Late Grammar School offer: over the moon but stressed/flummoxed

(1000 Posts)
PermaShattered Mon 29-Apr-13 19:35:12

What a 3 days we've had - any insightful comments welcome. In short:

1. Our daughter was offered 3rd choice (her 11+ score was about 30 down on passmark);
2. 3rd school is outstanding but we appealed to 2nd choice school as was our preference;
3. Last Friday took calls from our local Ed admissions authority saying why appealed when have offer from grammar school?
4. Said we hadn't. She made further calls to other relevant admissions authority and came back and told us we definitely have an offer and it would be in post next day (Saturday just gone);
5. It duly arrived, and we posted our acceptance same day (they should have got it today) - verbal acceptance of place given by phone on Friday;
6. On Friday the Authority also withdrew both our place at 3rd choice school and our appeal to 2nd choice school;
7. Today i take a call from a friend whose daughter got substantially higher score than my DD - and she is 188 on waiting list;
8. I call our admissions auth to check they received our acceptance (they said still in posttray but will be dealt with this afternoon);
9. I query whether there could possibly an error and i'm told categorically 'no'. And if there was, we have a written offer, accepted it and they can't take it off our daughter;
10. Finally, my other DS is that grammar school.

I'm perplexed. What could be a possible explanation?

SoupDragon Wed 01-May-13 18:41:54

shock

gazzalw Wed 01-May-13 18:54:20

Oh no..... sad

tiggytape Wed 01-May-13 18:59:51

I am not surprised you are furious. What a complete shambles.
All you can do is stand your ground. The best case scenario is the LA realises you won't back down and allows you to keep the place (but potentially has to deal with a lot of fallout from the people at the top of the list who feel wronged)
The worst case scenario is that you have to take it to appeal. In which case you also want to reinstate your appeal for school number 2 just in case.

What a horrible situation. Technically it is your home LA who has a duty to you and is responsible not the LA the school is situated so all of your queries and calls should go via your local LA not the school LA. This means they will have to do a lot of liaising between them but it is where you live not where you are applying that determines who is responsible for you overall.

PermaShattered Wed 01-May-13 19:07:41

Thanks Tiggy. Do you think that fact that it's a selective school make a difference? Will it be harder to keep onto the place......?

Hullygully Wed 01-May-13 19:12:39

hideous

wheresthebeach Wed 01-May-13 19:34:49

That's awful wine and stand your ground.

QOD Wed 01-May-13 19:45:42

Shocked!

Smartiepants79 Wed 01-May-13 19:46:48

Not sure if you've read this or if it is any help in your case (not sure how it applies in seldective schools. Had a quick scan try about pg 19.
dera.ioe.ac.uk/8442/1/3885_SchoolAdmissions_code_aw5.pdf

PermaShattered Wed 01-May-13 20:17:39

Thanks Smartie. I was actually going to look at the Code after looking here! That link is the consultation document, but i've looked at the Code now. It states a LA can 'withdraw an offer if made in error'. But as i understand from other posters and case law that has to be reasonable - eg how long the child has had to get used to the idea of the school....

lougle Wed 01-May-13 20:19:29

Sorry to hear this.

Here is a thread where a grammar place was withdrawn after 5 days due to error The LA forced the family to appeal, firmly believing that they had the right to withdraw.

The LA lost. The place was reinstated.

piggywigwig Wed 01-May-13 20:19:58

The best piece of advice I could give, is to tell as few people as possible about this, especially as you already know someone whose DD scored higher than your's and is yet 188th on the waiting list. That could potentially be a lot of very disgruntled parents, many of whom may also be lawyers, like yourself.

People can get very vexed and act irrationally if they think someone has got ahead of them in a queue: especially over something as emotionally-charged as a place at a highly sought-after school.

Something like this is lapped up by the press and could make lives very uncomfortable for a lot of people.

PermaShattered Wed 01-May-13 20:31:24

To be frank, right now i couldn't care less about other people. I'm concerned for my distraught daughter who's potentially without a school place in September.

If they let the offer stand, we win our appeal, judicial review, or whatever - noone will be deprived of a place so it won't make any difference to anyone. Except my daughter.

