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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 4:26 pm 
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I am appealing on medical ground of the parent for my son for a junior school. I have BiPolar (manic depression) and I am appealing for a school that can offer excellent emotional support for a child whose mother has a mental illness.

Our application had a two page document outlining our points; a copy of the Ofsted report with highlighted relevant sections & also a supporting letter from my consultant psychiatrist.

I have not been offered my chosen school; as the council says that all schools can offer emotional support for all children. I myself know that this school offers support at a much higher level (than others school -stated in the OFsted Report) and additionally if offers 1 to 1 council of pupils where needed (where others schools do not offer this counseling).

I can provide more information about my consultants supporting letter and my application letter. So I can post this or PM this to your inbox.

I am now going to appeal and don't know what else I need to put. What does my consultant need to put about my condition in regards to my son to support my appeal? What should I explain about my situation to support my appeal.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:50 pm 
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Dear OrganicGreen

I do understand your case.

You don't say whether medical need is high up on your LA's admission criteria for the school. Even if it is, I'm afraid you were still unlikely to be offered a place by the LA unless the consultant had said this is the only school appropriate for your son.

However, don't despair, as the appeal panel is not limited to the admission criteria. It is free to consider any argument you put to them, and may be more sympathetic.

Just put forward the same case to the appeal panel as you did to the LA.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 10:21 pm 
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Thanks Etienne for your response.

Order is State Children, Medical Child, Medical Parent, Siblings, Distance.


This is a copy of what my |Consultant says. Should I ask my consultant to state it stronger? Or is this letter enough?
""
Dr Consultant Professor Psychiatrist - Supporting letter

I have been requested by Ms **** to write ti you in support of her application for her 4 year old sonXxxx, to be admitted to **** school.

Ms **** has been ib contact with the mental health services since June 1995. She suffers from bi-polar disorder & she is required to take medication on a long term basis. She receives regular follow-up from mty team on outpatient basis.

Ms **** informs me that she has conducted a comprehensive research regarding the schools in the her area, based on comparing the schools' Ofsted reports & interviewing the head teachers. Based on her findings **** school would be the best suited to her son & her own situation.

Ms **** is understandably concerned that she may have periods of recurrence of her bipolar illness anfd that, during these periods, her son would require additional support. Based on her research, **** school would be in the best position to offer her son the full range of support that he may require.

Ms **** provided me with quotes from the Ofsted report that would indicate excellent guidance & support procedures regarding child protection, health & safety, as well as offering counselling for pupils to discuss personal family difficulties.

Ms ****'s main concern is that during periods of illness the home situation might undergo difficulties, in which case she would rely on the school for extra help in this respect (apart from the professional help that she would receive from the medical health services).

I would request the Education Department to consider Ms ****'s application for her son to be admitted to **** school on a favorable basis.

I would also request that you would take into consideration her history of mental health difficulties and her present concerns regarding her son's education.

I trust this is sufficient for your purposes. However I would be happy to provide further information if required, with Ms ****'s consent
.
""

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:58 pm 
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Dear OrganicGreen

I think the consultant has tried to be as helpful as possible. You have told him what you think the most appropriate school would be, and he has written asking the LA to look favourably on your request.

I don't think any LA with medical need as one of its criteria would have offered you a place on this basis. The consultant would have needed to say that in his judgement this is the only appropriate school, and I very much doubt that the consultant is in a position to do this.

Unfortunately I now see that your son is only 4 years old. I misunderstood what was meant by "junior school". (It's not your fault - in my part of the world "infant school" usually means reception and years 1-2, "junior school" = years 3-6, and "combined school" = both).

I'm afraid this could make it almost impossible to win an appeal if there are already 30 children per class, because of infant class size legislation - the rules are very strict.

If the admission number allows for under 30 per class, then a "normal prejudice appeal" might still be possible, depending on how classes are organised in reception and years 1-2.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:06 am 
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Thanks Etienne for your feedback,

Could I ask the consultant so say " Based on the information provide this school is the only suitable school?" How else can the consultant word it?

Junior school is 4-13 years old.

Yes you are right the school has already allocated the 30 places. But if they had taken my medical condition into account my son would get the place before most of the 30 children. Could I ask in the appeal that if they cannot allocate my son a place now because the school is full, could he then be placed first in the queue on the waiting list. The waiting list is based on the admission ordering - state children, medical child, medical parent, siblings, distance.

