There have been a few subtle changes to oversubscription criteria in Buckinghamshire
according to the 2009 Admission Arrangements document, see: http://www.buckscc.gov.uk/moderngov/Pub ... ocA.ps.pdf
"Rule three, the â€˜sibling ruleâ€™ has been clarified to ensure, for immediate (casual) in-year admissions, siblings in all year groups are included."
"Within the fifth admission rule (â€˜the exceptional ruleâ€™), â€˜educational reasonsâ€™ as grounds for priority admission has been deleted and now the rule only includes children with exceptional medical or social reasons. This is in line with the phrasing in the code, which prohibits giving priority on the basis of particular interests, specialist knowledge and hobbies, and particular educational aptitudes such as sport or music that might be well provided for at a particular school."
I am interested in the implications of these changes with regard to transfer appeals. Does the second point relating to specialism mean, for example, that a child who has a particular aptitude for a subject that is claimed as a specialism by a school (e.g. science, music, sport) would no longer be able to present this as a factor at a transfer appeal for that particular school?
With regard to the first point regarding siblings - if a qualifying child with a "non-eligible" sibling - i.e. in Y11 or Y12 of the school being appealed for - is refused a place at transfer appeal on grounds of distance, would that child then go to the top of the waiting list after September 1st when the application would presumably count as an immediate (casual) in-year admission, or would a new application need to be lodged?
Etienne kindly gave me some advice on this issue (sibling link not counting) a couple of years ago, when I realized there would be a problem when No 2 applied. That time is now approaching (2009 entry) and the situation is still the same with elder child due to enter the 6th form in 2009. We were going to use younger child's aptitude for science as one of our arguments should a transfer appeal be necessary, but it now appears that this is not taken into account at the allocation stage. Therefore we have one less argument for the case. If, however, our clear intention is to put second child on waiting list if transfer appeal is unsuccessful, would the second child stand a reasonable chance once the new term started as the sibling link WOULD then count?
And might a transfer appeal panel take this into account when considering its decision?
All this might never happen, of course - but it's been bugging me for years ever since BCC changed the sibling rules!