Do any of you have experience of this?
Yes, and oddly enough it was for a Glos primary with the same admission number. I almost wonder if it is the same school?!
Our nearest school is .2 of a mile from our house i.e. ideal! It currently has a set number of 27 students per class, so is not over infant class size numbers but is restricted on that basis.
Unless the school has demolished buildings or lost the use of some buildings, what has happened is that their "Net Capacity Assessment" has been reviewed. If you look at these threads by Etienne you will find some interesting points about Net Capacity, in particular in regard to older schools being assessed as if they were modern buildings. There are rather a lot of them - sorry about that, but you will feel better informed at the end of reading them!
There are plenty of arguments against a PAN (Planned Admission Number) of 27 - such things as school books coming in packs of 10, for example. However, in broad terms it is for the panel to raise those issues rather than you as the parent. Probably the only point for you to make is "If the school coped with 29 or 30 pupils in the past, what has changed other than that someone has sat down with a calculator and decided on a different number?" The panel may well do that job for you anyway.
It sounds to me as though the school is not going to fight the case against admitting your DS2 very strongly, and as yours is an in-year appeal, and likely to be the only one, you could well win at Stage One without having to go to Stage 2. Extra bums on seats mean more cash for the school, plain and simple.
Full details of the two-stage process and arguments you might use at Stage Two are in the Appeals Q&As (Section B) http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... bed-school
Being 0.2 miles from the school, the distance to the offered school, logistics with getting the children to school, needing to make local friends are all useful arguments.
On the one hand I should warn you that Primary oversubscription appeals are known to be very difficult indeed to win, but they are much easier to win when there is an unusual PAN like this and previous evidence of the school having coped with additional children.
There is a forum member who also has direct experience of an appeal like this - I will give her a nudge and ask her to send you a PM.