Help needed in writing Primary School Appeal!

24 replies
Found 13th Apr 2009
My son attends Nursery School, however I have been unsuccessful in gaining my first preference for a place at the Primary School (he was offered 2nd preference).

The School is generally oversubscribed, and I think we missed a place based on distance. In my original application i gave supporting evidence from my health visitor and doctor that my son had been referred to the Speech & Language Therapist. This obviously didn't have any impact whatsoever in supporting my application. However, since then a therapist has been scheduled to visit my son at his Nursery School (after Easter hols) to assess him.

I just wander if any of you have had the misfortune of having to go to appeal, if so, do you have any useful advice that could help me?

24 Comments

I thought the deadline for appeal was the 1st OF April. If someone dropped out or moved from the first choice he might still be offered a place depending on where he is on the waiting list. Same happened to my daughter she was offered 2nd choice.

Original Poster

The Local Authority posted out the letters informing us of School choice by 2nd class on 1 April (didn't find out until 3rd). We have been given the deadline of 17 April to get back the Appeal forms.

Original Poster

saayinla;4915157

I thought the deadline for appeal was the 1st OF April. If someone … I thought the deadline for appeal was the 1st OF April. If someone dropped out or moved from the first choice he might still be offered a place depending on where he is on the waiting list. Same happened to my daughter she was offered 2nd choice.



Sorry ....... forgot to ask what was the outcome for your daughter? Did she get her ist choice in the end having been put on the waiting list?

Banned

there are criterias they have to follow, as already said this school is way oversubscribed it is a little unfair to say "This obviously didn't have any impact whatsoever in supporting my application", just because you have supporting information to give doesnt mean you are entitled to a place, you can add more but if they arent visiting till after the 17th you cant really add it

It's always worth appealing simply because the school and education authority would prefer not to have to go to an appeal. So, a place MIGHT become available before the appeal hearing. Otherwise, best of luck.

You really need a very good reason why your child should attend the school you want rather than another one. Just because one school is better than another won't carry much weight!

Original Poster

tony_s1;4915339

It's always worth appealing simply because the school and education … It's always worth appealing simply because the school and education authority would prefer not to have to go to an appeal. So, a place MIGHT become available before the appeal hearing. Otherwise, best of luck. You really need a very good reason why your child should attend the school you want rather than another one. Just because one school is better than another won't carry much weight!



My main reason would be that he already attends the Nursery School, therefore is familiar with School route, has made friends who would be staying on at the School. Also the Speech & language Therapist would be visiting him at the School after Easter hols. Thanks for taking the time to respond!

You could try adding that some of your child's friends have applied to the same school which you feel will have a positive emotional impact on him as they understand and help him in his communication. This will aid him in his transition and confidence.

ThumbsUp!;4915189

Sorry ....... forgot to ask what was the outcome for your daughter? Did … Sorry ....... forgot to ask what was the outcome for your daughter? Did she get her ist choice in the end having been put on the waiting list?



Problem was if i appealed, we cannot accept the place at the 2nd choice either, so I decided to let sleeping dog lie since she is still on the waiting list at the first choice.

Banned

just put down your reasons for wanting your child to attend that school

kt21;4915418

You could try adding that some of your child's friends have applied to … You could try adding that some of your child's friends have applied to the same school which you feel will have a positive emotional impact on him as they understand and help him in his communication. This will aid him in his transition and confidence.



Good thinking.

sassie;4915441

just put down your reasons for wanting your child to attend that school



When we applied for a place after filling in the application I wrote a lengthy letter to support the application and I stated all the reason why i felt the most reasonable option for her was the 1st choice, and I took the same school as my second choice and then another school as the third choice. But all my supporting statement was completely useless.

Original Poster

Thanks for your comments....i appreciate it!!

Banned

saayinla;4915461

When we applied for a place after filling in the application I wrote a … When we applied for a place after filling in the application I wrote a lengthy letter to support the application and I stated all the reason why i felt the most reasonable option for her was the 1st choice, and I took the same school as my second choice and then another school as the third choice. But all my supporting statement was completely useless.



all schools have to foolow a criteria for placements, if you dont fill it you dont fill it, you can appeal and have it looked at agin, but say they only have 3 places and those 3 places are needed by those that fill the criteria and your dont what do you expect them to do?

everyone receives a copy of the criteria used in filling the places, if not phone up for one

There is another option which can be quite risky and depends when your childs birthday is, where I am a child can wait until they are 5 to attend school, some parents wait and hope a place becomes available whilst their child continues to attend nursery until the age of 5 but as I say it is a risky option and not one i would really recommend as most children fare much better by starting with their peers at the sart of the school year.

sassie;4915483

all schools have to foolow a criteria for placements, if you dont fill it … all schools have to foolow a criteria for placements, if you dont fill it you dont fill it, you can appeal and have it looked at agin, but say they only have 3 places and those 3 places are needed by those that fill the criteria and your dont what do you expect them to do?everyone receives a copy of the criteria used in filling the places, if not phone up for one



I quite understand, its just uncomfortable for us but what can we do.

