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School placement appeal - urgent help needed

AnilS

Prominent Member
Found out a couple of weeks ago that my son (13) will be going to his second choice school, which is his actual catchment school. So no real surprise. His first choice is a further mile away and he is currently in his last term at Middle school. This school actually is one of the feeder schools to his/our first choice.

His first choice has been oversubscribed, by what figure, I don't know. But speaking to those at the LEA, its been "greatly oversubscribed".

Heres the rub. I put in an appeal. I only got my date for appeal this week. The appeal is to be held next Wednesday, which gives me little time to prepare as much as I'd like.

My son is very bright, top sets for everything and Head boy at his current school, so would be an excellent asset to this (or any) school.

The question is that I can write glowingly about his attributes but what I'm not prepared for, are the types of questions, I'm likely to face at the appeal hearing, when faced with a panel of people.

Has anyone been through this and can offer me any guidance.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards, Anil.
 
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Orson

Prominent Member
Was the only reason given over subscription?

Have you no other reason you can give at appeal for wanting him to go to your first choice, i.e. brother/sister already there, cousins etc? Even if you or your partner did?

The problem is, if there's a school closer to you, that you have an allocated place for, normally, most folks would be happy, and the LEA would be considered to have done a good job.

Unless of course you could tell the appeals board that you are in the process of moving to be much closer to your first choice :devil:, and by choosing that, you were just planning ahead, add in that he'll be able to walk to school, environmental impact etc.

Worth a try?
 

Vnb

Established Member
We have done this for primary school. You have put in an appeal - but on what grounds ? I really think you need to be looking at the admission criteria and concentrating on why your son should have been admitted and trying to see if you can show that a mistake has perhaps been made.
No offence but I do not think that telling them that you son is very bright and would be an asset to one school more than another will get you anywhere at all.
We concentrated on the fact that we believed mistakes had been made in the admission process - which there had - and delivered our appeal based on that. We still failed as quite simply the places have been allocated. We were lucky - somebody dropped out, moved away. What our appeal did do was make sure we were the first people on the list to take that place.
 

DJT75

Distinguished Member
We got a school allocated outside of our catchment area & appealed for his 1st choice which was literally up the road. There were nearly 900 applications for 180 places though so the appeal process was virtually impossible. They pretty much didn't ask any questions, they just listen to your case.

The only kids from around our way that won the appeals we those with special needs requirements & disabled parents. The school was local & it had specialist 'special needs' facilities so they got in. Everyone else didn't. So a glowly report of your son's achievements to date will get you nowhere - if it's oversubscribed you need a reason specific that school as to why he needs to go there.

The school we failed with also specialised in the arts so he joined their out-of-hours drama school (at £100 per month!!) months before the appeal & we concentrated on that. I was told my case was excellent by a former panel member but it still got us nowhere. He's now very happy at the other school which has improved immensely in 2 years too. However it does mean car journeys both ways
 

rickinyorkshire

Distinguished Member
Can I ask what the difference is between the 2 schools?

Also, it seems the 2 schools are pretty close, 1 mile from each other?!.
 

Nic Rhodes

Distinguished Member
You need to target schools admissions criteria and show faults with the system, without your chances are close to zero. This process is tightly run by most schools. Having a bright kid will get you nowhere.
 

DJT75

Distinguished Member
You need to target schools admissions criteria and show faults with the system, without your chances are close to zero. This process is tightly run by most schools. Having a bright kid will get you nowhere.

I was advised not to mention what I considered faults in the system, they don't like it
 

AnilS

Prominent Member
Many thanks for the honest responses.:thumbsup:

Having been through the admissions policy, they run a very tight criteria and looking for a little chink in the failure process seems difficult.

The difference between the two schools is down to this; the first choice has had many years of Academic excellence over our second choice and it specialises in Science and technology which my son's forte are. The second choice school specialises in Art and Drama.

In terms of accessibility, the first choice is further but walkable. That said, because of our work patterns, its not an issue for either my wife or me to drop them off.

I believe our son will do well at his catchment school (2nd choice) but I know he will excel at other school.
 
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Nic Rhodes

Distinguished Member
I was advised not to mention what I considered faults in the system, they don't like it

You are not looking for faults in the system per se but errors / faults in the proceedures they should follow. It is the most successful way but most challenges are unsuccessful. I get to see it first hand.
 
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