The Process of Appealing a School’s Decision For Your Child’s Education

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The allocation of school places can be a stressful and emotional process for parents, particularly if their child is refused a place in their preferred school. Fortunately, an appeals process is available to parents who disagree with the decision made by the school.

Appealing a School’s Decision

If your child is refused a place at a school, you can appeal against the decision. You will receive a letter with the decision about your child’s school, which will also provide information on how to appeal. It is important to note that you must appeal against each rejection separately, and you can only appeal once against each rejection.

Preparing for Your Appeal

The admission authority for the school must allow you at least 20 school days to appeal from when they send the decision letter. The admission authority will set a deadline for submitting information and evidence to support your appeal. It is important to submit everything before the deadline to avoid delays in the hearing.

To prepare for your appeal, you may want to gather evidence that supports your case, such as academic achievements, medical or special educational needs, and a personal statement outlining why you believe an alternative school would be more suitable for your child. If you need further guidance, Coram Children’s Legal Centre may be able to provide advice on appeals.

When The Hearing Will Be?

The Process of Appealing a School's Decision For Your Child's Education

The admission authority must give you at least 10 school days’ notice of the hearing, and appeals must be heard within 40 school days of the deadline for making an appeal. It is important to note that missing the deadline can result in your appeal being rejected.

What Happens During the Hearing

The appeals panel consists of three or more people who are independent of the local authority and the school. The panel must follow the school admission appeals code and will review the school’s admission criteria to determine whether they were properly followed and comply with the school admissions code. The admission authority will explain why they turned down your application, and you will have the opportunity to give your own reasons why your child should be admitted.

If the appeals panel determines that the school’s admission criteria were improperly followed or do not comply with the school admissions code, your appeal must be upheld. If your reasons for your child to be admitted outweigh the school’s reasons for not admitting any more children at all, your appeal will be upheld. You will usually be sent the decision within 5 school days.

The appeals process for school places can be lengthy and complicated, but it is important to pursue an appeal if you believe that the allocated school is unsuitable for your child. With careful preparation, you can make a strong case for an alternative school that better meets your child’s needs. Remember to keep to the deadlines set by the admission authority and seek advice from Coram Children’s Legal Centre if you need further guidance.

Secondary School Appeals: The Rundown

Watch the video below as our managing director, Joycellyn Akuffo runs through the school appeals process.

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