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Guide: School admission appeals

Where and when will my appeal be heard and who will be there?

Appeals may be held at suitable venues across Devon.

Normally we will let you know the date and time of your appeal hearing 14 days in advance. If we give less notice you can request a new date and we will make every effort to arrange one as soon as possible.

You will be sent a copy of the admission authority’s written statement together with a copy of your appeal form seven days before your appeal is heard. Any information which you have provided in advance will be sent to the admission authority.

Who will be present?

Panel members
Your appeal will be heard by three people drawn from a group of members – made up of parents, governors of other schools and teachers, as well as other people with experience of education and people without (‘lay’ members). These people will introduce themselves before the hearing starts and will already have copies of the admission authority’s written submission and any information provided by you.

A member should not hear your appeal if he or she knows you directly, is a governor of your preferred school or has been involved in your case previously.

It is important that, wherever possible, you attend the hearing – it is very helpful for the panel to hear first-hand why you want your child to attend a particular school. It is possible for an appeal to be heard in your absence, if necessary.

It is up to you to decide whether or not to bring your child.

You can also bring along someone to help you make your case, such as a friend, relative or other adviser.

Presenting officer
Where the county council is the admission authority for the school, a council representive will attend. Where a school or academy is the admission authority, the representative may be a governer, headteacher or other member of staff. This person is known as the presenting officer.

Representative from the Independent School Appeals Panel
A representative of the Clerk to the School Appeals Panel will also be at the panel. Their sole job is to keep notes of the hearing for the use of the panel only and to advise on matters of procedure. They will remain with the panel when they make their decision but they will not play a part in deciding your appeal. At no point will either you or the presenting officer be left alone with the panel.