The law related to school admission appeals is the “School Standards and Framework Act 1998”. The procedure of filing such an appeal may differ due to varying codes of practice prevailing in England and Wales. However, the overall process is almost the same.
Being a parent, it’s your right to choose the school where your child can study, unless the child needs to follow a special needs procedure or has been excluded twice.
What are the circumstances that allow you to file an appeal against the school admission decision?
First of all, your Local Authority must comply with your preference being the parent of a child, unless this act appears to prejudice the efficiency of other children’s education. Hence, it all depends on the Local Authority to analyze and establish whether this type of prejudice exists or not.
However, there are numerous instances where they follow a general procedure without going into the individuality of each case. On the contrary, they take into account the authorized number of students for the class (the ‘Published Admissions Number’ or PAN).
If the number of students has reached its authorized limit, they automatically apply for the oversubscription criteria. This dictates the order, which relates to the number of places allocated. In addition, if you want your child to attend a particular school due to some medical or social reasons, you can apply on individual merits.
For instance, if your child requires special care or attention that a particular school can offer or you want your child to attend a school close to home or workplace due to his/her physical condition, it is possible to apply while relying on individual merits. In this situation, you must seek advice on School Admissions Appeal Procedures from a solicitor who has specialized experience in this particular field.
Moreover, if you are dissatisfied with the allocated school, you can file against a decision directing such allocation. The letter that you receive showing the allocated school will also advise how to file an appeal against the decision and by what deadline.
How to submit a school admission appeal?
If you don’t have an idea that how to file an appeal against school admission decisions, just continue reading.
In fact, the first step in this regard is to appeal to the Independent Appeal Panel. Normally, this panel comprises of three independent people.
At this stage, the Admission Authority will show the cause of not approving the admission application of your child. Similarly, you will also get the chance to put forward your own perspective, as to why your child should seek admission in a particular school.
The basic task in front of the Appeals Panel is to analyze and decide whether the school has followed the prescribed admission criteria. Moreover, it is also taken into account that the legal status of the decision is in line with the School Admissions Appeals Code.
If the school failed to comply with the admission criteria, or the decision is against the rules of the School Admissions Appeals Code, the appeal must be upheld. If unfortunately, the appeal is rejected, then the panel will have to consider and ascertain whether the reasons for which your child must study in a school outweigh the reasons submitted by that school.
In this situation, the first argument you can put forward is that admission of an additional child won’t be prejudice to the efficiency of other children’s education. If the panel considers that it will do so, it puts an end to your appeal procedure.
On the contrary, if the Admission Panel doesn’t reach a decision that the admission of your child would be prejudicial to the education of others, you have a chance to argue that your child will be prejudiced more if failed to seek admission in the said school. This is the guidance, which your school admission appeals solicitors can provide you.
Although parents are usually capable of pursuing the 2nd stage of school admission appeal, it is essential to know exactly what to write while making such an appeal. Furthermore, as a parent, you also need to consider whether any kind of prejudice would prevail if your child seeks an admission.
Since you have to appear before the appellate authority on the day of the hearing, make sure to hire a school admission appeals solicitor. This is so, as an expert representation surely makes a difference. In addition, your representative will also try to collect the supporting information and make it a part of your school admissions appeal.
For instance, if your child is suffering from a medical condition, you must provide the medical certificate or doctor’s letter that expresses the specific need of your child. Moreover, it must also suggest that the school under question is the only educational institute in the vicinity, which can serve the individual needs of your child.
The decision made by the panel would reach you within five working days. Such a decision can only be overruled by the Court if the legal procedure has been breached. Meaning thereby, you are allowed to appeal against the illegalities regarding the process of appeal. However, you are not permitted to file an appeal against the actual decision.
If Local Authority maintains the school, you can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman. On the contrary, you need to file a complaint to the Education Funding Agency.
What is the success score of school admission appeals?
If the parent of a child can prove that the admission criteria failed to follow the provisions of the School Admissions Appeal Code, there is a chance of making a successful appeal. Similarly, when the decision to refuse the admission was passed without any reasoning, the chances of a successful appeal are fairly good.
However, winning the infant class size appeals may turn out to be difficult on most occasions. Hence, the success ratio is substantially narrower as compared to regular “Prejudice” appeals. Nevertheless, it is possible to strengthen the chances of a successful school admission appeal.
For this purpose, you need to seek the assistance of an expert school admission appeals solicitor. Such a professional will make sure that your application meets all the requirements and you have filed it without any substantial error.
Your solicitor will do everything to prove that the decision passed by the Admission Authority didn’t follow the admission criteria.
How much time a school admission appeal may consume?
The Admission Authority (whether Local Authority or your school) should offer a minimum of 10 school days' notice prior to the confirmation of the actual appeal hearing date. Appeals should be heard within 40 school days of the proposed deadline.
Once you have represented your case in front of the Appeals Panel, it would take not more than five working days for a decision to reach you. If you consider that a change in your circumstances has occurred, which could affect the original decision, you may be allowed to file another appeal. This will extend the time required.
How Immigration Solicitors 4 Me can Assist with the procedure of school admissions appeal?
As a matter of fact, the success regarding school admission appeals relies on the ability of the parent to prove his/her case. Hence, it would be appropriate to hire the services of specialist solicitors like Immigration Solicitors 4 Me.
We would help you while proving that the admission criteria weren’t followed or the procedure followed doesn’t have any legal backing. Here at Immigration Solicitors 4 Me, we can represent you even in infant class size appeals. Usually, these appeals have a reputation for being notoriously difficult to win.
Our team prides the exceptional success ratio regarding the school admission appeals. This is all due to the extensive expertise and commitment of our solicitors, which they use to submit your appeal effectively. The specialist school admission appeals solicitors are capable of representing you at any stage of your appeal.
Furthermore, we will also assist you to challenge the undesired outcomes by following the relevant and correct complaints procedure. For a tailored and expert advice on the school admissions appeal, please make sure to contact us today.
Why Choose Us?
No case is the same as another, and we do not take a ‘one size fits all approach’ to our clients. We prepare and undertake a tailored strategy based on our client’s individual’s needs and circumstances. Our experienced team is able to provide advice and assistance in various legal areas.
Our team will undertake a formal review of your case documents and advise you on the suggested next steps. Our expertise in this area means that care and consideration will be used when reviewing your file. We understand that matters can be time sensitive and you will receive our advice promptly following our instructions.
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