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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:36 pm 
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I had put only one grammar school and one comprehensive school in my son's CAF. As my son could not qualify for the grammar school, he has been offered the comprehensive school as his second choice. When I spoke to the CSSE, they informed me that my son could have got other grammar schools if I had put these schools in the original CAF at a higher preference position than the comprehensive school. I sent a new preference list to my Essex LEA through e-mail. Today I received the rejection letter from the Essex LEA.

When I spoke to a lady at the admissions, I was told that they have put the name of my son at the bottom of the waiting list as we changed the preference and it has been treated as a second application. They also mentioned that School Admissions Code does not apply in this case as it is a second application. A search in the internet has shown that several counties like Southend, Kent, Essex Redbridge etc allow the addition of new schools in the preference list. They treat these applications as "late application". It seems that they follow both the oversubscription criteria of the school as well as follow the admissions code when they put the name of a pupil at the waiting list.

Can anybody please tell me what is the catch here? If all the LEAs are following the oversubscription criteria of the school and school admission code simultaneously then why the outcome is so different? In this case, getting into a grammar school or not. I don't think I can appeal in the normal way as it won't be treated as non-qualification. Can anybody from the appeal section please help?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:47 pm 
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Location: Watford, Herts
The Admissions Code says that the LAs coordinated admissions scheme must specify how late applications will be handled. I can't find that scheme, but in their Determined secondary school admission arrangements 2011/12 there is (on page 4):
Quote:
Late Applications
Applications received after the published closing date will be treated as late applications unless there is evidence to show that the application or amendment could not reasonably have been made on time. A new preference or change in the order of preferences will not be accepted after the closing date unless the circumstances are deemed to be exceptional. Late applications will be given a lower priority and will be dealt with after all on time applications in the first round of offers on 1 March 2011. Where a school is oversubscribed late applications will be refused and ranked according to the admission criteria on any waiting list held for the particular school. All late applications will be considered by an LA panel of officers to ascertain whether exceptional circumstances for late submission exist. Where that is deemed to be the case the application will be treated as `on time'. Where a school is oversubscribed late applications received after the first round of offers on 1 March 2011 will be refused and ranked according to the admission criteria on any waiting list held for the particular school.

I take that as saying that this rejection means that they've decided your application should not be treated as `on time' (which you never claimed it was), but that now your application will be added to the waiting list according to the oversubscription criteria. According to the Admissions Code (para 3.19), waiting lists must be ranked in the same order as the original published oversubscription criteria. So I don't believe they can put you at the bottom of the list.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:26 am 
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The above quoted policy is for late (but first) applications to ECC

cntrymum is trying to make a second application for which their policy states:

Quote:
Further applications made after 1 March 2011
Where a new application is received after the offer date for an oversubscribed school which was not on the original list of preferences submitted and there are no exceptional circumstances requiring the new application, the LA will hold the applicant’s details on a lower priority waiting list and allocate places from this list only when there are no applicants remaining on the priority waiting list.



http://www.essex.gov.uk/Education-Schools/Schools/Admissions/Documents/Secondary_Education_in_Essex_20112012_booklet.pdf


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:27 am 
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Thank you WP and Minesatea.

Minesatea,
It seems that the policy ECC applying is not correct as they are not following School Admissions Code. After a few days of the national offer day, in several counties they allow addition of new schools in their preference list etc. and still follow the same code fairly to treat everyone the same way as the first time round. Moreover “Second Application” is a coin phrased by ECC. In all other counties these types of applications are treated as “Late Application”.

Moreover, I don’t understand why my application for a particular school CRGS will be treated as second application when it was not in my original CAF. As for technicality, I have applied for CRGS for the first time.

Anyway, it seems there is no way forward in ECC.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:22 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:59 am
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Quote:
Anyway, it seems there is no way forward in ECC.

You still have the option to appeal. Presumably, you will be rejected because the school is oversubscribed and at that point you can appeal.

I'm afraid the waiting list question is vexing me too. You could try the LGO. The website which is slightly out of date makes specific mention of waiting list problems. Although I believe information on the site dates from before waiting lists were made compulsory in the Admissions Code. So the first sentence is incorrect (my italics).

http://www.lgo.org.uk/publications/fact ... dmissions/
Quote:
What if my complaint is about a waiting list?

Admissions authorities do not have to have waiting lists. If there is a waiting list for a school, it should be run fairly and in line with the published admission criteria. If your problem is just about a waiting list, you cannot appeal to an appeal panel so you can make your complaint straight to us.


I'm not sure if it will be fruitful, as in your case, you do still have the right to appeal but it may be worth ringing them.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:31 am 
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Location: Lincolnshire
I would be inclined to seek clarification on the legality of this method of operating the waiting list as well. The School Admissions Code specifically says that waiting list must rank in order of the published oversubscription critera and ...
Quote:
"...must notgive priority to children based on the date either their application was received or their name was added to the list." (SAC 3.19)


Most LAs have set dates for dealing with late applications and "re-applications" or "revised applications" with the late applications (first applications which could not be dealt with in time to catch the national offer date) usually being processed before the revised applications (where people had submitted an application and now are changing their preferences).

Once you have made an application and it has been refused you have an automatic right to appeal for a place at the school.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:43 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
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I too have concerns about this.

Suggest you ring the advice line of ACE.
http://www.ace-ed.org.uk/contact-us

The Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) is a national charity that provides independent advice.
http://www.ace-ed.org.uk/about-ace/

The problem is they may be inundated with requests at this time of year, but try to get their view about the lawfulness of how waiting list(s) are being handled.

If you're lucky, they might put you through to one of their lawyers for free advice .........

_________________
Etienne


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:55 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:25 am
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we did the same as you, put down Colchester County High School for Girls, our daughter didnt pass high enough but we have submitted a late application for Westcliff and trying to find out any information is a nightmare in itself tbh. good luck anyway


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:47 pm 
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This all came up last year and, I suspect, has been a bone of contention for years.

Essex Admissions treat all applications received after 2nd March in a completely different way than Southend Admissions does. I can see how incredibly unfair this seems.

There are two sides to every argument though. Last year we made a late application to WHSB and our son was allocated a place there before the end of March despite it not having been on our CAF form. Once Southend had received our application and our DS's 11 plus results they put him the appropriate place on their waiting list which was top. We were not alone and this resulted in parents watching their DC's moving down the waiting list which must have been agonising.

If you do wish to make a late application to Southend and cannot get through on the phone then do the following:

Write a letter informing Southend Admissions that you wish to make a late application to whichever school(s);
Write a letter informing Essex Admissions that you have made a late application to whichever school(s);
Write a letter informing the CSSE that have made a late application to whichever school(s) and asking them to provide your DC's exam results as soon as they can. Send all letters special delivery.

Leave a few days and call Southend Admissions. Be persistent and keep phoning. If Southend doesn't have your DC's exam results within a few days start chasing.

It worked for us.

Good luck


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:19 pm
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I have been following this with interest. A collegue has pointed out to me the following line in the admissions code which states that no LEA's should allow a change of CAF after 1st March without good reason so how are southend allowed to do this?


Quote:
1.39 Once the closing date for applications has passed, local authorities should not allow preferences to be changed without a genuine reason for doing so, for example, if the family has recently moved address. Local authorities must make this clear in the information they provide for parents.


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