A long shot - Anyone ever been to an appeal for a school place??

60 replies
Found 2nd Nov 2009
Like I said a long shot I know.

To cut a long story short, my eldest daughter was due to start secondary school this September but between the school & the Local Authority she was taken off register by mistake. This is going through court action etc.

Anyway, the local school we wnat her to go to is over-subscribed and she is currently on the waiting list. However, tomorrow I have to go to an appeal whereby if I present my case strongly enough, they can/will give her a place asap.

Now I've set my case out as much as I can, I'm ready to roll etc but I was just wondering if anyone on here has any experience of these appeals or better still, if anyone has ever won one or been to one.

Any helpful knowledge would be appreciated.

Cheers

Col.

57 Comments

I havent personally but can remember the advice on the telly earlier in the year was to match the school to your childs interests/abilities.

I.e if your daughter is really good at drama, research into the drama area of the school.....if she knows another language then mention the modern foreign language areas....perhaps think of how she could benifit the school (without sounding cocky)

thats all I remember from the tv....HTH

I did an appeal for my second daughter all by myself........ and won it!

If your child has two parents... both of you go-- its a good idea to show a united front.

There will be probably three people to decide the case and their legal advisor (s ) plus the school, putting its case ( usually on the grounds of health and safety overpopulation of the school etc ) why they dont wish your child to attend.

You just have to make your own case out. I'd made a dossier about 40 pages long of reasons my daughter NEEDED to be at this school with supporting evidence from various sources.

When we did it... I did all the talking, my ex-husband just sat there, looking helluva relaxed not sure how he did it, but i did all the serious work and then he had the judges smiling and laughing at the end with some lil story about our child.

Was crazy... an interesting experience, not one I'd wish to repeat again!

Good luck xxx

ClarityofMind;6763965

I did an appeal for my second daughter all by myself........ and won it! … I did an appeal for my second daughter all by myself........ and won it!



i assume he is wanting help on how you won your case

ClarityofMind;6763965

I did an appeal for my second daughter all by myself........ and won it! … I did an appeal for my second daughter all by myself........ and won it!



Lol I think you need to share why and why arent you on msn???

ClarityofMind;6763965

I did an appeal for my second daughter all by myself........ and won it! … I did an appeal for my second daughter all by myself........ and won it!



Very helpful advice there

Hi COM

Original Poster

lil_tiger;6763952

I havent personally but can remember the advice on the telly earlier in … I havent personally but can remember the advice on the telly earlier in the year was to match the school to your childs interests/abilities.I.e if your daughter is really good at drama, research into the drama area of the school.....if she knows another language then mention the modern foreign language areas....perhaps think of how she could benifit the school (without sounding cocky)thats all I remember from the tv....HTH



Cheers. Done this. She's very much into Literature & IT ( 11 years old!) which are 2 key areas the school focus on so I'm gonna milk that a bit!:thumbsup:

Banned

you got to tell them why they should boot a pupil out to make a space for your daughter - good luck :thumbsup:

Original Poster

ClarityofMind;6763965

I did an appeal for my second daughter all by myself........ and won it! … I did an appeal for my second daughter all by myself........ and won it!



Well done COM! How?

Fancy coming to the appeal with me tomorrow and giving them some stick??:thumbsup:

Original Poster

sassie;6763991

you got to tell them why they should boot a pupil out to make a space for … you got to tell them why they should boot a pupil out to make a space for your daughter - good luck :thumbsup:



That would be too easy Sass - They should just give the places to the kid's with the best looking dads!!

Banned

mates brother had to appeal.........lived in the village all his life with all family in the village.......there has been a heap of new houses and estates sprung up and are very expensive and closer to the school, which apprently gives them proirity over people who have lived in the village all their lives.

he lost the appeal but managed to get another spot in a catholic infant/primary school in the same village, which they have had to make do with, rather than having to go 4 miles down the A1

good luck

Banned

karaokecolin;6764005

That would be too easy Sass - They should just give the places to the … That would be too easy Sass - They should just give the places to the kid's with the best looking dads!!



well you never know hun, the leading lady may be desperate,,, oops i mean keen :thumbsup:

Marina;6763977

Very helpful advice there :pHi COM



lol -- gimme a chance to edit!!

