Some things I have learnt about appeals this week:
1) If you are a foundation school, don’t expect your LA to help you.
2) No one seems to want to help parents find a place at a suitable school (a parent who has moved to the area, it seems, is given the advice to ‘ring around the schools and see who has a place). So much for individual choice!
3) Appeals clerks are mines of information.
4) If you are a foundation school, you should form an Admissions Panel before any appeals come up. That way, you can say at appeal that you discussed each individual case and came up with your reasons for refusing them entry.
5) The infant class size rule (that classes may not be more than 30) can be broken if:
a) a child that has moved into the area has a special need.
b) an appeals panel agrees in favour of the appellant (generally if the school has not applied its admissions criteria correctly).
c) there is no other place for a child that has moved into the area in a school that is ‘a reasonable distance’ away.
6) No one seems to have a clue of what ‘a reasonable distance’ is.
7) If you do break the infant class size rule, you may only do so for one year. If no child has left by the following year schools have to find some way to reduce the class size to 30.