Well, so much for forgetting about the appeal. I spent all morning phoning around local infant schools to see if anyone has a place in Year 1. I did ring the LA to ask, but they told me that they can’t help me as they don’t know who has a place and that I should ring each school individually! Apparently, that is what they ask parents to do as well! Not very helpful if you have just moved to the area and don’t know what schools are where! I have learnt that the child in question is not in any school right now, because the mother is adamant that our school is the only one she can get her to.
It turns out that one school (with a great reputation) nearby had a place last week, that has since been taken, and that another (with an equally good reputation and about three quarters of a mile away) may have a place by the end of the day. There are also four other schools with at least one place each, but these are the other side of town and quite a distance to travel.
I so desperately want to ring the mother up and advise her of this, but have been told not to, in case it looks like we are trying to get rid of her. I can see that she is going to end up in all sorts of trouble if she doesn’t make the effort to get a place elsewhere and her appeal is turned down. She is going to miss places at good, local schools and end up having to send her child three or four miles across towns to an undersubscribed school.
It is so wrong that we are not able to advise her on this.
My job for tomorrow is to buy an ordinance survey map and to work out the walking distance to all of the schools with places available. Apparently, the LA has the computer software to do this, but is unable to help me. (This is beginning to sound familiar!).