My friend is considering appealing her DS' primary school allocation, and I was having a look at the criteria for admission of the (much closer geographically) schools at which he failed to gain a place. He has a chronic, life-limiting medical condition, but none of the schools which rejected him list the presence of a statement of medical need as a category which warrants priority. (i.e. Looked-after children are prioritised, then church-goers, then siblings etc.)
I was under the impression that children who were mobility impaired/chronically ill would be given some priority of access to their closest school as a general principle, but does this depend upon the individual school?
Thank you in advance for any advice/ information you may have.
You are quite correct that admission panels tend to be very frustrated by the ICS Regs. It does not allow any sensible practical decision to be made when it is blindingly obvious to all on the panel that to admit the child as 31st pupil would be the right thing to do. Most panel members will have been in that frustrating position. That is however not the same as just allowing extra pupils into the school. I think most panel members would be quite happy to keep the ICS Regs but allow the rules to be relaxed so that as a general rule the 30 limit is no broken, unless the panel can justify an admission. It would be nice if they just trusted the panel to make the right decision.
Sorry, didn't mean to offend or personalise things.
It irritates me though that the school/admission authority don't try to level the playing field for some kids. How does it work in these authorities were a child who uses a wheelchair gets a school with steps? Surely then they must take medical need into account even though it's not in the criteria.
No lopsided - that's the trouble Unless the child has a statement (which many children with disabilities do not) the school / admission authority does not have to take any heed or make any concessions for medical needs even if they are genuine and backed up by Dr's letters.
It is perfectly legal for medical need to not even feature in the admisisons criteria and as soon as those criteria are set, no authority is then allowed to ignore them and admit children at their discretion. So if they get an application from a child in a wheelchair for the only school with no steps, and if that academy / LA chooses not to use medical criteria for admissions to the school with no steps then that child won't get a place unless they qualify on siblings or distance or whatever the criteria is
That is exactly why appeal panels wish sometimes they did have more discretion!