Banned

so is the idea of an appeal to move her higher up the list?

The best advice in any sort of appeal is to tell the truth. Unless, of course, the truth would harm your case, when you will have to dissemble (political speak for lie :whistling:).

Secondly, stay calm - getting annoyed, no matter what the provocation, will only harm your chances of success.

Best of luck! :thumbsup:

ClarityofMind;6764021

lol -- gimme a chance to edit!!


See a nice edit there, well done COM.:thumbsup: Have'nt read it yet:p

Original Poster

ClarityofMind;6763965

I did an appeal for my second daughter all by myself........ and won it! … I did an appeal for my second daughter all by myself........ and won it! :)If your child has two parents... both of you go-- its a good idea to show a united front. There will be probably three people to decide the case and their legal advisor (s ) plus the school, putting its case ( usually on the grounds of health and safety overpopulation of the school etc ) why they dont wish your child to attend.You just have to make your own case out. I'd made a dossier about 40 pages long of reasons my daughter NEEDED to be at this school with supporting evidence from various sources. When we did it... I did all the talking, my ex-husband just sat there, looking helluva relaxed not sure how he did it, but i did all the serious work and then he had the judges smiling and laughing at the end with some lil story about our child. Was crazy... an interesting experience, not one I'd wish to repeat again!Good luck xxx



Thanks COM.

This is the line I have gone down TBH although I've not hit the 40 page mark.

They have turned her down on the over-subscription thing which seems a fair argument but I've got a ruck of resaons which I hope out-weigh that argument.

Plus the fact that due to an error made between the Local educational Authority and another school she was going to attend, she has missed out on schooling through no fault of ours/hers since September!

yes we have. when we moved from essex to kent we could only apply for a place at the local school after we completed on our house. the school said they had no places & the lea wanted to send my son to a secondary school 20 miles away. when we went to appeal we just said that being completely new to the area so needed to be local so that he would make friends who lived nearby & as he didn't know the area at all. the only reason the lea gave was that if my son went to the local school there would be an accident in the corridors as it would be overcrowded :lol: the appeal panel told them they were talking a load of rubbish & he got a place :-D

karaokecolin;6763995

Well done COM! How?Fancy coming to the appeal with me tomorrow and giving … Well done COM! How?Fancy coming to the appeal with me tomorrow and giving them some stick??:thumbsup:



I just went in and took over the interview basically. Started with " Good afternoon, we're here to discuss my daughter ( insert name here ) and her current emotional, educational and psychological needs and how the choice of her secondary school place effects these.... "

I didnt shut up for half an hr..... lol, just my usual self then... and then they asked me questions. The teacher representing the school asked me questions and there were also some legal points i brought up that the legal advisor spoke to me about and then also spoke to the judges.

They didnt give us a decision there and then, we had to wait for it to come in writing.

When it came in writing it was just a straightforward yes.

Had to wait another few weeks for their legal reasoning to come through backing their decision, but it came eventually.

My friend was also doing it for her son that same year and she had hers denied. I understand its actually really hard to have one of these things be successful.

Just be calm confident and knowledgable in all you need to know and good luck xxx

Original Poster

sassie;6764030

so is the idea of an appeal to move her higher up the list?



It's actually to get her a place in the school. She hasn't been back since start of term Sass. All her mates have started back and she was "mistakenly taken off register".

