Coronavirus (COVID-19)

School Admission Appeals New Government Guidance

The Government Guidance states:

"The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will impact on the ability of admission authorities (that is, local authorities, academy trusts or school governing bodies, depending on the type of school) to carry out admission appeals in the usual way. This is because appeal panels must be held in person, which would break the current restriction on gatherings of more than 2 people. There may also be problems securing sufficient independent panel members and partial school openings and closures may impact on meeting certain appeal deadlines.

Parents must continue to have the right to appeal to any school which has refused their child a place. We will, therefore, be making regulatory changes that, subject to legislation, will come into force on 24 April 2020.

The new regulations will relax some of the current requirements set out in the School Admission Appeals Code 2012 and enable admission authorities to proceed with their admission appeals.

Our aim is to give admission authorities as much flexibility as possible to manage appeals in a way that best suits local circumstances, while also ensuring families appealing an admission decision this year are supported and are not disadvantaged by the measures in place to protect public health".

On receipt of this guidance all admission appeals administered by Solihull Council will be heard on the basis of written representation only. With the following process being adopted:

  • Appeal forms to be submitted in the time frame as already published on our School admission appeals page;
  • Appellants will be given the opportunity to submit any further information when invited to do so by the Clerk, and the deadline for receipt of additional information/evidence will be stated at that time;
  • Admission Officers will prepare a statement which explains why your preference could not be met i.e. why your child could not be offered a place at your preferred school;
  • The Clerk will send a copy of the Admissions Officer’s statement and all the information you have submitted to you, the Admissions Officer and the Appeal Panel members.
  • You, the Admissions Officer and the Appeal Panel Members will be invited to submit written questions to either party, based on the circulated correspondence by a deadline.
  • The Appeal Clerk will circulate the questions and seek responses. The responses will be shared with all parties;
  • On a set date notified to all parties by the Clerk, the Appeal Panel will consider all the appeals for a particular school via a conference call between themselves and the Clerk. The Clerk will record the decisions made by the Appeal Panel;
  • The Clerk will then write to you with the Appeal Panels’ decision, setting out the reasons for decision to uphold the appeal or not. The Clerk will also advise the Admissions Officer of the decision. Outcome letters will be issued 5 working days after the conference call appeal hearing.

The Clerk will advise all parties of the time scales involved in submitting additional information, questions and response to questions, once dates have been confirmed.

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