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Appeals for school admissions

p1tse

Prominent Member
Didn't get any of our 3 choices and been given something else

Anyone successfully appealed and got a space elsewhere?
Any tips?

We've sent off our forms for reasons for preference so wait and hear back now
 

Bladestorm

Standard Member
I actually work in this area for my Local Council.

If your child is starting Primary School (Reception Class), it is national policy that Key Stage 1 (Reception, Year 1 and Year 2) are taught in classes no larger than 30 children per teacher.

I have sat through numerous appeals for places in these year groups and unless you can prove any of the following points then you have virtually no chance of being successful as the Appeals Panel's hands are tied by national policy:-

1. The admission arrangemnets were not properly followed/implemented in your childs case.
2. The admission arrangements were not lawful and if they had been, your child would have obtained a place; or
3. The Appeals Panel would need to be satisfied that the decision to refuse a place was completely unreasonable

If your child is starting High School (Year 7) the Appeals Panel can take into account a lot more reasons and your chances of being successful can be higher.

You will need to concentrate on why you want your child to attend that particular school (ie:- the majority of his friends be attending, its close to where you live, sibling attends and you wnat all your children to be at the same school etc). If you have any medical reasons that you want the Appeals Panel to takle into account make sure you provide evidence of this when you complete your appeal form.

Also explain about any difficulties you would face with things like travel arrangements to the school you have been offerred, or if your child will be the only one going to that school from his Nursey/Primary school etc.

Dont concentrate on the reasons why the school you have been offered is not acceptable, try to stick to why the school you are appealing for is the most appropriate for your child.

Also, put an appeal in for all 3 of the schools you had applied for at the same time. If you wait for the outcome of one before you appeal for the next school, other parents may have appeals for the other schools on your list which if successful, will limit your chances of obtaining a place.

Most Primary Schools operate waiting lists upto the end of the first term (usually Christmas). These lists are not held on 1st come 1st served basis, and your child's position on the list can fluctuate depending on where he or she is on the schools admissions criteria in comparison to other children on the waiting list (eg:- if another child has a sibling at the school and you do not, the other child will be closer to the top of the waiting list than yours or if you live closer to the school than another family (who do not have a sibling at theschool) you would be higher on the list)

You can also speak to your local authity to see what other schools have places available if you dont like the one you have been offered.

One final point, you can only appeal for a place at a school once each school year. If you are unsuccesful, you would not be able to appeal for a place at that school until he/she was in Year 1 or Year 8.

I cant guarantee that by following this advice you will definately be successful, but I wish you good luck.

Mike
 

p1tse

Prominent Member
Mike
Thanks

We're actually in the middle of a house move, so that's our main reason for appeal.
We're staying in the same LA, but our new address will mean its further and would need to cross a busy commuting junction area, however I didn't put that in the appeal form.

I put reason for appeal : change of address.
Like you pointed we had to choose on the 3 points of national policy.

I then listed our first choice the same as our previous first choice, which will be the nearest school from the new address. And then submitted new 2nd and 3rd preferences on other local schools to the new address.
I then listed short few bullet points in reasons for preference.

Sod's law as our first choice in the last two years didn't have a full class. I'm fully aware on class of 30, just hope the spaces they allocated some others might decline for whatever reason and leaving a space open.

What I'm unclear about is the timing process. We've sent our appeal forms, but do we hear back for receipt of appeal, when do we hear back on the appeal. Fingers crossed at least he might a place in 2nd choice, as I was told by LA there are a couple of spaces left, but I guess it depends on other appeas. If he does get 2nd choice can we accept but still put him down on waiting list on 1st choice.

1st choice driving is 0.6miles and reading LA guide they have their own straight like measurements so that's the main plus that its walkable distance.

However main issue I guess we face is that the new address is based on a middle of a house move as waiting on completion but all legal documents are through on all parties.
 

Bladestorm

Standard Member
p1tse said:
Mike
Thanks

We're actually in the middle of a house move, so that's our main reason for appeal.
We're staying in the same LA, but our new address will mean its further and would need to cross a busy commuting junction area, however I didn't put that in the appeal form.

I put reason for appeal : change of address.
Like you pointed we had to choose on the 3 points of national policy.

I then listed our first choice the same as our previous first choice, which will be the nearest school from the new address. And then submitted new 2nd and 3rd preferences on other local schools to the new address.
I then listed short few bullet points in reasons for preference.

Sod's law as our first choice in the last two years didn't have a full class. I'm fully aware on class of 30, just hope the spaces they allocated some others might decline for whatever reason and leaving a space open.

What I'm unclear about is the timing process. We've sent our appeal forms, but do we hear back for receipt of appeal, when do we hear back on the appeal. Fingers crossed at least he might a place in 2nd choice, as I was told by LA there are a couple of spaces left, but I guess it depends on other appeas. If he does get 2nd choice can we accept but still put him down on waiting list on 1st choice.

1st choice driving is 0.6miles and reading LA guide they have their own straight like measurements so that's the main plus that its walkable distance.

However main issue I guess we face is that the new address is based on a middle of a house move as waiting on completion but all legal documents are through on all parties.


Normally appeals take place in May/June before schools finish for summer' will just depend how many appeals your LA has to arrange. You should get around 10 days notice of your appeal date. The appeals are normally arranged so appeals for the same school are heard at the same time. The decision on your appeal is made by the panel after they have heard all appeals for that year group for that school, then you are sent a letter with the decision.

If you have proof of your move submit that or take it with you to the appeal, straight line measurement is the norm and could work in your favour as it will probably be shorter than the 0.6mile driving distance.

