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Admission pocedures advice please

Discussion in 'Senior Leadership Team' started by cbl, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. cbl


    Without knowing the reason for refusing the appeal it is impossible to comment. However it cannot be the one you give, or, to put it another way, if it is the one you give it is undoubtedly maladministration.

    I would suggest that your friend complain to the Local Government Ombudsman http://www.lgo.org.uk/ and clarifies that it is a compliant about admissions. For admissions they can act pretty quickly.

    YOu will see some recent judgements here http://www.lgo.org.uk/educ.htm and the annual digests of cases listed here http://www.lgo.org.uk/digest.htm under Education.
  2. cbl


  3. The reason that the LA refused the place was because legally they have to consider all on time applications before those that are late (even if they are only one day late). If all the places were taken by on time applications they have no alternative but to refuse. With admission policies then there are very few flexibilities. If the LA had said - o"h well they are only one day late" and let the child in, the other two at appeal would also have probably got in because the LA had not abided by its policy.
    If the parent had had a very good reason for being later, e.g. serious illness, then the appeal panel may well have allowed her appeal. She obviously had no good reason and that was why the appeal was not allowed.

    If you friend lets the child in anyway, the other two parents have grounds for complaint and it is also opening the doors to other parents who might get wind of the situation. I have seen this happen when suddenly, because the admissions policy was not followed (either by LA or school) appeals panels let in large numbers of children giving schools huge problems not just in one year but in subsequent years too.

    Your friends also risks disciplinary action if she blatantly disregards an LA policy - the LA is the admission authority not the school.

    Admissions policies are there for a reason and should be supported by the school as well as the LA. They will work in your favour one day.
  4. janemk

    janemk New commenter

    Obviously common sense has no place in today's society...
  5. Common sense has nothing to do with it. Deadlines for applications for school places are very well published and if an application is late without good reason then it should be treated as such and dealt with in accordance with published procedures. Not to do so would be most unfair to those who did apply on time.
    If there had only been one child in this case the school might have been able to quietly agree with parents to treat it as a "casual admission" a few days after the start of the school year. I must admit to having done this a few times in my career.
  6. janemk

    janemk New commenter

    I know common sense has nothing to do with it. That's my point. How the hell does someone get a 4 year old and an 8 year old to schools 15 miles apart? Especially when most schools don't allow kids to arrive early now due to supervision problems. You're hardly going to stick the 4 year old on a 15 mile bus ride, are you.
  7. Alena

    Alena New commenter

    Thanks for the replies so far. Would the school be breaking any legislation though? Obviously the published admissions numbers allow for 30 children in each class but they have 2 extra members of staff (aside from those who do PPA cover), so would not be breaking infant class sizes. Is the school still considered to be 'full' if this is the case?

    I agree the parent was careless in getting the application in late and I can see your point about the 'needing to keep to deadlines thing' but my friend would happily admit all 3 cases that went to appeal, but this case is special because the child meets the 2 main admission criteria and it would be detrimental to the education of both of her children because of the distance involved between the schools. The parent would say nothing if she were offered another local school place and would just accept it, but it seems ridiculous to offer a school so far away and then give no real reason for failing the appeal.

  8. Admission authorities must comply with the School Admissions Code of Practice. This is no longer guidance it is a statutory document. The school admissions code of practice states amongst many other things that an admission authority must have a published policy and must stick to what it says.

    An admission number is set with regard to how many students the school can accommodate overall and as part of a network of admissions numbers for surrounding schools. Schools who admit over an admission number are acting illegally and unfairly to other parents and in some cases other schools who will be losing students as a result and losing funding for those students.

    Those 3 pupils may be allocated to another school that would suddenly lose 3 students worth of funding - in a small primary school this is significant.

    If I were your friend I would read the code carefully and try and understand why admission numbers are set and the rules applied so strictly. Also, there might be two teachers for the group now but will this be the case all the way through the school. Admitting over admission numbers at the bottom of the school can have significant effects as the group moves through the school in many ways.

  9. janemk

    janemk New commenter

    And the mother's twice daily 30 mile round trip will affect her and both her children every day for the next 7 years. Common sense SHOULD be allowed in ridiculous cases like this. It's clearly not a viable option for the family but I suspect someone in an office somewhere will ignore this fact.

  10. Alena

    Alena New commenter

    Thanks for the link Cbl, I have passed this on. The admissions handbook says nothing other than what a parent can do in the event of not getting a place. It seems to read that all schools are agreeing with the LEA decisions - however bonkers they are.

    My friend's school will always have an extra member of staff (at least for the next 3 years) because my friend covers all the PPA herself and uses the PPA teacher as an extra teacher plus they have had a GTP student for the last 3 years and will probably continue to do so.

  11. janemk , unfortunately, in your common sense scenario, the school would be unable to defend any appeal against further applications for that year group. I think it would be quite unfair on all the other applicants who had followed the rules. The school in question would have great difficulty by the time they had reached the equivalent of another intake class both in terms of space and funding as they could not win an appeal if they attempted to refuse further admission applications in that year group. The problems would then follow throughout the subsequent 6 years as the extra class was accommodated. I expect that the Head Teacher could well end up with no job and the school would have, as a minimum, committed themselves to unauthorised spending of something in the order of £300,000 until the class size anomaly was resolved at the end of year 6.

    Alternatively, the parent could have submitted an on-time application.

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