School admissions

I am so upset right now, I never thought I would be here, feeling like this right now. Before you worry nothing life threatening has happened, but I am gutted never the less.

Today the emails came out for the infant school places. You can probably guess what has happened.

We applied for Mouse’s school place a bit before the deadline, our top choice was the same school Monkey goes to. Admittedly it is not the catchment school (we have what they call a ‘social reason’ to do with my job for not going there), but it is not that far away, the same first part postcode as us and Monkey has been there for 2 years.

There are other schools in the area, but the same reason as our catchment school applies to them. In our minds there is no other school for Mouse, but we put down our other options anyway as advised to do.

We were turned down for all three of our choices, yes all three. We have been sent to a school that is not our catchment one. There are five other schools closer, why were we given this one?

This school is in the opposite direction to Monkey’s school. How are we supposed to get them both to school on time?!

What about my job, too close for comfort, the potential to even put her at risk.

I have looked at the appeals process already but if they have given all the places out at our preferred school is there a chance of getting her in, is it wasted time and energy to appeal?

Is home schooling an option?

What if we end up with no place?

I am devastated, we are devastated – We feel let down, We feel like we have no say as parents, we feel sad that Mouse will be gutted if she doesn’t get to go to the same school as her big brother!

Do we not have the right to choose the school that we believe will be best for our children?


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  1. Totally appalling, I know we discussed this the other month and it is totally unfair and I can only hope that if you appeal (which I think you should) that you win.

    I suppose the only other option would be to keep her at home until a place does become available at your chosen school. A boy in my sons year went to the Iona school and was expelled, he was then off for three months before a place became available at a school. Scary but hopefully one will become available.

    Sorry this isn’t much help, but I know how you are feeling it is a terrible time for you all. xx

  2. It IS worth going to appeal. Much as overcrowded schools aren’t good for any of the pupils, when there are a lot of good reasons to allow in an extra pupil they will do it. I think when you have a sensitive Community role that’s a very fair consideration and I hope you will get through the appeal without issue.
    My oldest child got a school place through appeal and while I felt guilty about the class size going up, within 2 months a couple of the other children had left anyway – such is the way of things. He got that school because it was by far the closest to us when we moved into the area. The fact he’d never had to catch a bus to school and didn’t know the area were in our favour and the place was given without us having to say anything else to the appeals committee.
    It’s in the best interests of both of your children that they attend school together, it’s a big consideration. Fingers crossed xx

  3. It is always always worth going to appeal. Having been in this situation and the gut wrenching feeling when you open the envelope is horrible. Call up the head teacher! Ask if there are no vacancies (you can side step the LEA) can you please be put on a waiting list. Myself and three friends have all achieved this at different schools in different counties. Anything is worth a shot when you’re in this position xxx

  4. They do keep places back for mistakes, or appeals or families moving into the area if a sibling is in the school already I do believe that would be grounds for appeal as a mistake also the social reason could also be deemed a mistake although I’m not 100% certain it is the same in all authorities

  5. I think you have been directed to my twitter timeline but here is what I would do.

    1) Accept the place at the school you’ve been offered – for now. It will not jeopardise anything you do later but at least you will have a place somewhere.

    2) Ask if you can go on the waitlist at any or all of the schools you wanted. Things can and do change. People do refuse places. They move at short notice, or there is a family break up and they move out of area. Ask how far up the waitlist you will be. You will be ordered in the same order as the admissions criteria for each school.

    3) consider an appeal. Talk to the education office although many won’t advise you down to conflict of interest. In primary, you generally have to prove they made an error when allocating places, their admissions criteria do not follow the admissions code and are therefore illegal, or a decision to refuse you a place was unreasonable. If they take in multiples of 30, they are your only chances. If they don’t, you might be able to prove they have space to take your child (and if you prove that case, they would give you the space rather than the person at the top of the wait list). If you have a particular case for moving your child up the criteria by having specific situations that mean that school is the only option, consider getting letters from professionals like doctor, health visitor, social worker etc to back up your case. I am not promising anything, but occasionally, people do win appeals. (and check how they worked out where you came on the list, they do make mistakes; it happened to my friend).

    4) Ask the education office if any schools nearer have any places. It is usually the nearest one that you’re given but they may have avoided given you a faith school if you have expressed what TYPE of school you would want in the event. If any of these are closer.

    5) Remember that your child doesn’t have to start school until the term after they turn 5. At the earliest, this is next January. At the latest, September 2015 in Year 1. You do have the option of keeping them in nursery, and talking to your school to let you know if a place becomes available after the wait list is no longer operational – some stop after September, some run up to December. The school will be sympathetic to your plight and if they are not running an official waitlist, they could get in touch if a child moves. Both my kids have seen children move on early in their school careers. There is so much churn that a place is very likely to become available at SOME point.

    It’s a toughie. As parents, we have the right to express a preference but not a right to a place. Schools and LEAs are just doing their job. They have to take the emotion out of it and apply the criteria strictly. Even if she does end up at a different school, it’s very very likely that a place will become available soon enough and you will be able to move her.

    Good luck, and feel free to chat with me via email or Twitter if you want to chat. I helped my friend win an appeal 5 years ago (can’t believe it is that long ago!) so I picked up a lot then.

  6. I’d definitely appeal. This is just shocking. I really hope you get the place at the school you want for Mouse. Good luck!

  7. This is horrible, I am so sorry. The schools near us pretty much guaratee you a place if you have an older sibling that already attends the school. I thought this was the same for everywhere. Clearly not 🙁 I hope you can appeal and get mouse into the same school as her big brother! x

  8. I think it will be definitely worth appealing, and hopefully you will manage to get a better solution. It must be so much stress though!

  9. Good luck and keep fighting! Hope u get into the same school as monkey.

  10. It is utter madness! I can’t believe that you can be expected to take your children to two different schools, never mind your other extremely valid and important reasons. How anyone cannot be given one of their choices is beyond a joke! I really hope you manage to get it sorted out quickly without too much more distress.

  11. Good luck with your appeal, it is not a situation I would wish on anyone, and fingers crossed the outcome is a good one.

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