Basically the problem is, at the age of school entry i.e. 4-5 yr olds, the legal requirement is 1 teacher to 30 children.Over 30 they HAVE to employ another teacher.Each school has what is alled a PAN which is the max no of children per year group, therefore at this age it is usually 30 or 60 for school entry age.

Just wondered if your son is being assessed with a view to being statemented fior speech and ciommunication difficulties? If so and the school you wish him to go to has superior facilities for his needs, there may be a chance of getting that school named on the statement. Other than that, the school has to fill places according to strict criteria when they are oversubscribed.

I used to deal with this sort of thing in secondary schools (admissions, not appeals) but it's probably a bit different in Primary schools. One thing that the appeals committee liked in the Secondary schools was for the child to write a letter saying why THEY wanted to go to the school, not why the parent wants them to go to that school. I appreciate your little one is far too young to do this, but perhaps talk to him about the school and explain that his friends will be going there and then ask him to draw a picture that shows what he likes most about the school (helps that he already goes to Nursery there) and send this in to the school with the appeal application, if 10 people appeal and only one does this you never know, it might sway them. Also, play heavily on the fact that he already goes to the Nursery School and continuity is very important to both yourself and your son.

we went through an appeal but at was at secondary school level last year. it was a large thing to take on and fortunately we had a long time to prepare our case, a few months it took for the appeal date to come round.

it was a court situation and we had to convince three independent judges that we had more need of the school place than the school had of keeping us from it.

i got legal advice to prepare the case but then did it myself....

and we won our appeal!

we had some particularly spectacular circumstances though.

i would certainly collate together a whole folder of reasons why you need to attend this particular school.

look up the ofsted reports of both the school you have been offered and the school you desire and pick out points that support your claim.

consider distance. Use a route finder to show the school you desire is closer to home than the one you have been offered if possible.

obtain letters of support from the child's nursery teacher/gp/any other doctors involved in his care.. such as the speech and language therapist.

research any legal information pertaining to the two schools that you can use in your argument.

highlight the needs of the child... his continuity of care is important for him emotionally and you dont believe he will benefit from having to change school at such a young age.

your argument needs to be better than anyone else's who is also in your situation so this is a big job to take on.... but worth it for your child x x

good luck with whatever you decide to do x x

Sloth/Mod

We don't find out to the end of this month. Our council is too busy sending £25,000 of local tax payers money to Italy for Earthquake victims while our City can't afford to clean up dog crap..........go figure. :roll:

Annie1508;4916785

I used to deal with this sort of thing in secondary schools (admissions, … I used to deal with this sort of thing in secondary schools (admissions, not appeals) but it's probably a bit different in Primary schools. One thing that the appeals committee liked in the Secondary schools was for the child to write a letter saying why THEY wanted to go to the school, not why the parent wants them to go to that school. I appreciate your little one is far too young to do this, but perhaps talk to him about the school and explain that his friends will be going there and then ask him to draw a picture that shows what he likes most about the school (helps that he already goes to Nursery there) and send this in to the school with the appeal application, if 10 people appeal and only one does this you never know, it might sway them. Also, play heavily on the fact that he already goes to the Nursery School and continuity is very important to both yourself and your son.



our daughter did just this.. she wrote a personal letter to the judges describing her interests and how these related to being accepted at the school we wanted her to go to.

look up the sat tests and exam results at the primary school... say for instance they do very well in science. show how your child has scientific interests or abilities... you can also look up the other school and contrast how they do not.

you are just building a common sense but legal argument.

also you will need to be able to very confidently talk in front of a group of judges/adjudicators and not feel intimidated by having a school representative sitting there basically arguing why they dont want you. you will need to be able to very politely destroy their argument... which will undoubtedly be that the school is already oversubscribed and they cannot accept any more children due to health and safety issues.

personally i asked the school rep when the last health and safety issue came up.. she was unable to answer my questions.

i went in very confidently but respectfully ( with husband in tow for support and to show we were a united family ) and lead the discussion.. I started out " we are here today to consider the needs of my child... " that's what you want to spotlight... the needs of your child, not the needs of the school.

also, i know the appeal process is the end of the line, what they decide stands. they wont allow you to add any more facts after that.

our daughter wanted to go to an art academy. she has won many national art competitions ( gets it from my hubby and his 4 years of art college ) and she was awaiting the final level decision for a particular art competition run all around the country. She had built a life size model that is now being made by a local artist and will be on show in london.

anyway the day AFTER the appeal we found out she had WON part of the competition... we weren't allowed to inform the judges of that outcome.

has he got a statement of special needs or is it just the speech therapy

I'm in the same situation. My son has not got into his first choice school and attends the nursery, I have been advised to appeal.
It is a church school and have now got a letter from the church stating we are regular attenders which should move us up to first place on the waiting list. We are appealing anyway. My grounds are on the basis of religion and that the church is our family church, which it is!
Just before we found out he hadn't got in our son was put on the talented and gifted register. I have read the latest ofsted report in the school he has got into and it has a bad record of dealing with children in his category. This is another argument.
I have been advised not to criticise the school too much but to put all the positives for the school you want.
Moneysavingexpert.com has lots of useful info on it.
Let me now how you get on
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