High School Admissions - Page 53

Appeal process Appeal arrangements You have the right under the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (as amended by the Education Act 2002) to appeal to an independent appeal panel if your child has not been allocated a place at your preferred school(s). There is no right of appeal in respect of applications for nursery schools or classes. Appeals in respect of community schools in the London Borough of Ealing You will receive a letter or email advising whether a place is to be offered at the school of your preference. If you decide to appeal, please contact the School Admissions Service for an appeal form or download the form from Ealing’s website: www.ealing.gov.uk. You should return the completed form by the date stated on it. An independent appeals panel, advised by an independent clerk,hears all appeals. Staff in the: Committee Section, 5th Floor (NE3) Perceval House, 14-16 Uxbridge Road, Ealing W5 2HL will write to advise you of the date and time of the hearing and where it will be held. You can phone them on 020 8825 8292. You will be invited to attend the appeal and we strongly advise you to do so. If you have any questions regarding appeals please contact the Committee Section and not School Admissions. Guidance for parents Independent advice on how to appeal can be sought from • ACE, Advisory Centre for Education. www.ace-ed.org.uk ACE offer free advice via telephone 0300 0115142 Mon- Wed 10am to 1pm Term time only • Coram, Children’s Legal Centre provide free advice on the appeals process: www.childresnlegalcentre,com telephone 08088 020 008 Mon-Fri 8am to 8pm. Parents wishing to ascertain how likely it is that their appeal will be upheld can look at the statistics on pages 8 and 9. Appeals in respect of community schools in other boroughs Please contact the relevant Local Authority. The telephone numbers of neighbouring authorities are listed on page 58. How to appeal for a place at an academy, voluntary-aided or foundation school You will need to contact the school(s) for details of their arrangements and an appeal form as these schools manage their own appeals. Powers of appeal panels Appeals other than those against decisions made on the grounds of class size prejudice (the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 as amended by the Education Act 2002, limits infant classes to 30 pupils) must follow a two stage process. First Stage: establishing the facts, at which the panel considers whether the school’s published admission arrangements: a) comply with the mandatory requirements of the School Admissions Code and Part 3 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. b) were correctly applied in the individual’s case, and decides whether “prejudice” to the efficient provision of education would arise were the child to be admitted. Following the first stage if the appeal panel is not satisfied that there would be prejudice if the child were admitted to the school, where there is only a single appeal for the school the panel should allow the appeal. For multiple appeals for the same school, the appeal panel can only uphold the appeals if they decide that all the children who are the subject of the appeals could be admitted without prejudice to the school. If prejudice is proven for either a single or multiple appeals, the panel must move onto the second stage. Second Stage: balancing the arguments: at which the panel exercises its discretion, balancing the degree of ‘prejudice’ caused to the school by the admission of an extra child against the prejudice caused to the child by not being admitted to their preferred school. The panel will consider both arguments and evidence in support of each before arriving at their decision. Decision of the appeal panel The decisions of admission appeal panels are binding on admission authorities and parents and can only be overturned by the courts. Complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman The Local Government Ombudsman can investigate written complaints about maladministration on the part of a panel that considered an appeal relating to a community, voluntary aided or foundation school. Complaints relating to academy appeals should be made to the Young Persons Learning Agency (YPLA). This is not a further right of appeal and must relate to issues such as the panel’s failure to follow correct procedures or act independently and fairly. Judicial review Judicial review may be available where an independent appeal panel is wrong on a point of law. Any application for Judicial Review must be made within 3 months of receipt of a decision. Parents might wish to seek legal advice before pursuing this option. Starting High School 2018 53