I am a new member so please be gentle with me!
Anyway, I am hoping you can help me with my particular case or at least give me some advice.
My son recently started secondary school in September, his catchment school for our address. Since September my sonâ€™s father and I have separated and we have since sold the house and my son and I have moved back to my parents house.
Up until the break of Christmas half term he continued to go to his offered school as we arranged with family and friends to accommodate the move, nothing long term however. In the back ground I spoke to the head teacher about applying for the local catchment school for my parents address and she suggested I apply to the LEA which I did.
The catchment school is full so I appealed and today I have received the appeal date. Since Christmas and because of the circumstances i have taken the decision to take my son from the originally offered school and temporally do home working of which his school provided. They have now taken him off the role so as of today my son doesn't have any school.
The basis of my appeal is as follows:
Having recently moved back with parents due to domestic circumstances my sons current school is no longer the catchment school. Furthermore, for my son to continue his education at his current School he would be required to travel in excess of 30 miles per day averaging approximately 3.07hrs. In addition, my sons school day is approximately 6.15 hrs so for him to attend his current school his school day would equal some 9.22 hrs (46.1 hrs per week). This, in my opinion is un-healthy for an 11 year old boy.
From January 2009 it will not be possible for my son to attend this school in Castle Bromwich. I have made arrangements with work, family and friends to enable my son to attend until the end of term 2008 however these have only been temporary arrangements and from January 2009 I do not have any arrangements in place and will be unable to transport my son to his school due to work commitments and the distance involved.
Having looked into all possible travel options I do not feel it is practical for my son to travel 15.6 miles each way to school and back on public transport as this would involve catching 2 buses and a walk taking 1 hour and 37 minutes in the morning and 1 hour 30 minutes in the evening (journey route enclosed).
If my son set out on his journey at 7:08am he would not arrive at school until 8:45am, he is required to be in form ready to start the school day at 8:45am. Furthermore, this does not take into account any traffic delays in the morning or the walk into school which would make it unrealistic to get to school in time and setting out on his journey any earlier would make his school day a lot longer if when he comes home and has to do homework.
At his current school my son has always been punctual and as held an excellent attendance record, this could not be guaranteed for the future if travelling 31.2 miles a day on public transport. The other options I have looked into is a taxi to and from school, this is at a cost of Â£14 each way costing Â£28 per day which at a Â£142 per week isnâ€™t feasible to get my son to school and back. I do not feel I have any alternative but to appeal against the decision for a place at the new catchment School, the catchment school for my address. My son would be able to walk to and from the catchment school in 20 minutes. His current school are aware of the situation and as he is unable to attend his current school from January 2009 they have sent work home for him to complete until he is offered a place at an alternative school. I am not happy for this situation to carry on in the long term as I feel his education will suffer and relying on my nan looking after him whilst he is unable to attend school then catching up on his school work in the evenings when I finish work is not a situation that can carry on for any length of time.
I wish for you to consider my appeal for my son on the grounds that the (new school) is his catchment school and he is unable to get to (Old school) due to the distance involved. I have looked into transport options to obtain help but have been advised there is no funding available. Furthermore I have also discussed other schools with the council which are close to where we live however all Solihull schools have no spaces except for (current school). I believe that by refusing my son a place at (new school) it will affect his education in that he will be constantly tired and unable to take part in social activities either at school or at weekends which ultimately will affect his social learning and development long term. In addition, it is also my opinion that his health will suffer dramatically.
By offering my son a place at (new school) it is my opinion that it wouldnâ€™t cause prejudice to another child as by the enclosed documentation will show, he is a very clever and able boy who will fit in almost straight away without the requirement of â€œspecial attentionâ€