Really naffing us off and it's going through court.

sassie;6763991

you got to tell them why they should boot a pupil out to make a space for … you got to tell them why they should boot a pupil out to make a space for your daughter - good luck :thumbsup:



They wouldn't have to boot a pupil out. The LEA can make schools accept pupils beyond their quota. All that would happen is that other parents appealing might not get a place because OP has a better case.

sassie;6763991

you got to tell them why they should boot a pupil out to make a space for … you got to tell them why they should boot a pupil out to make a space for your daughter - good luck :thumbsup:


i don't think they would do that although they have to add places for people who win on appeal :thumbsup:

Banned

karaokecolin;6764067

It's actually to get her a place in the school. She hasn't been back … It's actually to get her a place in the school. She hasn't been back since start of term Sass. All her mates have started back and she was "mistakenly taken off register".Really naffing us off and it's going through court.



so they are saying they are overloaded, but appeal, win and we wont be, what a bloody farce
tony_s1;6764069

They wouldn't have to boot a pupil out. The LEA can make schools accept … They wouldn't have to boot a pupil out. The LEA can make schools accept pupils beyond their quota. All that would happen is that other parents appealing might not get a place because OP has a better case.



i was attempting to be funny :oops:
cheerleader;6764075

i don't think they would do that although they have to add places for … i don't think they would do that although they have to add places for people who win on appeal :thumbsup:



so as i said above, a bloody farce really

karaokecolin;6764052

Thanks COM.This is the line I have gone down TBH although I've not hit … Thanks COM.This is the line I have gone down TBH although I've not hit the 40 page mark.They have turned her down on the over-subscription thing which seems a fair argument but I've got a ruck of resaons which I hope out-weigh that argument.Plus the fact that due to an error made between the Local educational Authority and another school she was going to attend, she has missed out on schooling through no fault of ours/hers since September!



Just have an argument to turn around anything they can claim.

For instance if they say that overpopulation of the school makes it dangerous for all the girls there.... ask how many accidents have there been in the last twelve months due to health and safety issues? The rep prolly wont be able to give you a number... and will hence look less knowledgable than you.

karaokecolin;6764067

It's actually to get her a place in the school. She hasn't been back … It's actually to get her a place in the school. She hasn't been back since start of term Sass. All her mates have started back and she was "mistakenly taken off register".Really naffing us off and it's going through court.



you really want to stress to them that it wasn't your fault that her name was taken off & that they did not have your permission to do so :thumbsup:

& try to think of any responses that the lea may give as to why your child can't go to the school & think of a better response :thumbsup: as with COM my husband came with me but i did all the talking :lol: good luck & hope you get the result you want :thumbsup:

karaokecolin;6764067

It's actually to get her a place in the school. She hasn't been back … It's actually to get her a place in the school. She hasn't been back since start of term Sass. All her mates have started back and she was "mistakenly taken off register".Really naffing us off and it's going through court.



Then any paperwork you have showing your daughter previously was accepted at the school take it along with you... I dont remember the exact wording as its been a couple of years since I did it, but I think that would come under legal maladministration.

Also, if you can photocopy this info three times to have a copy of everything for each of the judges, it'll please them that you've thought of them x

cheerleader;6764158

& try to think of any responses that the lea may give as to why your … & try to think of any responses that the lea may give as to why your child can't go to the school & think of a better response :thumbsup: as with COM my husband came with me but i did all the talking :lol: good luck & hope you get the result you want :thumbsup:



lol, it must be a common thing, chatterbox females and strong silent male backing :lol:

--- I also shed a few tears at an appropriate moment. :roll:

Original Poster

ClarityofMind;6764100

Just have an argument to turn around anything they can claim.For instance … Just have an argument to turn around anything they can claim.For instance if they say that overpopulation of the school makes it dangerous for all the girls there.... ask how many accidents have there been in the last twelve months due to health and safety issues? The rep prolly wont be able to give you a number... and will hence look less knowledgable than you.



Excellent. Didn't think of that really. They have sent me pictures of the school corridors with measurements etc so I will get a list of questions down along these lines because it's obvious this is the guff they are gonna come out with.. Cheers.

karaokecolin;6764183

Excellent. Didn't think of that really. They have sent me pictures of the … Excellent. Didn't think of that really. They have sent me pictures of the school corridors with measurements etc so I will get a list of questions down along these lines because it's obvious this is the guff they are gonna come out with.. Cheers.



Lemme think what else I said in response to this area of it.

I'd show you the report I still have it but its really personal obviously.

