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ICS appeal

(14 Posts)
Rjs90 Sun 13-Mar-16 22:12:10

Before I start apologies for the essay!

We are in the process of moving boroughs to gain family support with DD in year 2 and DS in reception. Our catchment school is 0.2 miles, a 2 minute walk, however they only have a place available in year 2. The only reception place available is at an undesirable school 2.3 miles away, a 49 minute walk.
The LEA have informed me I can appeal for a space for my son, there is currently no waiting list however they are oversubscribed by 4. They have a PAN of 90.

Am I correct in my belief that this would be an ICS appeal? I can only gather information relating to general admissions rather than in year transfers.
I am yet to submit the transfer forms as I want to think very carefully about how to proceed.

Having today researched into ICS appeals I'm guessing the only route we'd be able to go down was unreasonable refusal of place, although I have heard this is rarely successful. My grounds under this would be that with my daughter already gaining a place in the school and my sons complex needs (high functioning ASD, ADHD, sensory processing disorder, and a blue badge holder) it would be extremely detrimental to him to be in a different school to his sister - social communication, anxiety and lack of routine. Whilst I understand distance and parent/sibling health can not be taken into consideration, I have a 3rd child who is regularly an inpatient, with a non-driver as my source of child care, catchment school is in their road. Could they be expected to walk 2.3m with him in a buggy (which were trying to slowly limit use of) as due to his sensory needs he is unable to use public transport or tolerate wind and rain.

My son currently does not have an ECHP - his school thinks he copes fine despite his needs however that is another story! His medical professionals cannot see him remaining in mainstream without one in year 1, however obviously that does not help us now.

Now please no negativity on pushing class sizes above capicity (I've read various threads!) This is not a particularly sought after or amazing school, just a standard school in a standard area. The only reason for full capicity is due to taking children from an adjacent undesirable area. Anyone with any experience with appealing under the unreasonable decision catorgory - what's qualifies as unreasonable? I don't want to put my daughter in a school that is going to detriment her brother should he not get a space, but by the same token i don't want to choose a school which is going to be practically impossible for my family member to get them to, and probably prove detrimental to both children.

PatriciaHolm Sun 13-Mar-16 22:27:06

If the only place available is 2.3 miles away, then your son should qualify for free transport too and from school - has this been offered? It would only be free for him though.

The appeal will be ICS if the classes are 30 children, with a PAN of 90 I would expect 3 classes of 30, I assume.

An unreasonable decision is one that means ‘beyond the range of responses open to a reasonable decision maker’, or ‘a decision which is so outrageous in its defiance of logic or of accepted moral standards that no sensible person who had applied his mind to the question could have arrived at it’. Realistically, this is very very hard to show.

In its admissions criteria, Does the school have a criteria allowing for social and medical need to be given precedence? If so, do the LEA know about your sons issues? If they did but didn't take them into account this might be of help - you could argue that they should have done so.

However, not all schools have this criteria, and if you didnt tell them (with evidence) then it's irrelevant anyway - they can only go on the evidence they had at the time. Did you provide any evidence when you requested a place?

Rjs90 Sun 13-Mar-16 22:57:29

Thank you for your response.

I am yet to apply for his space. I have contacted the LEA and asked which schools within the area have spaces in both years, to which they informed me one has year 2, one has reception.
The school I want does have an admissions criteria for social and medical, however as it is an in year transfer I presumed this would not apply - 'the school is full therefore that's it' type of thing.

tiggytape Sun 13-Mar-16 23:03:24

If there are 30 children per teacher (or more in this case with 4 children above PAN) then it will be an ICS appeal because reception classes cannot exceed 30 per teacher except in very specific cases. If there are fewer than 30 children per teacher, it won't be an ICS appeal.

As such the success of any appeal is largely going to be based upon finding out how they organise class sizes from reception to Year 2. If there are 3 teachers for 94 children, it will come under ICS rules. If (as some schools do) they have 4 classes with class sizes of 23 or 24 then it won't be an ICS appeal at all and your chances of success are vastly improved (unless they later mix the classes again to form class sizes of 30 before Year 2 in which case, it is back to being an ICS appeal).

As an in-year admissions, the admissions criteria don't really apply as such because there aren't any places for them to allocate in the correct order of priority so, whilst having proven medical and social needs for the school (if you supply evidence of those) might help in keeping your DC top of any waiting list that could build up as you wait, it won't make it possible for a place to be found for him in a school that is already full.

The other thing to explore is pushing for a ECHP naming the school. If you get one, he will be admitted to the school as an excepted child (one exempt from the numbers for ICS purposes).

Rjs90 Sun 13-Mar-16 23:38:22

Thank you ladies.

