Queen Elizabeth Grammar School Penrith

Appeals Procedure

A parent whose child has not been offered a place at the school has the right of appeal to an Appeals Panel (appointed by the Governing Body under the provision of the School Standards and Framework Act 1988).   The Appeals Panel must act in accordance with the mandatory provisions of the School Admissions Appeals Code issued by the Secretary of State for Education.

Parents wishing to exercise their right of appeal should write to the Clerk to the Appeals Panel (c/o the school) to request an Appeal Form. Appellants should return the completed form and a letter setting out the grounds of their appeal.  To help decide whether the Admissions Authority applied the Admissions Criteria correctly in the case of their child, appellants should check the school’s Admissions Policy.

Parents are invited to provide any documents, information or evidence they wish in support of their case.   If possible, these should be sent with the Appeal Form; but additional information may be submitted any time up to the hearing, with the proviso that late submission of highly relevant material could necessitate adjournment and delay the decision making process.

The Admissions Authority (ie. the School) has a statutory duty to provide parents with appropriate guidance and information before the hearing to enable them to prepare their case for appeal.  Parents are therefore invited to contact the Headmaster for further information. 

Notice

Having received the Appeal Form, the Clerk to the Panel will give notice in writing of the date, time and place of the hearing to the appellant, the Admissions Authority  and the Appeals Panel members. For the main secondary admissions round the dates are set out at the end of this document.  For in-year admissions the Appeal will be heard within thirty school days of the appeal being lodged. At the same time appellants will be informed of the names of the panel members so that any potential conflict of interest can be avoided.

Appeal Hearings

The Appeal Panel will have three members, appointed by, but independent of, the school’s Governing Body.   By law, at least one must have had professional experience of education (but not in any school involved), and at least one must be "lay", i.e. must have had no direct involvement in education.  Parents usually prefer to present the grounds of their appeal personally, and to take the opportunity of questioning the school's representative, but appellants are not obliged to attend the hearing.   Parents may be accompanied by a friend or can be represented, but "…their friend or advisor cannot be a member of the Local Authority, a member of the Admission Authority concerned" (i.e. the School) "or a local elected politician….".   Hearings are in private.

The Proceedings

The Chairman of the Appeals Panel will introduce those present, explain their connection with the Appeal, and outline the procedure.   (Members of the Panel will have copies of all relevant documents, including the grounds for the Appeal sent by the parents to the Clerk).   The hearing then proceeds as follows:

  • The case for the Admissions Authority 
  • Questioning of the Admissions Authority by the Parents and by Panel Members
  • The case for the Parents
  • Questioning of the Parents by the Admissions Authority and Panel Members
  • Summing up by the Admissions Authority
  • Summing up by the Parents 

Panel Members may ask questions at any time if they need clarification or information in order to reach a decision.

Decisions

Decisions are made by the Appeals Panel after all the hearings have taken place.  The Parents will be informed in writing; the Headmaster and the Governing Body will be informed at the same time. The decisions of the Appeals Panel are binding on all concerned.

In the event of impropriety in the appeals procedure, there is provision for the Local Government Ombudsman to investigate written complaints about maladministration by the Appeals Panel and to make appropriate recommendations.   The School Admissions Appeals Code states: "An Appeal Panel's decision can only be overturned by the courts where the Parents or Admission Authority are successful in applying for Judicial Review of that decision".

Timeline for appeals for admission to Year 7 in September 2013

by 29 March 2013  Appeals should be lodged with the Clerk to the Appeals Panel

(please address all correspondence to: The Clerk of the Appeals Panel c/o Queen 

Elizabeth Grammar School, Ullswater Road, Penrith CA11 7EG)

by 15 April 2013  Appellants will receive notification of the date, time and venue of the Appeal Hearings.

by 19 April 2013 Appellants should submit to the Clerk any additional evidence they wish to be considered.

30 April - 2 May 2013   Appeal Hearings.

10 May 2013    Appellants will receive notification of the result of the Appeal.

Policy updated 01 November 2012 

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