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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 81884
Experience:  Over 15 years in practice
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Jo C, are you able to us on a matter relating to UK

Customer Question

Hi Jo C, are you able to us on a matter relating to UK education law and admissions please? Really like your profile and hope you can help us....
Submitted: 12 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 days ago.
Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to assist you with this today. I am a barrister with over 15 years experience.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 days ago.

Sorry  for t he delay.

Possibly, do you want to tell me what happened?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thank you Jo. (I hope that is the correct way to address you.) Give me some time to outline the details here
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Our daughter was recently offered a place at our local grammar, which we accepted, back in March. Out of the blow we received the below email from her school on Thursday, and based on the below exchange of emails, we are now worried they are likley to withdraw the offer.....From: Admissions Office <*****@******.***>
Date: 17 June 2022 at 10:52:31 am BST
To: ***** ***** <*****@******.***>
Subject: RE: Pupil Premium Qualification
Dear Mrs PillariYou ticked ‘n/a’ in your response in the admission form which is at odds with the information your school supplied earlier and potentially would give cause to review the offer you have received. Thank you for confirming you made an error in the most recent form and that the answer is ‘yes’ to receiving means-tested free school meals. Please note you must re-apply for your entitlement to continue at this school as you live out of borough. Please register through Kingston Council on the link previously provided, again provided here: Free school meals – www.kingston.gov.ukKind regardsAdmissions OfficeFrom: Suchita Pillari <*****@******.***>
Sent: 16 June 2022 17:58
To: ***** ***** <*****@******.***>
Subject: Re: Pupil Premium QualificationDear Officer,Thank you for your email.I forwarded the pupil premium form to my daughter's current school which they confirmed they sent it you a long time ago. Did you not receive it? Should I chase it up?Yes, I can confirm the school is still receiving the funds for her.Sorry, I don't quite understand what you mean by 'Pupil Premium entitlement to reflect the offer that has been made to your child'?Regards,SuchiFrom: Admissions Office <*****@******.***>Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2022 8:58 AM
Subject: Pupil Premium QualificationDear ParentWhen registering your daughter for our Stage One test last year you informed us that she qualified for Pupil Premium and your school confirmed this to us by completing a form that you shared with them directly. It has come to our attention that, when completing our Admission Form for your daughter, you state she is no longer in receipt of Pupil Premium Funding (free school meals).Please can you re-confirm that your child’s school continues to receive Pupil Premium Funding for her, and/or that you will contact RBK Council to continue her entitlement before your daughter transfers to The Tiffin Girls’ School. Please note it is very important we have confirmation from you regarding your child’s Pupil Premium entitlement to reflect the offer that has been made to your child.Thank you.Kind regardsAdmissions Office
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Having reviewed the "oversubscription criteria" outline on the schools website, it looks like she was offered some concession because at the time she was in recepit of what they call Pupil Premium Funding. We were not made aware of this at the time she was offered the place. I was unemployed for a period of time which caused us to seek income support at her current (primary) school and hence free school meals, but now I'm fully employed, the school she has been offered a place sits in a different borough, I know for a fact that we won't qualify for PPL anymore.We would really like advise on the matter.
1) would like your comprehensive review on the matter including their admission policy (and also possibly th Uk govt. school admission code)
2) if we should respond to the above email, and if you would help us draft the response
3) should she end up losing the offer, it might go to appeals, can you help us successfully appealrelating to 1) above, my own assessment is that at the time of application, she was rightly in receipt of PPL, since then my circumstances have changed. The admission policy doesn't not clarify this point. The Gov.UK admission code actually states that if the school has made an offer in error, they can withdraw it.We would like to approach this with a legal stance so that the offer remains, and doesn't go to appeals.Hope this is clear. Any questions please let us know.Important, is there any way to hide this question and responses and marking this as private please?
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
point 18 for your reference.
https://www.tiffingirls.org/getattachment/Our-School/Admissions/Year-7/Determined-Admissions-Arrangements-for-entry-September-2022_Varied-20-07-21-(1).pdf.aspx
Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 days ago.

In all honesty, this is outside the remit of this site.  You need to  see a solicitor  in person to have the protections of the law.

I can give you general answers but not  a review  on their criteria and it wouldn't be worth anything if I did.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Ok. We are very interested on your opinion on the matter, and what you think we should be doing next.
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Anything you can say based on the info we have provided would be helpful. Our daughter will be heart broken :-(
Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 days ago.

Sorry, I don't understand.

You  mean she was offered a place which they have revoked?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
They haven’t revoked as yet. But from the email exchange it’s clear they will withdraw the offer based upon my current circumstances
Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 days ago.

Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to assist you with this today.

Please bear with me as I will be online and off-line from time to time and therefore, may be delayed getting back to you.

Sometimes I will get back to you very quickly, other times it's going to be longer and possibly hours or overnight

Please bear in mind that it takes me time to type answers and I also have clients and sometimes have to attend court so I may not get back to you immediately.

It doesn’t read to me as though they intend to withdraw it. It just reads that they will just withdraw her free dinners.

They don’t seemt o be saying they are withdrawing the place

Can I clarify anything for you?

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Jo

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
JoC , I don’t think they are speaking about free school meals.if you read the above link relating to oversubscription criteria - clause 18, you will see that concessions were made for testing requirements. They then have gone on to repeatedly insist
I should preserve the pupil premium funding at the time
Of transfer.
“Please note it is very important we have confirmation from you regarding your child’s Pupil Premium entitlement to reflect the offer that has been made to your child.”
Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 days ago.

Oh I see.

So they are saying that  she was admitted with t he  10% leeway?

Which now doesn't apply?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
That’s my interpretation of what they seem to be implying. But nowhere in their admission arrangement policy does it state that the conditions of the leeway needs to apply until she transfers to the new school. Are they within their rights to withdraw the offer. Just to be clear, they haven’t withdrawn as yet, from the the above email exchange, this now seems imminent. I don’t qualify for pupil premium anymore as I have joined fulltime work. Thank you
Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 days ago.

I suppose they are if thats the basis and she doesn't qualify otherwise.

But I would have expected them to assert it outright.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
I think they might assert once I go back to them to confirm I’m no longer eligible. If you read the email exchange, can you suggest how I should be responding to them?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 12 days ago.

The email doesnt really call for a response.  I understand you want to chase it up, basically because you feel you should be doing something but leaving it  alone and awaiting further developments is the right thing to do.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
I hear what you’re saying. Their last response implies the mistake was at our end. And further they are asking us to reapply to the new borough - they’ve now sent us that link twice. They will chase us up as they seek to reconfirm our status so they can finalise their admissions, as I’m sure they have waiting lists to contend with. At the minimum I feel I need to respond to clear up that our follow up response on the admission form was not in error, and is reflective of changed circumstances. But I was hoping someone here can advise me on how to draft a persuasive response taking into account their own admission policy and the UK government admission code that all schools need to abide by. A follow up question I do have - are they within their rights to withdraw the offer?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 days ago.

Yes, if it was made upon incorrect information they can.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Thanks Jo. It was information that was correct at the time.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 days ago.

But the position has changed.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 days ago.

And yes, they can withdraw the offer

Expert:  Jo C. replied 11 days ago.

It was my pleasure to assist you. Please come back if anything else crops up and needs clarification.

Thank you for trusting Just Answer, and of course me, with your legal problem.

If you would like to reconnect with me at a later date, simply add me as a favourite expert and you can then tag me in a question by typing @JoC

Thanks again,