At least if we are on the waiting list then we would just have to wait a year or two for a place to come up.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 9:42 am 
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Dear OrganicGreen

I suspect the words "based on the information provided" would still leave you in the same position with regard to the waiting list - it begs the question "Who provided the information?" My feeling is that the only wording likely to be considered by the LA is "In my view the only appropriate school is ......." Even if the consultant were to write this, the LA will wonder "How is he in a position to know this? Does he really have a knowledge of all the schools?".

An appeal panel can only accept or refuse an appeal. It has no power to do anything else, and cannot influence the waiting list.

I wish I could offer you more hope, or be of more help, but realistically - because of infant class size legislation - your best chance of winning an appeal will not be until entry into year 3.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:00 am 
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Thanks you E again for your feedback.


We can only try to appeal for a place. It looks like we will not get one but I have to try to see just incase. Thanks so much for your help and support with this.

Should I ask my consultant to write another letter stating as you have written... "In my view the only appropriate school is .......".

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:25 am 
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You've little to lose by appealing now, so long as you realise there's only a very slim chance.

You can only win an infant class size appeal if the LA has mishandled the admission arrangements and you should have been offered a place (I see no evidence of that on the basis of what you have said so far), or if the decision to refuse your application was one that no "reasonable" authority would have made. The legal definition of what is "unreasonable" is very strict:
[quote]3.24 In order for a panel to determine that an admission authority’s decision to refuse admission was unreasonable, it will need to be satisfied that the decision to refuse to admit the particular child was “perverse in the light of the admission arrangementsâ€

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:23 am 
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If we were considered under medical grounds then we would have given a place. But based in the council assessing us correctly then we would as it is not be offered a place.


Below is the letter that we sent with our initial application. We are basically saying that this school is the only local school that offers emotional support at a high standard and this standard is needed for our child who has a mother with a mental history. It also offers counselling which no other school offers.

Our consultant wrote his letter based on reading my initial application show n below.
========


APPLICATION LETTER

1. "Xx-My-son-xxx has a genetic predisposition to bi-polar disorder and therefore would benefit from a school that promotes strong mental health and self esteem." [ ]

2. **** school has been able to demonstrate through its Ofsted report that it offers a full range of support at the required level that would support a child with this particular need." [ ]

3. The importance a place at Xxxxxx school based on reading the section headed below "Representation for Special Consideration" [ ]

4. Having read "Representation for Special consideration" and assuming the facts are correct, that you agree with what I have said about the application. [ ]

5. A child with a mother requires significant support for low self esteem, times of mother's relapse and monitoring for potential mental health condition of the child. [ ]

..
Representation for Special consideration

I have recently completed extensive research into all the local schools to determine which is the best school for my son. This have included comparing all the schools' government Ofsted reports and interviewing the Head Teachers.

I have consequently determined that the ONLY school which EFFECTIVELY implements the FULL range of strategies, and to the NECESSARY STANDARD that my son requires to support him with his exceptional difficulties, is Xxxxxx School.

Although I have found several local schools that offer SOME support; only Xxxxxxx is the school that provides a FULL RANGE of support . I also found that Xxxxxxxxx was the only local school that implemented its support to the NECESSARY STANDARD.

I will now show how Xxxxxxxx school effectively tackles the three main areas of difficulties my son will face.

1. Lower self-esteem and stress in having a disabled mother with a mental illness.
Xxxxxx school 'monitoring their personal development' ensures that the staff can effectively identify periods of stress and low self-esteem. With my son being of higher risk of mental illness the monitoring of his personal development means that the school can identify early signs through out his time at the school. (SECTION A)

2. Higher risk of inheriting Bi polar (manic depression) as there is a history of mental illness on both side of his family.
The managing of stress at an early age will greatly reduce the onset of future mental illness. Xxxxxxx having the 'Healthy School Award' means that the enhanced emotional/mental health and well-being is being taught allowing the understanding and exploring of feelings. Xxxxxx school implementation of the 'Healthy School Award" is to a very high standard ('excellent') and this high standard is not available in the other local schools that do have this award. (SECTION B & C)


3. Difficult home situation during periods of mother going through a relapse.
During periods of the mother's relapse, additional support can be obtained from 'discreet counseling to discuss personal or family difficulties'. This is a very important and unique provision by Xxxxx school to support my son at times of need. (SECTION D)

Please Note:
The above quotes are from the government Ofsted report for Xxxxx School - Oct 2004. The SECTION points in brackets point to the extracts below from this Ofsted report. See attached file of the whole government Ofsted report for Xxxxx School-Oct 2004.

=========================================
A full copy of the Ofsted report was sent with my application. This report has highlighted sections that were referred to in the above statements.

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