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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 3:23 pm 
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I am trying to help a friend to move her child from one school to another. The first school is in difficulties and friend feels that the child would be better at a different school. An older sibling is taking up a place at the target school for sixth form, pending GCSE results being satisfactory.

The school is full in the year for which the younger child is applying and friend has been advised to appeal. I have not the first clue how to go about this but have somehow got involved and my advice is being sought.

So, is there a thread on here, or a sticky, with an idiot's guide to appealing in these circumstances? I imagine it is an oversubscription appeal, and the target school is an Academy. We both know we can't just say 'child x needs to leave school y as school y is going down the pan' but that is the essence of the argument, and target school is the only realistic alternative.

I would be grateful for any advice. Thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:01 pm 
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Location: Lincolnshire
Hi Amber,
Have a look at:
http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... bed-school

Your friend will need to find some strong reasons to advance FOR her child to go to the school she wants; not wanting to be at the school the child is attending won't help, however poorly it is performing.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:13 pm 
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It's the same as an oversubscription grammar appeal - in that no academic evidence is needed.

In any appeal the emphasis must be on why the child needs to be at the school being appealed for. If they emphasise why the child should not be at the other school, then the panel might agree with the parents, but know there are other schools that do have places - in fact the school might well bring that up.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:44 pm 
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Is there anything school y doesn't do, that the target school does? This approach would enable you to focus on the positive points of the target school. For example, the single-sciences option might be available at the target school, but not at school y. This might be relevant if the child has a particular interest in this area. Perhaps the target school has a strong musical department, or expertise in a particular sport which the child plays. There's also the logistical element of the sibling having a place there, regardless of whether or not sibling priority applies where the older child is in the 6th form.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:52 pm 
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Location: Herts
Check the sibling policy of the school. If they have one then the younger sibling will be come a sibling on the day the older one gets her results in August. That is the time to appeal when they are a sibling and appealing for a sibling place. DG


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 7:18 am 
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Thank you all; and for the PMs too. Good advice particularly wrt the school's specialisms - wouldn't have thought about the sciences, but that is definitely a runner because exactly as you say, Marylou, one offers them and the other doesn't. I will also have a look at the sibling policy if I can find it. We were aware of the need not to emphasise the negative qualities of the current school but weren't sure how to move forward, so thank you.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:22 am 
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Good luck in helping her. In case the appeal doesn't work out in her favour have you managed to persuade her that her child can do well wherever they go?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:59 pm 
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I apologise in advance because I am sure that your friend has investigated this already but is the dc on a waiting list for a place already? Families do sometimes have to relocate etc .It is well worth having a word with admissions because it can be helpful....I agree with earlier posts ..If you have to appeal focus on something unique about the preferred school and once you get to the hearing don't get drawn into talking about the current school but concentrate on the school that you want. Good Luck Amber !


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:33 am 
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tigger2 wrote:
I apologise in advance because I am sure that your friend has investigated this already but is the dc on a waiting list for a place already? Families do sometimes have to relocate etc .It is well worth having a word with admissions because it can be helpful....I agree with earlier posts ..If you have to appeal focus on something unique about the preferred school and once you get to the hearing don't get drawn into talking about the current school but concentrate on the school that you want. Good Luck Amber !
Thank you Tigger (no need to apologise: this feels worse I think than if it were my own child as I feel utterly responsible and have been trusted for knowledge I don't think I have!). I told my friend to ask about this and she was told they don't keep an official waiting list - but have promised to keep the child's details on file and make contact if a place becomes available.

A question for anyone who knows: my friend is bringing the appeals forms sent by the school later this week for me to fill in with her. Should we include details about why this school is the desired one on those, or is that for the hearing (which I am very much hoping will never come!)?

I have sent some additional information to the appeals box: if anyone has time to look at it I would be hugely grateful.

Thank you all again.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:32 am 
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Yes, it's a good idea to summarize on the form the points that support the appeal. Obviously the main one would be the sibling connection (enclose copy of their offer letter as supporting evidence), then details about the school which make you think it would be a good fit for the younger child. To support this you could include e.g. details of clubs, teams, exam reports showing a high standard in a particular subject, etc. and evidence of the child's own interest/aptitude in that area. If you haven't got all this to hand it can be sent in later, but you need to allow the panel plenty of time to look at it before the hearing.

We found the best approach to be a short, bullet-pointed presentation with references to any documents supplied in an attached appendix, which the chairman told us was helpful.

Another possible angle - would there be any transport implications for the children being at different schools? Our evidence included bus timetables to show that there was no transport available from the allocated school at the times needed, and a map showing the location of the three schools involved (two secondaries and one primary in our case). It sounds a bit like a hammer to crack a nut, but it shows you've investigated it properly and can back up what you're claiming.

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