In the course of the working week things can get pretty stressful, but I think many parents will tell you there is little as stressful as waiting for that envelope which tells you whether your child has been allocated a place in the school of your choice. Whilst some things work out for the best in ways we cannot anticipate and many, many children thrive in different schools to the one they or their parents might have chosen initially as the best place for them, if you are disappointed with the place your child has been allocated is there anything you can do? In this week’s blog Les Brown, from our education team, talks about the first step.
All local authorities have a statutory duty to allow the parents of children within their area to express a preference for the school that they wish their child to attend. No child is guaranteed a place at the parents’ school of choice and with pressure on numbers wanting to attend popular schools you should take proper advice on rights of appeal. Only limited grounds are available for an appeal panel to overturn a decision not to admit your child.
In addition to the relevant legislation, school admission appeals are covered by a statutory code of practice.
First requirement is to identify which body is the relevant admissions authority.
That may be the local authority. Or the council may be the body responsible for arranging the appeal process for admission to a community or voluntary-controlled school. The governing body of a foundation or voluntary aided school must make appeal arrangements. Academy schools are required by their funding agreements to comply with the law relating to admissions, although the Secretary of State has the power to vary this requirement where there is demonstrable need. In practice, this means that an Academy must make appeal arrangements against a decision not to admit a child to the school.
The decision of an appeal panel is binding on the local authority or the governing body.
Please return to this blog soon for information on the Regulations and Codes governing admission appeals. In the meantime, please contact Les Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Les on 0191 2069624 for specific guidance.