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School appeals - What to do if the appeal fails?

28 May 2009, 15:06 by Ian jones


Labels: admissions, barrister, school-admission, school-appeal, school-appeals, school-governor, secondary, secondary-school, special-educational-needs, student

Independent Appeal Panels are working through the backlog of appeals for primary and secondary school places and grammar school appeals. Appeals submitted by the local deadline (which varies across the country) need to be heard and decided by the end of the first week in July.

 Statistically about one in three appeals is successful, so the majority will not be allowed. This statistic masks a range of experience, depending on the type on school and the respective strengths of the admission authority's case and that of the parents.

Many appeals are still waiting to be heard. It may not be too late to obtain professional advice for your child's appeal or representation at the hearing. Please click here for further details.

But if you have already been through the appeal process, what can you do if your school appeal fails? If an independent appeal panel refuses your admission appeal, this decision is final and binding. There is no further appeal. Their decision can only be challenged if the panel did not follow the proper process, got the law wrong or came to a decision which was so unreasonable that no panel in their right minds would have come to the same decision. Simply disagreeing with the decision is not sufficient.

If you think the appeal panel ‘got it wrong', you have three choices. You can ‘put up with' the result, or you can refer the case to the Local Government Ombudsman to investigate, or you can bring a claim for judicial review. If you are thinking of pursuing the complaint, you must do so quickly, as there are legal time limits and any delay may make it even harder to obtain a place at your preferred school.

Written by Ian Jones, barrister at New Walk Chambers, specialising in School Appeals.


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