Lemme read through it x

Original Poster

ClarityofMind;6764159

Then any paperwork you have showing your daughter previously was accepted … Then any paperwork you have showing your daughter previously was accepted at the school take it along with you... I dont remember the exact wording as its been a couple of years since I did it, but I think that would come under legal maladministration. Also, if you can photocopy this info three times to have a copy of everything for each of the judges, it'll please them that you've thought of them x



It was another school she was initially accepted at but yes, I've still got all the acceptance paperwork. Got loads of copies too because I've got a solicitor on to it as well as my local MP. It's even gone as far as the government ombudsman because the school and Local authority have apparently acted outside the admission codes etc.

I think I'm pretty well-armed - just a case of staying focussed, calm and ready.

Thanks everyone for the input.

You can only win on an appeal if the school actually have a spare place. The school will have a maximum intake which they cannot exceed without overcrowding classes. Fortunately, schools go through an appeals process and some pupils that have initially been accepted at one school go elsewhere on appeal. This then frees places at that school, which can then be filled with pupils who have an appeal for that school Have you spoken to your local Parent Partnership? Also, have you looked at the criteria for entry for the school to see if it is quite straightforward due to their own entrance criteria?

Susannah;6764251

You can only win on an appeal if the school actually have a spare place. … You can only win on an appeal if the school actually have a spare place. The school will have a maximum intake which they cannot exceed without overcrowding classes. Fortunately, schools go through an appeals process and some pupils that have initially been accepted at one school go elsewhere on appeal. This then frees places at that school, which can then be filled with pupils who have an appeal for that school Have you spoken to your local Parent Partnership? Also, have you looked at the criteria for entry for the school to see if it is quite straightforward due to their own entrance criteria?



surely the school will only have an appeals process if there are some spaces available.....kinda pointless waste of their time if nothing else if not isnt it


Good Luck OP.....hope she gets in

Okay, basically I gave them a brief description of our family.

I spoke about her elder sister ( who already was attending the school- point one in our favour )

Spoke about her sisters needs and how the school was successfully fulfilling these.

Legal point- sibling rule was removed that year, it had previously been in effect and I argued it was unreasonable for them to remove it without consideration to parents of younger siblings.

This became a big legal argument and the legal advisors spoke for about ten minutes on it.

I'd brought media backing and such like with me.

Then I introduced my daughters needs who the application was for... and discussed how the school could meet these.

I had letters actually from the school saying they wanted her there. Letters from her primary school. Letter from her Sensi, ( she's a junior black belt ) and from her youth club, drama teachers, horse rising teacher etc as character witnesses.

I also discussed how the school they had offered her in replacement wouldnt meet her needs, compared and contrasted the two ofsted reports.

I took maps with me, to show her journey to the school we wanted her to go to and the journey to the other school to show how her needs would be met by travelling a shorter distance each day.

Second legal point, I brought up the single sex thing. My girls both have had a solely single sex educational environment and I wish for that to continue for their continuing welfare...

The school has a specialism in art so I showed how artistic my daughter is. I also took a letter from her to the judges that she herself wrote to them asking to be admitted to the school.

Then I discussed our personal " mitigating circumstances". Added the tears....lol

Third legal point i discussed the councils maladministration ( as you yourself have mentioned )

Then made a conclusion.

Then the school asked me questions the judges asked questions of both me and the school and the legal advisors had their say again. Then my husband did his lil chat thing and had the judges laughing.... they were all three nice people really and it was easy to appeal to them.


Hope this helps.

Sorry its so general but I wanted to take our personal information out of it, whilst still giving you ideas xx

lil_tiger;6764271

surely the school will only have an appeals process if there are some … surely the school will only have an appeals process if there are some spaces available.....kinda pointless waste of their time if nothing else if not isnt itGood Luck OP.....hope she gets in



Appeals processes exist for all schools.
I too hope she gets a place.

Susannah;6764251

You can only win on an appeal if the school actually have a spare place. … You can only win on an appeal if the school actually have a spare place. The school will have a maximum intake which they cannot exceed without overcrowding classes. Fortunately, schools go through an appeals process and some pupils that have initially been accepted at one school go elsewhere on appeal. This then frees places at that school, which can then be filled with pupils who have an appeal for that school Have you spoken to your local Parent Partnership? Also, have you looked at the criteria for entry for the school to see if it is quite straightforward due to their own entrance criteria?



