Attending the Appeal Hearing
You can choose to attend the appeal hearing (the appeal) in person, and bring a friend or family member with you to speak for you or simply give you support. If you do, you’ll be able to tell the appeal panel your reasons for wanting your child to attend a particular school or academy.
You may decide you don’t want to attend in person, but have your appeal dealt with on the basis of a written statement. This is known as having your case ‘dealt with in absence’. If this is the case, the appeal clerk will make sure that the appeal panel is given all the information you’ve provided before a decision is made.
Who will be at the Appeal Hearing?
The appeal panel is made up of 3 people. The panel members are independent; they’re not councillors or employees of the Council.
Someone will also be present from the Council to put the school or academy case forward and answer any questions about the admissions criteria.
Everything that’s said in the appeal is strictly confidential.
Only the 3 appeal panel members and the appeal clerk, who will make sure that the appeal process is followed and fair, will be present a decision is made.
What will happen at the Hearing?
The appeal will be structured, but conducted as informally as possible. It will usually follow this order:
- Case presented by the Council
- Questions to the Council from the parents and the appeal panel
- Parents’ case
- Question to the parents from the Council and the appeal panel
- Summing up of the case by the Council
- Summing up of the case by the parents.
You should feel free to say whatever you think is relevant to your argument. You will always have the opportunity for the final say at the appeal (summing up). If you choose to sum up, you should use your time as an opportunity to remind the appeal panel of the main points of your case and tell them anything you forgot to say earlier on.
The appeal clerk and the appeal panel will want to make sure that you don’t leave the appeal thinking things have been left unsaid.