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Can you win ICS appeal if no error has been made?

(9 Posts)
sadmum1000 Mon 27-Jun-11 11:23:56

Sorry, another appeal thread. We've got our appeal next week. At the moment our case is weak so I'm not holding out too much hope.

We are appealing for our 1st place school so our DCs can go to school together (DS1 currently in Yr 2) as they are very close and quite distressed about being parted.

However they did not make an error as they have changed the rules this year and siblings out of catchment are at the bottom of the list. Has anyone ever won an ICS appeal if no error has been made? (and no medical grounds either).

EldonAve Mon 27-Jun-11 11:28:31

Did they consult on the rule change and publish the new rules?

sadmum1000 Mon 27-Jun-11 11:33:03

They did apparently but we weren't aware of it until after the consultation had finished. Our school didn't mention it and we don't get the local free paper on our road.

prh47bridge Mon 27-Jun-11 11:42:33

There are only three grounds on which you can win an ICS appeal:

- The admission arrangements are contrary to the law and/or the Admissions Code and, if they had conformed, your child would have been admitted
- The admission arrangements have not been administered correctly and your child should have been admitted
- The authority has acted unreasonably (which is interpreted as meaning irrationally) in refusing a place for your child.

It is, of course, also possible to win if the authority is arguing that it is an ICS case when it isn't. Surprisingly it does happen sometimes.

Those are the rules, I'm afraid.

Appeal panels do occasionally admit children when they shouldn't. Also sometimes evidence of a mistake emerges in the course of the hearing. So you should definitely go forward with your appeal. But, given what you have said, it is good that you are being realistic about your chances.

sadmum1000 Mon 27-Jun-11 11:52:11

Thanks. Also, another quick question if you don't mind?
There are a lot of people appealing for the same school and for the same reason. If someone else has spotted that the admission arrangements were contrary to the law/ or the Admissions code would they have to let all the appeals win or just the person who has pointed it out?

Bit of a longshot I know but was just hoping someone else has uncovered something that I've missed.

prh47bridge Mon 27-Jun-11 12:56:57

The admission arrangements being incorrect is not enough to win an appeal. The panel has to decide if the child would have been admitted if the arrangements were correct. They don't have to let all the appeals win if they found that the admission arrangements were incorrect, nor do they have to let the person who has pointed out the problem win.

If the admission arrangements do break the law/Admissions Code, the first thing the panel has to do is figure out which of the appellants were disadvantaged by the breach. If none of the appellants were disadvantaged all of the appeals will be rejected (unless, of course, they are successful on other grounds).

At the other end of the scale, if a number of children were disadvantaged the panel has to consider whether the school can actually manage if all the disadvantaged children are admitted. If they decide the school can cope, the appeals for all the children who have been disadvantaged will succeed. However, if the panel decide the school cannot cope they then have to decide how many the school can manage and then compare the appeal cases to decide which children to admit.

prh47bridge Mon 27-Jun-11 12:59:06

Pressed post too early...

So if someone else has uncovered a problem which has disadvantaged your daughter it could result in your appeal being successful even if their own fails. Equally, any problems you have uncovered may lead to other children being admitted.

sadmum1000 Mon 27-Jun-11 21:35:47

Thanks v much prh47bridge. Really appreciate your advice as the whole situation is making me ill. (I suffer panic attacks). Unfortunately I think anything I appeal about will be to no avail as no 13 on waiting list.

But if anyone out there has a success story I would love to hear about it. Need to keep my spirits up!

admission Mon 27-Jun-11 22:03:41

Sadmum,
If it is any help I have sat on appeal panels three times this year where we admitted pupils in ICS regs case. Having said that in all three cases the situation was that a mistake had been made in the admission process, hence PRH's comments are all important.
The key issues for you are whether you were put in the correct admission criteria and did the school admit from this criteria in the correct order. I am afraid that any change in the admission criteria order will result in winners and losers and you are unfortunately in the latter category because of the change.

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