Not getting school place

Last Thursday (a day late as well!) I received a letter through the post, and when I read that letter my heart dropped. Jacob had not be given our first school choice  - the school to which he goes to nursery and has done for the past 18 months, the school where all his friends are, and cousins, a school which Lewis also goes to but unfortunately moves up to high school in September therefore this was not taken into consideration on our application.

I was shocked, angry, scared and confused, because I couldn't understand why he wasn't given a place at a school that is in our catchment, and a school to which he goes to nursery to, a nursery where they mix the nursery children with the reception children, where the teachers cover both classes in preparation for when the nursery children move up to reception.

So I got right on the phone demanding an explanation, why was he given a placement in a school further away? a school that is not in our catchment area? To my complete horror and shock I was advised that our first school choice was in fact not in our catchment area - what, how, why?? Because up to 3 years ago we had a three school tier system: primary, middle school and then high school, but that changed to a 2 tier system - primary and then high school - so a lot of schools shut down, or extended to accommodate the extra years, but of course this changed/adjusted the catchment areas - I didn't pay much attention when the new maps were sent out a few years ago, and I just assumed we were the same school catchment area - no we are not. So my fault all along!

The alternative school we were given wasn't even the one in our catchment area, and it is the worst possible option it could be - not because it is a bad school, but because Summer's other side of the family go here, the side we have to avoid due to the guardianship, because I cannot be bumping into them each and every day, I need to protect not only Summer from that, but also Jacob.

So where does that leave us - I now have to first appeal, and then also make a new application to the school in which is in our catchment area and also explain of the complications with the school we were given.

I was advised that I don't have to place Jacob into the school until January 2015, however because he has now been offered a full time position, his current nursery will not take him back in September. So I either have to sort a new school out urgently, or I will have no choice but to take him out of school between Sept to Jan until it is sorted out OR pay hefty fees to send him to a private nursery. But I want to do it with minimal disruption to Jacob; I don't want to be pulling him out of this school and that and so on.

So After panicking like crazy over the weekend, I have let myself calm down and next week I will sit down and start the process of appealing to his current school where he goes to nursery and at the same time, in case the appeal doesn't work, I need to apply for another school - but for me it has to be the catchment school as I have to think of long term especially for when Summer goes to the same school.  

Wish me luck.