How does the Appeal Panel make a decision?

The appeal panel, having heard and read the case for both parties, will consider all the information available very carefully before making their decision.

In some cases, appeals can be spread over a number of days. If the panel is hearing several appeals for one particular school or academy, it won’t make any decisions until all the appeals for that school or academy have been heard.

The panel will make their decision in a 2-stage process:

The panel will consider:

  • Whether the published admissions criteria meet the requirements of the School Admissions Code and the School Standards and Framework Act 1998
  • Whether the Council correctly applied the published admissions criteria to your child
  • Whether there would be prejudice caused to the school or academy by admitting another child

If, however, the panel decides that prejudice would be caused by admitting another child, they go on to consider stage 2:

  • The panel considers the reason given by you for wanting the school or academy, and whether they are strong enough to outweigh the prejudice which would be caused by letting another child into a school or academy

Infant Class Appeals

The circumstances in which an appeal panel may uphold an infant class size appeal (Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 only) are extremely limited. To uphold such an appeal, an appeal panel must be satisfied that either:

  • The Appeal Panel finds that the admission of additional children would not breach the infant class size limit.
  • the child would have been offered a place if the published admission arrangements had been properly implemented;
  • the child would have been offered a place if the arrangements had not been contrary to mandatory provisions in the School Admissions Code and the School Standards and Framework Act 1998; and/or
  • the decision to refuse admission was not one which a reasonable admission authority would have made in the circumstances of the case.
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