If the appeal for your 1st choice takes place before you move and your not successful then once you have moved contact your LA, explain you have now moved address as you could get a second appeal due to significant changes in your circumstances.

Places can come available at schools as parents choose other places so definitely get yours on the waiting lists.

If you need any further advice happy to help
 

p1tse

Prominent Member
Thanks
So we will get a date usually 10 days before the appeal. Do we get given a date and time to meet with the panel?

I've submitted with legal and estate documents in have to date.
But thanks for the tip on 2nd appeal if before we haven't moved and is after

We are planning to be away 10 days in may so hope we don't miss anything

FYI, we never considered the school given as its not even built and also we always planned to move
 

Bladestorm

Standard Member
p1tse said:
Thanks
So we will get a date usually 10 days before the appeal. Do we get given a date and time to meet with the panel?

I've submitted with legal and estate documents in have to date.
But thanks for the tip on 2nd appeal if before we haven't moved and is after

We are planning to be away 10 days in may so hope we don't miss anything

FYI, we never considered the school given as its not even built and also we always planned to move


Yes you should get an appointment letter setting out the date and time of your appeal hearing at least 10 days before. If you can't make it then you can choose to have someone attend on your behalf, have it heard in your absence or defer it to a later date.

I wouldn't recommend to have it heard in your absence or deferred as most heard in absence are refused or, if deferred, you stand less chance of being successful as other appeals get allowed before yours is heard making it more difficult for you to win.

If your child's starting primary school you may find your chances limited until year 3 so If you get offered one of your preferences then take it. It might not be your 1st pref but it will be better than getting offered a school that you haven't even considered.

New schools are often an unknown.... They have no history of performance to be judged against but are built and kitted out to modern day sizes and specs so sometimes can a be a good thing.
 

p1tse

Prominent Member
So do all appeal applicants get an appointment? Who's there at the appointment, process etc?
Or can they offer places if there are places?

So it might be best for someone to check on our mail when away.
Who would you recommend to attend on our behalf if it was the case?

Yes this is for primary reception admission.
 

p1tse

Prominent Member
My LA

Quotes
Reception Admission – Academic Year 2013/2014
On time applicants:
24 May 2013 Deadline for on time applicants to lodge appeal
by 31 August 2013 On time appeals heard if possible
Late applicants (applications received after the closing date of 15 January 2013)
Appeals will be heard by 31 August 2013 if possible or within 30 school days of the appeal being lodged.

Appeals Procedures
Appeals for Community and Controlled Schools in South Gloucestershire are arranged by the Legal and Democratic Services Team which is independent of the Department for Children, Adults and Health.
The clerk to the independent appeal will
• ensure that appellants receive at least 10 school days' notice of their appeal hearing
• ensure that the appeal papers are sent to panel members and other parties involved within a reasonable timescale
• ensure that decision letters are sent within five school days of the hearing wherever possible.
 

Bladestorm

Standard Member
All parents who are appealing get the chance to attend an appeal.
Normally its a panel of 3 independent members, a representative from the schools admissions team to present the schools case as to why they couldn't offer a place and then yourselves to put forward your reasons for wanting a place.
if u can't make it then another family member can attend on your behalf but it is better if you can!
 

p1tse

Prominent Member
Thanks. Well we've submitted our appeals so it's just wait and see.
With the deadline at 24 may, does that mean that appeal hearing meetings will be after this date?

If they are during our holiday 18th-28th may is it worth ringing up to get that put on the form as record so we don't clash on dates?
 
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p1tse

Prominent Member
Just rang LA
They told me appeals will be July/August and be given a fortnight notice

Was hoping it would be processed and at a further stage earlier. Lady on the phone didn't deal with appeals so wasn't sure if outcomes are on the same day?
 

Bladestorm

Standard Member
Your LA might be anticipating a lot of appeals for High Schools as these are normally dealt with first (less High Schools in most boroughs compared to Primary Schools) so that may be why your appeal is in July/August.

Only drawback is the uncertainty of what school your child will attend over the summer holidays.

Normally you are notified in writing of teh Panel's decision. If you are one of several appeals for that school, these letters are sent after all appeals have been considered.

Any appeals submitted after your deadline of 24 May would normally be considered in a "mop up"sesssion, which would take place either at the very end of the summer holidays or sometimes during the 1st week of the new term. These become even more difficult to win as appeal decisions will have been made on appeals heard in July/August and any that have been successful mean that the school will already be over its Standard Admission Number.

Therefore make sure you submit appeals for any schools you would like your child to attend before 24 May so that you are not caught in any mop up sessions. You can always withdraw an appeal should you either get a place at a school you want.

Like I intially said though, if the school(s) you would like your child to attend are taught in 30 pupils in a class, then sadly your chances of being successful are going to be low. The best you could hope for is parents accepting places at other schools meaning places become available at the school(s) you want and your child is near the top of the waiting lists.
 

p1tse

Prominent Member
Update
Got a letter today.

On the original form and reasons for we did put we hoped and expected to move by may 17th, but this is going to be June now due to owners waiting for their second house to be free to move in with tenants moving out.
But as our exchange and move in date is after deadline for appeals I was told on the phone that this will not be taken into consideration, is this true?

Our two other choices won't be taken into consideration for appeal as weren't two original choices, but these are two closer schools to the new address.

Our new to be new address and current school given would mean we would have to cross heavy commuting junctions which I don't think doing school, nursery, work route will be doable in time.

Going to ask our solicitor for some reference but any other advice?
 

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