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A Quick Guide to School Placing Requests

So who can make placing requests?


Well.. parents and children over the ager of 16. The placing request must be in writing and only in respect of 1 school. The request must go to the local authority where the desired school is NOT the one where you live if it is a different catchment area.


Next… what are the time scales.


Placing requests for the next year must be made by 15th March. You should get a decision by 30th April. If you do not, or it has been two months since the request then it is deemed refused and you may appeal. If you wish to appeal then you must do within 28 days of the decision or if it is a deemed refusal because the deadline for a response was missed then 28th May.


This cannot be a letter stating a desire to appeal but must state explicitly that you wish to appeal. We can assist you in drafting these letters as, although there is further appeal, a good appeal letter can stop the need for further appeals to the Sheriff Court of Tribunals and make a positive decision more likely. We can bring our experience of education law from both private and local authority practice to bear here.


Now, the Appeal should be heard within 28 days of receipt of the letter. Again, if you do not have your appeal committee hearing within that 28days then it is deemed a refusal and you may then appeal to the Sheriff Court. We have fixed fee packages to help you thought this whole process so you will not have to make these difficult appeals alone.


Why might your request be refused?


The reasons under the 1980 Act are as follows:


· Serious detriment to the child’s education

· The education at the school is not suited to your child

· The local authority have already expelled your child from that school

· It is an additional support needs school and your child does not have additional support needs

· It is a single sex school and your child is not of that sex


Other reasons include:


· Needing to hire another teacher

· Significant money needs to be spent to make alterations for your child’s attendance

· It would be seriously detrimental to order, discipline in the school or to the pupils already attending that school

· It would create additional classes or teachers in the future

· Capacity would be exceeded at the school even though no teacher or extra accommodation is needed.


Education is a notoriously complex area but if you want help navigating this area and getting the best for your child then contact us on 0333 242 0316 or email michael@serenityfamilylaw.co.uk

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