PermaShattered Wed 01-May-13 20:36:31

Sorry, just a bit sensitive right now sad

piggywigwig Wed 01-May-13 20:43:04

What I'm trying to say, is say nothing in case it gets out and your daughter gets more hurt. I'm not saying what I said to encourage you to see the other side of the coin or suggest that you should care about other people. I'm merely recommending a strategy which may in time, achieve some damage limitation for your family.
Play your cards close to your chest, as you've no doubt been trained to do.

PermaShattered Wed 01-May-13 20:53:12

Yes, thanks for that smile

gazzalw Wed 01-May-13 21:22:25

Permashattered, can you have wine, get an early night and sleep on it so you galvanise to action tomorrow? How is your DD?

Do you have colleagues who work in educational law? Do hope so. If anyone is well-placed to fight your DD's cause it is you as a lawyer.

All advice to keep information close to your chest is good though. The claws definitely do come out over as emotive a subject as getting a highly sought-after grammar school place, so you will need to be economical with the truth over the coming weeks.

DIddled Wed 01-May-13 21:34:50

My god permashattered no wonder you are in bits. THis is horrendous.

It gets a terrible pasting on here ( as being a site for 11plus obsessives) but get yourself on the eleven plus forum, on the appeals section and post your summary- there are experts there who can help. I am a regular poster as I have used my own experience (one got into grammar and one lost appeal) to try and help others. We are not all educational nut jobs who think of nothing else.

Your only duty is to your own child and don't concern yourself with anyone else's as that's theirs to worry about. Good luck xx

LegoIsMyFriend Wed 01-May-13 21:42:36

Yes, why worry about that child who actually scored the appropriate level for entry to the school but might not have a lawyer as a parent?
Permashattered, I appreciate you want to fight for your child and I understand this looks like a situation not of your making but don't kid yourself that your child isn't taking away the place of someone else's child.

DIddled Wed 01-May-13 21:43:13

Just popped on epe-the oversubscription section mentions the erroneous offer referred to here- what has been previously stated is correct- so at least there is a precedent. That's good news so just try and keep a level head ( easier said than done I know) Keep us posted - hugs (unmumsnet I know) to your little girl.

DIddled Wed 01-May-13 21:45:28

Sigh... I knew this would happen. The fact she is a lawyer is irrelevant.

LegoIsMyFriend Wed 01-May-13 21:53:45

I agree it isn't relevant she is a lawyer but she is a parent who is literate enough to galvanise the support of mumsnet. Who knows whether the parent of the child who rightfully qualified for the place is in the same position. And how is this honestly different from the person who receives an incorrect transfer of money into their bank account? It is clear from the OP that she knew there was an issue and her DD had not qualified for a GS place.

PermaShattered Wed 01-May-13 21:54:26

Yep, that i'm a lawyer is not terribly relevant really - i have good contacts and i won't take things lying down but that's about it. I know nothing about educational law.

Anyway, thanks for the advice re eleven plus forum - I'm shattered now so will go on that tomorrow.

(Lego - i won't comment on your insensitivity because i have enough on my place)

ShipwreckedAndComatose Wed 01-May-13 22:08:47

Nothing particular to add except to wish you the very very best in fighting this.

Your poor dd [ sad]

titchy Wed 01-May-13 22:13:32

Ok you need a reality check... Hand on heart - your kid has scored 30 points. (10%?) less than all the other kids going into year 7 of the grammar. Do you really genuinely think she will cope? If you do, and 30 points is a lot, then you should hve enough case law on your side to persuade an appeal panel, or the LGO, not to renege on the offer.

But if you have the slightest doubt, please think very hard before you fight this. If your dd struggles, you won't have done her any favours by investing so much energy in fighting this.

Good luck.

tiggytape Wed 01-May-13 22:16:40

Lego - if it is any consolation - the person 'robbed' of their place by an LA error is equally certain to win at appeal to.
Just like poor Perma, a mistake that wasn't their fault messed up the whole process and will have caused them a lot of stress. If they go to appeal and say 'a child on 25 points less than us wrongly got a place whilst my child was top of the waiting list' they too will win.

The school will then have 2 extra pupils for the Year 7 intake.
It is no big deal.
Secondary schools go over their official numbers all the time. The school won't take a place from anybody else as a result of either error.

If your argument is that some people have a good case but lack the knowledge to pursue or present that, then I agree with you. But that applies to education generally: special needs, admissions, early intervention.. the lot.

Perma - Gets some sleep and see what comes tomorrow now the LA have the response via your 'home LA'

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