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 Post subject: advice for appeal
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:51 pm
Posts: 3
Thanks so much for any advice you can give me.

I live in Buckinghamshire and have been homeschooling my kids for many years but this year we are putting them in school as they are getting older. My problem is with my 12 yr. old girl, the schools in my city are mostly oversubscribed (10 out of 12). We are moving into our house on the 1st of October, but have already signed the lease and I have sent this into our local school authority. The only school in our catchment is very overbooked as it's an excellent school. The other two close ones are great schools too but also overbooked. I've been told I will have to appeal though I haven't gotten the official letter yet but it should arrive any day now. I"m worried that if I lose the appeal they will send her to a far away school. As she is only 12 and I don't have a car to drive her to and back from school. My partner does have a car but he uses it for work. I cannot bring myself to let her go by public transport on her own on dark winter days having to walk on her own to catch a bus/es. Do they take this into consideration during the appeal? I know from phoning, that the only two schools with space are not only far but have pretty bad ofsted, one even got a warning that if it didn't raise it's standard it would be closed, they've been doing slightly better since then but still not good enough for me.
I have an 8 yr old I have to walk to school, plus a toddler and a 11 yr old boy, but he's spending a few months with his dad and he takes him to school, but once he comes back to live with me I'll to work out getting him to his school too. Any advice would be much appreciated as I can't see how i can send her anywhere I don't feel she can get to safely and get the quality education she has received all her life. Thanks so much for your help.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 4:13 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8208
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi Motherof4

From your comment about the failing school, I am assuming that you are applying for Bucks Upper schools, and that your daughter has not taken the 12+ for Grammar School entrance? That will rule out a number of the over-subscribed schools in itself.

If you live where I think you do, you might look over the County border for options there?

I am afraid that simply not being able to bear putting your daughter on the bus will not be considered as strong grounds by an Appeal panel. Many children in Bucks have quite lengthy journeys to school which mean that they have to travel on public buses in the dark days of winter.

Will her journey to school be more than 75 minutes - the maximum that is generally considered to be reasonable for a child of secondary age?

If your daughter has a medical condition that might require you to collect her from school urgently, and that would not be possible because you don't have access to a car, that would also be good evidence.

Does she have any extra-curricular interests that she pursues to a high level that she would have to give up because of the journey to school?

Above all, you also need to demonstrate why the local school is more suitable for your daughter - a Transfer Appeal is primarily about that, and not about the unsuitability of the school on offer.

Does your daughter have particular abilities or talents which match the specialism of your preferred school?

Please read Section C of Etienne's Q&As (there is a link at the very top of this page) about Appeals for an over-subscribed school, and come back to us with any questions.

Sally-Anne


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 Post subject: Thanks!
PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:51 pm
Posts: 3
Thanks for taking your time to answer. I'm seeing I don't really have much of a chance of an appeal, a bit lost on what to do now. I'm just going to wait till the get the official letter from the council and take it from there. I'm a complete ignoramus when it comes to how all these things work here, it's been a crash course for me. If we don't have much chance of getting into a good school I will consider continuing her home schooling for now, but again I will wait to hear back what school she's assigned to and research it all at that point and see what my daughter prefers to do. Thanks for your time in replying, I do appreciate it.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:14 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 10:53 pm
Posts: 139
Location: wolverhampton
Motherof4,

If your son is already 11 you need to be thinking about his secondary education also now rather than later. If he has just turned 11 (i.e. this month) and you think he is grammar school material then you should ensure he sits the Bucks 11+ exam for entry next September. The exam should be coming up soon. I don't know the dates but someone on the Bucks forum or the LA can advise. Likewise if you have good upper schools nearby you will need to apply for entry soon for next September.

As Sally-Anne has said, your daughter (and/or your son) may be able to sit the 12+ and get grammar school places. You have nothing to lose by trying but the earlier you get things moving the better.

Don't forget that places do come up at popular schools as people, especially in this climate, have to move for jobs. If you are very near to a good school you will have a good chance if any places come up.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 2:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:51 pm
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Tx! I'm working on sorting my son now for next year, he is asking to go to grammar school- his Dad is looking into it, I'm doing more research on it now. He's really thriving in his school (he just turned 11 this month which is why he's in year 6). Appreciate your helpful advice, I'm crossing my fingers something works out for my 12 yr old, I will look into what you suggested. Have a great weekend!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 10:53 pm
Posts: 139
Location: wolverhampton
Just a thought - if your son is currently at school outside Bucks he will have to sit the exam as an out of county applicant. This may affect the school he is allocated if the LA won't allow you to put your address down on the form rather than his father's. Children with addresses near to the school would be allocated first. Likewise, if your husband lives in a catchment area for different Bucks schools you may not be considered for the schools nearest to your home.

Perhaps Sally-Anne or someone on the Bucks forum can advise before you approach the LA.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2009 3:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8208
Location: Buckinghamshire
Hi motherof4

This is going to be a bit tricky for you, as Resmum says, because of the fact that he is currently living in one place and may move to another. You can approach it in two ways.

1. Make an application now for him to sit the Bucks 11+ from his current address.

Bucks CC may not be happy to accept a late application, as you have no real grounds for not having applied within the usual time frame (the deadline to apply for 11 testing was in early September), unless the decision for him to move in with you was made within the last 4 weeks, since the deadline passed. This quote is from the Bucks CC website:
Quote:
We are now only accepting late applications from families who move to the area or who have supported exceptional reasons for not applying by the deadline.

If Bucks CC accept your application, his father's address would then be the one used for allocating a school place, unless your son moves back in with you before November 13th, which is the deadline for providing address evidence this year. That is one week before the results, so you cannot wait for the result of the 11+ before deciding which his main residence will be for the school allocation process.

This link will give you some idea of the chance of your son getting a GS place from his father's address:

http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/11-plus-bucks-allocation-profile.php

2. Wait for him to move in with you and apply for testing then.

This may be the simpler option, because you will be able to prove his address fairly easily, but you may miss out on a school place, because priority will have been given to children who applied in the normal time frame.


Whatever you decide, you or his father need to speak to Bucks CC immediately. Be as open and honest with them as possible about your son's situation and I am sure that you will find them very helpful.

You should also be aware that one of the proofs of residence that Bucks CC use is the address where the child is registered for the parent to receive Child Benefit.

Hope that helps.

Sally-Anne


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