I'm going to research some more, so if you could keep an eye on the thread to offer any further advice it would be greatly appreciated.

The school was due for expansion in 2015, moving from 3 classes to 4 for the September intake and planned building work. The building work was halted due to petition, however on the statistics supplied on the LEA website printed April 2015, 120 places were available for September 2015 intake with 92 offered by the date off printing. The booklet I have states a PAN of 90!?

Rjs90 Mon 14-Mar-16 00:00:10

Sorry I know it's late but I'm going to keep updating as I read so as not to forget anything!

There are 4 reception classes. 20 classes R-Y6, 3 Y1-4, 2 Y5-6 and 28 permanent full time teachers. I'm unsure whether any of this has any relevance! This is the first year of 4 form entry.

AndNowItsSeven Mon 14-Mar-16 00:07:53

If there are four reception classes and 94 children then there is not 30 children per class. That would make it not a ICS appeal initially. How many classes are there in years 1 and 2?

Rjs90 Mon 14-Mar-16 00:12:11

Years 1 and 2 only have 3, however there is a planned expansion of the school. They are still claiming to only be 3 form entry in a recent publication I have read. This is so confusing!

Rjs90 Mon 14-Mar-16 00:14:28

The boroughs scheme for co-ordination of admissions 2016 intake states a PAN of 120 as well.

prh47bridge Mon 14-Mar-16 10:01:52

Based on the information you have posted an appeal for Y1 or Y2 would be an ICS case. Given that this is an in-year application an appeal is unlikely to succeed. You can argue that refusal to admit is unreasonable as per your first post but you need to be aware that it is a long shot. If it fails you can try again next year for a Y3 place when you will have a better chance.

If they have four classes for Reception an appeal for Reception will not be ICS. You therefore have a better chance of winning. You should argue that your son will be disadvantaged if he doesn't attend this school. If the school is already operating four classes the detriment to the school from having to cope with an additional pupil should be minimal. There is therefore a reasonable chance of winning.

Rjs90 Mon 14-Mar-16 12:03:32

Right so today I have phoned the school to ask about the number of children in the Reception classes and they refused to give any information.

I emailed the admissions (not available by phone) who have informed me the PAN for the reception year is 90 and they currently have 94 on roll - I already know this is between 4 classes. I asked if reception was full due to ICS legislation and they ignored the question.

Now as previously stated, I already have the 2015 admissions statistics for places offered, stating a PAN of 120 with 92 places initially offered.

Anyone know where to go with this next? We are going to need to appeal for a space regardless of the type of appeal - but I smell a rat somewhere!

tiggytape Mon 14-Mar-16 12:29:41

The school or admission authority are obliged to give you answers to any reasonable questions you ask when constructing your appeal. I suggest you ask your questions in writing (email is fine) in order to determine how classes are arranged, how many children are in the relevant year groups (having empty spaces in other years groups isn't necessarily a help unless they mix classes) and how many classes operate in each year group.

Hopefully this will lead to answers but if not, it is something you would bring up at appeal to show the panel. You will eventually find this information out one way or another because the school has to let you see the reasons for refusal if you appeal however, it is helpful to know now whether it is ICS or not to gauge your chances if nothing else.

Even if there are 4 classes in reception, it may still be ICS due to something called future prejudice. If the 94 children in the 4 reception classes are mixed in Year 1 or Year 2 to form only 3 classes, each class will already exceed numbers and therefore, any appeal will be ICS because your child would contribute to the future 3 classes being above the maximum. If however they remain in 4 classes until at least Year 3, it is not an ICS appeal.

In either case though, you will be putting forward your reasons for wanting a place as strongly as possible. You wouldn't lessen your argument even if you knew it wasn't ICS - you'd just have a bit more hope of a positive outcome. Therefore, write in to try to ascertain the information on class sizes but don't let their reluctance delay you or put you off starting the appeal.

admission Mon 14-Mar-16 22:31:28

What you need to get off the LA is confirmation what the PAN is for current reception class and what the PAN is for current year 1 and year 2.
You then also need to know the current number of pupils in each year group in reception, year 1 and year 2 with how many classes in each year group.
Without having all that information you cannot realistically work out whether any appeal is ICS or not
The fact that the school appears to be moving to a 4 form entry school complicates the situation. If the PAN is 120 and there are 94 in the reception year group then they are no where near full and therefore should admit your child. But the key is how are years 1 and 2 currently organised and what will they be doing in September. This will dictate whether it is a ICS regs case.

Dungandbother Mon 14-Mar-16 22:51:01

I would take the place for
Your yr2 tho, as that should place DC2 right to the top of the wait list.

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