HELP ICS Appeal in the morning!(6 Posts)
Just after some very last minute advice. I have an ICS appeal in the morning for our local catholic school. We were in the highest category we could be without a sibling but lost out on distance.
Our case is weak and TBH I did try and withdraw the appeal but the clerk persuaded me to give it a shot anyway as we've nothing to lose!
Basically our grounds for appeal are the same reasons as why we chose the school:
Firstly our parish is linked to the church so continuity of religious commitment
Secondly our DD has a SEN in terms of a speech and language developmental delay with associated glue ear. All of her friends from church/play school are going to this school. This is normally quite insignificant but in my daughters case it's really important to have familiar peers who understand her as children/adults who don't know her often find it really difficult to understand what she is saying.
The school where she has a place will take an hour on the bus to get to (I also have a 2 year old and an 8 month old).
I know the panel can't take any of the above into consideration but it can't hurt to mention it. The only 2 things of any substance I have to question the school on are as follows:
A priest at one of the parishes that feeds to the school was relinquished of all duties 2 months before the proof of commitment forms came out. How could the new priest reasonably confirm POC after 2 months in the parish?
Secondly I don't think their admissions policy is clear:
"Catholic children whose parents/guardians produce proof of commitment from the Catholic priest at the church they attend (must verify regular attendance, i.e at least fortnightly at Sunday Mass).
I interpret that as the children themselves have to attend (which my daughter does), but it's not clear as I'm sure other's could say it's the parents have to produce their proof of commitment. What is the school's intention?
As I said before completely realistic about our chance of success but it's worth having a go! Any advice would be great
(Also the school haven't produced a case as such, they haven't even stated infant class size prejudice only given a timeline of our application.)
If your appeal is rejected you can go to the LGO and argue that the school's failure to produce a proper case has deprived you of the opportunity to prepare for the hearing. Indeed, if the panel reject the appeal on ICS grounds you can argue that they should not have done so as the school has not presented an ICS case. The fact the school has been so sloppy makes me wonder if they've been using the same panel for so long that they are no longer truly independent - another possible reason for an LGO referral. However, none of that helps you tomorrow.
All I can really say is go for it and give it your best shot. Present the best case you can and hope the panel listens. But you really are hampered by the school's failure to produce a case. If they had, we may have been able to help you pick holes in it.
I would agree with you that the admission criteria is at best somewhat vague. On experience I would say it is asking for commitment of a parent but it could be read as being commitment from the child, which I would have said at 4 is ridiculous to expect.
What is not in dispute as far as I am concerned is that on the wording given you only need to go twice to church a week apart to qualify as there does not seem to be an amplifier for the length of time you have to go - normally it would say 6 months or 12months.
However I am not sure that this actually improves your case at all as it does not seem to show a mistake being made that if corrected will lead to you getting a place.
From your post I assume it is an infant class size case so the lack of any definitive statement in the scant paperwork is a massive error. The first question that the panel has to answer in their deliberations is actually whether the case is an ICS case and they will make that decision no matter what the schools case says. However unless the school has indicated what the qualifying measures will be the panel will be left with the problem of whether to treat it as infant class size case or just as a normal case.
The other thing to say is do go, because the clerk may know something to your possible advantage that you do not know but that will become apparent at the appeal. If you withdraw you will never know!
Just had the fantastic news our appeal was successful!!!!!!!!!! In complete shock but utterly elated!! Thank your prh and admission you have always been very kind in giving your advice on both appeals - you should start up some kind of business!
Now time to crack open the bubbly!!!
Good news, hope it all works out for you and your child.
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