Secondary School Appeal – Part A and Part B
We have previously provided information about what disappointed parents ought to do following receipt of their secondary school admission notification. That article can be found here. It may be helpful to know a little about how the secondary school appeal hearing will work before drafting your appeal statement.
The Secondary School Appeal Hearing
The appeal hearing is in two parts. If the number of appeals for your choice of secondary school permits then Part A and Part B will normally on the same day.
It is held in a neutral venue in front of a panel made up of three independent people. Although at least one will have had a background in education. The clerk will ensure that none of the panel has a connection to the school that is the subject of your admissions appeal. The clerk who will give the appeal panel advice on the procedure and the law.
Where there are more than 1 or 2 of parents appealing, Part A of your school admission appeal is likely to be heard as a group hearing. All of the parents appealing a particular school will sit together and collectively question the school representative about the following issues:
- Were the school admission criteria lawful?
- Were they correctly applied?
- Would admitting extra children prejudice the efficient education of other children or the efficient use of school resources?
The appeal panel might decide that the admission criteria were unfair or not correctly applied. Questioning of the admission authority might establish that it would be possible to admit all of the children appealing. If so, the appeal will end then and all of the children will receive a place at that stage. There will be no need for Part B of the school admissions appeal hearing.
If the panel is satisfied that the criteria were lawful and properly applied, and that the school would be unable to admit the number of pupils who are appealing, then the panel will move on to Part B of the hearing.
Part B will involve the panel looking at a child’s individual reasons for wanting a place. This part of the hearing will be held in private. You will have the opportunity to make your case as to why prejudice to your child in not receiving a place at this school will outweigh any prejudice to the school in making a place available.
Once the school appeal panel has heard all of the individual Part B appeals, the panel members will retire and consider each individual case. They will be ranked in order of need. Those with the most compelling cases will get first priority for a place if the panel determine that the school can admit a certain number of extra pupils.
Content of your Secondary School Appeal
The independent school appeal panel will have read your arguments in advance. Although you will have an opportunity to ask questions in Part A or put your case fully in Part B, it will be important that your written arguments are in themselves relevant, compelling and well-though out. Our next article will aim to provide assistance with making these arguments.
Contact us about Education Law
We will be publishing further information about the arguments, law and how the appeal process will proceed for a secondary school admission in further articles. If you wish advice now on this aspect of education law then we will offer the following:
- free initial advice on the potential merits of your appeal
- fixed fees dependent on your instructions and our involvement thereafter
Please contact Andrew Wesley on 0115 9599550 or email us here with your details and we will make contact. We provide our education law service from our offices across the East Midlands.