnet and they tend to be in the thick of it with appeals and what have you.

Penstemmon Thu 05-May-16 20:19:49

Gillybob always a difficult situation when moving house. I think it is wise to go to appeal even though you think you are not likely to win.

Stick as strongly as possible to any impact on the children's learning and well being and minimise inconvenience (but still mention it!!);
e/g stressful start to the day having to be up so early to ensure arrival on time so ch. not in a relaxed mood for learning at school.

How close are the children to the "new" school? At least if they are quite close they will be nearer the top of the waiting list. You need to find out what happens if one child accepts a place will it put the other two higher up a waiting list because of the sibling link?

Good luck!

trisher Thu 05-May-16 22:43:25

gillybob-advice about appealing on here-
Make sure you collect as much supporting information as you can and statements from anyone you have contact with who will say that the school is the best one for your GCs. It might help if you can say that the school run is becoming a problem for you. Good luck

Teetime Fri 06-May-16 03:13:51

gilly my DD did a fantastic appeal last year and won. She had advice from a barrister (she is the HR consultant in a large chambers) if you would like I can ask her for her letter and PM you with it.

gillybob Fri 06-May-16 07:17:06

Thank you everyone for your suggestions.

I would very much appreciate that offer of help Teetime I have PM'd you.

daphnedill Fri 06-May-16 08:22:40

gillybob, As far as the secondary school is concerned, it might be worth checking the admissions criteria for the particular school. They do vary, but usually there's some kind of distance criterion, not just based on feeder primaries. If the eldest gets a place at the secondary, it will be easier for the younger ones, as there's usually priority for siblings.

Having said that, some schools operate back door selection policies, especially if they're faith schools - it really depends where you live. My own local school dropped a bombshell this year, because children from surrounding villages weren't offered places and will be bussed to a school further away. It doesn't have any 'feeder' primary schools - admissions are based on siblings, then distance.

Tell your son to ask where the eldest is on the waiting list for the primary. He might be lucky, as I was. My son only had to wait a term before somebody left and a place became available in the school we could see from our garden.

daphnedill Fri 06-May-16 08:27:54

And don't forget that if the school the children are currently attending is the nearest with places that the local authority is obliged to provide transport. This is what happened with my son. The authority had to pay for a return taxi fare for 7 miles every day. If the school your son wants the children to attend is a county school, the cost of the taxi might encourage them to pull a few strings to get him in. The school can exceed its PAN for the ones in Years 3 and 5, but is unlikely to do so for the youngest.

gillybob Fri 06-May-16 08:39:17

It was the secretary of the primary who drew my attention to the fact that it would be a struggle to get eldest DGD into the comp if she did not get into one of the "feeder" schools daphnedill . I know it is going to be extremely hard to get 3 places in the primary but it will have to be 3 or we will be in a worse position than we currently are as I cannot be standing in 2 school yards miles apart at the same time.

gillybob Fri 06-May-16 08:47:55

Thank you daphnedill I have read lots about the appeals process and it seems that it is almost impossible to exceed the class size for the younger ones. I would be very worried sending them to school in a taxi every day. The girls are in the junior part of the school and the little boy is in the infant side. Separate entrances and yards etc. I would worry myself sick. They are also very sporty children and attended after school football/gym classes which we can no longer manage.

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 06-May-16 09:39:45

Have I got this right gillybob. At the moment you are having to drive the six miles to their new home, collect them, and take them back the six miles to the school near you?

Is there no way one of the parents could bring them to your house before they go to work? Why are you having to do all the donkey work? And then perhaps mum or dad could collect them from yours later.

Sorry if I've got the picture completely wrong.

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 06-May-16 09:40:29

It seems very unfair on you

gillybob Fri 06-May-16 10:20:21

Not quite jings I share with the other grandma (nana) and we take turns, also Great-nana does a day too . This means I do 2-3 days depending on the week. Other nana does 1-2 and great-nana does 1. Every third week DDiL (mum) does her mums 3 mornings (as she is on 2-10 shift) and I still do my 2 ( the children stay with me every Monday anyway so it makes no difference) . I know it sounds very complicated but we have a Sunday night text / rota system and it works okay. Other nana does have an awful lot of holidays mind you (lucky thing) so I pick up the extra days quite often. confused

The school they currently attend is nowhere near where I live it is within walking distance of their old house. If I did every day (heaven forbid) they could effectively stay in their current school as I have to drive there and back anyway as I work in another town.

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 06-May-16 10:57:31

confused. I hope you've got it all written down somewhere.

cupcake. (all I can offer really)

jinglbellsfrocks Fri 06-May-16 10:58:04

Good luck though.

daphnedill Fri 06-May-16 12:06:16

My son went in a taxi every day when he was 8. The local authority organises it and the drivers are DBS checked. It was the same driver most days. It's absolutely fine.

daphnedill Fri 06-May-16 12:12:57

And the driver handed my son over to a member of staff every morning and collected him from reception in the afternoon. The school was aware of the arrangement.

I doubt if the appeals panel will accept transport arrangements as a reason for admission. I metioned it at my appeal - I was a single parent and had NOBODY to help me out. However, one of the appeals panel said to me that it sounded as though I wanted a nearer school for MY convenience. Horrible woman!

PS. I would go online and check the secondary school's admission policy. The secretary could be wrong.

AnnaBell Mon 03-Oct-16 08:22:25

Message deleted by Gransnet. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

f77ms Mon 03-Oct-16 08:52:14

Forgive me but if the school is oversubscribed then what would be the point of appealing ? I presume they have a maximum class size and cannot go over this . I went to a school 8 miles away from 7 years old but went on the bus unaccompanied , the secondary school was also a similar distance. I wouldn`t think that transport difficulties as a reason would go down very well for the appeal. What was the reason for the move of 6 miles ?

So much is now expected of Grandparents !

Bellanonna Mon 03-Oct-16 09:34:37

Was thst an ad, AnnaBell? Whether it is or not, it's a terrible idea. The point of schooling is to learn, not to pay for essays to be written for you. Are you in the UK.?