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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:32 pm 
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Etienne and co are you ready for this latest twist in our ongoing saga to get school places? This time it's a comp...

As you know we were unsuccessful at my son's GS appeal where his twin will be attending. It's been a fraught and long process. We have had a strong place to fall back on at comp since we moved to a new area in March. It took a week to sort it out due to our move date but we did and DT1 has always known about this place (he does not know we appealed the GS)

Anyway DT1 was due at a special induction day tomorrow for new starters like him who will be attending the school without knowing anyone. We have been preparing and he is finally in a happier place about going to school without his twin.

We received the place three months ago. Today the deputy head rang me out of the blue(I was at work) to say that the LA was retracting the offer as it had made a mistake three months ago in offering the place. The school (the lead school of a MAT) are going through appeals right now and it has come to light that we are 3metres out from the last place offered and could we not attend the induction morning tomorrow please. She wanted to let me know before a faceless LA letter landed through our door after the induction. I had to tell my son tonight it was cancelled. Seems we have no school place

Cue various emails to HT LA etc - I have always dealt with the head of admissions as we had a complex situation of changing LAs on Feb 17th close to the offers day and were originally offered a school in our old LA - turns out during the current appeals there are ten more deserving cases. Had the original places been allocated properly (the school allocates on distance and admissions criteria then hands over to LA) then we would not have been offered a place. The HT says he is consulting with the appeals panel and chair! and it is only fair and transparent and that the panel has told him those new cases for appeals have more of a legal challenge than mine.

I am not backing down and refuse to decline the place - he even said that he would ask the panel tomorrow if I could have an appeal next week! I don't want to go to appeal. why should I?

I am devastated after everything we have been through for months of anguish of heartbreak of uncertainty. This would break my son who has previously been under cahms for anxiety and has not handled the situation of his twin going to grammar well. Also, the new area, the new school. it's been tough.

Am I going insane, or is this this bonkers? I have already quoted an LGO ruling that deemed even five days was too long in which to retract a place. Our original CAF was in place and it seems three families including mine were offered places by 'mistake'

I do not know who to turn to. The admissions head who secured my original place - at the council - says she will get back to me. Luckily,I have an email trail from the time places were offered along with the school and LA's written letters offers of places, information packs. We're booked on the induction day tomorrow and my son will miss the valuable chance to meet other starters like himself who don't know anybody. Even if this nightmare ends we won't get that back and his transition is already especially sensitive.

We've bought uniform - we've all prepared. I am concerned that if we go to the LGO it could take months.

Have you ever heard anything like it? The HT is personally emailing me but I don't want to agree to appeals and the likes while he talks to his mates on the panel. It's just wrong and there is nobody I just call to make it stop, though I have emailed my MP. I keep appealing to the school, to the head that this is a vulnerable child, but he says he needs to be fair to those appealing. I have emailed my council contact quoting appeals code etc. but I wouldn't trust them to read the phone book.

Help!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:41 pm 
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Sorry EFA - this is an academy.

Do I seek legal representation at this point? This feels way above my head now.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:45 pm 
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Plus... time is running out. I gather I must first await the official complaint outcome to the council (I gather a letter is in the post but after me kicking up a fuss she is looking into it) and then contact the EFA. Currently we have no school place either.

Also, Etienne, our GS appeal always had a section that he had been offered this outstanding comp as an alternative. Had we not had that would this have strengthened that appeal. I feel cheated at all turns here. There's no time either pulling this stunt mid June.....


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:15 pm 
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I have nothing to offer except for virtual consolation...this is a horrid situation to be in and awful that it has only come to light the day before the induction.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:17 pm 
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Hi Ricky74

I'm very sorry to hear your news. Sounds like a real incompetent mess.

I'm no expert but if it were me, I would insist that the school allow your son to still attend the induction day tomorrow - you haven't had anything official in writing yet to say that the place has been withdrawn. (I've just noticed you said this was a special day just for children who don't know anyone else - when is the main induction day for all children - has DC been to that already or is that later? If DC has had or will have the chance of another induction day then I wouldn't worry about not attending the one just for children who don't know anyone, I doubt it would really make much difference as DC will only really start to make friends once at a school and knows and spends more time with the children who will be in the same class).

If and when you get it in writing that the place has been withdrawn then yes I think you should take legal advice as to whether or not they can do this.

If it turns out that they can then yes, you should appeal (for this school and also for the grammar school which may allow you another appeal because your circumstances have changed, i.e. you now have no school place for your child).

I would expect that the fact that you have no school place at all currently would mean that your reasons for wanting the school, at appeal, would provide you with a very strong case, especially at the school whose mistake it was.

I cannot understand why the Head Teacher would say that the panel has told him that other appeal cases have 'more of a legal challenge' than yours - what legal challenge could they have?

Also, appeals are supposed to be independent (although from experience I know that not all are!) and as such, I believe, the Head Teacher could/should not talk to the panel in advance of an appeal regarding the likely success of the appeal (or the likely success of anyone else's appeal for that matter). The Appeal Code states that the school's representative should not be left alone with the appeal panel at any stage during the appeal hearings - I believe that the same would apply before the appeal hearings in that the Head Teacher cannot have access to discuss the merit of appeals with the panel. Furthermore, a panel could not make a decision or have a view on the likely success of an appeal without first receiving the evidence and hearing all of the appeals for the school.

Something sounds very wrong with all of this.

Good luck.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:37 pm 
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I think I've just read this on mumsnet, I'm alternately fuming and heartbroken for you, but sounds like they just cannot do this. Take all of the advice given and I wish you every bit of luck xxxxxx


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:47 pm 
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Thankyou - yes I am gathering some sound avice on both forums. I've beem heartened by other's compasdsion too

There is another induction day in July and I couldn't bear to see my son turned away tomorrow

The other ten cases are deemed to have greater admissions priority based on original criteria thugh it cannot necessarily be distance as we are 3metres off final cutoff

The whole process seems scarily ad hoc. I feel powerless that somebody could just take our place away so abruptly. That the LA is so blase. This is our life. my son does not deserve this.

Gloves are offf. This is morally and legally bankrupt.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:48 pm 
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I need to wear my glasses when in keyboard warrior mode!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:07 pm 
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Quote:
The other ten cases are deemed to have greater admissions priority based on original criteria though it cannot necessarily be distance as we are 3metres off final cutoff


Does the above relate to the admissions criteria e.g. that 'looked after children are admitted first' and then 'children with siblings already at the school who are in catchement' etc"?

If so, then the only advantage that anyone would have over you at appeal, I believe, is if the admissions criteria had not been applied to them correctly at the time that places were allocated and, if the criteria had been applied properly, they would have been allocated a place.

If that is not the case, then they will be in no better position at appeal than you are.

If it is the case, then it sounds like the whole admissions process for the school has been messed up.

Find out what the PAN is, how many accepted places they have and what is the calculated net capacity for the school (even though it is an academy the local authority still has to calculate capacity for all schools in the area). If it turns out that they have capacity for more pupils than their PAN, maybe they will have to put on an extra class this year to rectify their monumental c##k up.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:09 pm 
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Ricky, have you sent Etienne a private message? I see she has been on other threads but may not have noticed this one. On the other hand she may be trying to do real life & get to bed! I'm sure she will read this thread in the morning if not tonight. Good luck.


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