Susannah you're great usually, but the judges have the power to override the maximum numbers. I know this because the maximum number of girls allowed into my daughters school that year was 220.... they then allowed another 5 on appeal. The judge themslves even told me they upheld the schools case.......... but I had shown that my needs were greater than the schools so in this case they were making an exception.

( sorry spelt your name with a z as its my sister's name too! ) xxx

Original Poster

Susannah;6764251

You can only win on an appeal if the school actually have a spare place. … You can only win on an appeal if the school actually have a spare place. The school will have a maximum intake which they cannot exceed without overcrowding classes. Fortunately, schools go through an appeals process and some pupils that have initially been accepted at one school go elsewhere on appeal. This then frees places at that school, which can then be filled with pupils who have an appeal for that school Have you spoken to your local Parent Partnership? Also, have you looked at the criteria for entry for the school to see if it is quite straightforward due to their own entrance criteria?



Not quite, according to literature I have received from 3 seperate organisations: ACE - the Advisory Centre for Education, The Children's legal Centre and also, my Local Education Authority.

In fact, the gudiance notes from the Education Authority state-

"The appeals panel is not bound by the admission authority's published criteria and has the power to exceed the school's published admission number."

Hence the point of going to an appeal. If tthey can't create a place, then there's no point appealing for one.

Original Poster

cheerleader;6764158

& try to think of any responses that the lea may give as to why your … & try to think of any responses that the lea may give as to why your child can't go to the school & think of a better response :thumbsup: as with COM my husband came with me but i did all the talking :lol: good luck & hope you get the result you want :thumbsup:



Thanks for this cheerleader. Encouraging and much appreciated.

karaokecolin;6764357

Not quite, according to literature I have received from 3 seperate … Not quite, according to literature I have received from 3 seperate organisations: ACE - the Advisory Centre for Education, The Children's legal Centre and also, my Local Education Authority.In fact, the gudiance notes from the Education Authority state-"The appeals panel is not bound by the admission authority's published criteria and has the power to exceed the school's published admission number."Hence the point of going to an appeal. If tthey can't create a place, then there's no point appealing for one.



Then can create the place for you if you convince them of your case xxx

snowflake;6764361

Hi, I had to appeal for my youngest son, the school was supposedly … Hi, I had to appeal for my youngest son, the school was supposedly oversubscribed, but his older brother was already there. The school he was offered was of equal distance almost exactly away from our house, but in the opposite direction, making it impossible for me to take either of them to school at the same time and no public transport to either. I set my case out pretty much as COM has said, attended on my own and there were 5 people sat round a table, the biggest and best research that I did was to gather information on the class sizes in the other school years, eg if the school year was 140 and they state another child (mine) would oversubscribe with the evidence of the higher years slightly going over this it gave my case credibility. Also, I questioned them (knowing the answers they could give as my older son went there) on registration is the only period when the class size is for eg 30, but each subject had different set /pupil numbers some have 6 sets per subject, and those children aren't distributed evenly, but on their learning ability, so therefor not equally etc etc, Ok in other words I kind of justified them having to give him a place and I won, so I hope Ive made some sense.



I did lots of this too. had gathered lots of research into class sizes and numbers and as to how the school was organised so that I could show it wasn't going to be a health and safety problem to the school xx

I have had experience of this From the education side.


First of all, stay calm and don't let the situation get you het up.

Yes it can be useful to make a case in the way that other posters have advised but it all boils down to one key question.



Key question to ask is this.

Can they physically accommodate your daughter in the school? ie can they fit another desk into her classes? If so they have to do so because they can't have a good reason for doing otherwise.

Schools try to keep some spare capacity for ease of timetabling etc and it's a pest if a new pupil turns up and someone has to redo the timetable - but that's what they get paid for.

No matter what they say, if they don't answer the key question - keep asking it.

BTW if they say no, ask them to demonstrate it, ie, go to the school and make them prove that they can't physically sqeeze in another desk.

Best of luck.
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