How Can Parents Make A Secondary School Admission Appeal?
The Law Of… getting the right secondary school place
Like thousands of other parents in the UK, have you been counting down the days until 1st March?
As one of the most anxiously awaited days in the academic year, the 1st March is the day when you will find out which secondary school your child will be attending in September 2017.
With competition for school places becoming more intense each year, it can be really disappointing if your child doesn't get a place at their first choice school. Imogen Jolley, Partner and Head of Education and Community Care, explains how we can help you appeal against the school's decision.
What Can I Do If My Child Doesn't Get A Place At Their First Choice Secondary School?
If you're unhappy with the school that your child has been allocated, you have the right to appeal against the decision to an Independent Appeal Panel (IAP).
These panels generally follow a 2-stage process before making a final decision:
- The panel will first look at the decision and why the school refused admission.
- At the second stage of the process, you will be able to put forward your case and the panel will consider your reasons for appealing against the school's decision.
We have been helping parents prepare for appeals for many years, and know that the key to making your case as strong as possible is having the right supporting evidence and arguments that justify why your child should be given their first choice.
How Has Simpson Millar Helped Parents Make School Admission Appeals?
Making an appeal can be time-consuming and stressful for parents, which is why getting legal assistance from our Education Law specialists can make all the difference to your chances of success.
One of our cases involved helping a child who had mild autism to get a place at his first choice secondary school. Due to the level of his condition, the local authorities didn't believe that he needed an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
After looking at his situation, we found that there was no reason why he should have been refused a place and argued that the school should change its decision as:
- The school had a special unit that specifically supported the needs of students with autism
- Some of the staff working within the school had the right level of knowledge of autism and the appropriate training to be able to support autistic students
- As the school had the specialist unit, the buildings had been designed to be autism-friendly and students were encouraged to integrate with the main school
- The number of students at the school was below average, which meant that it would be possible for the child to attend and for the school to accommodate his needs
As we presented a strong case that clearly proved why the child should be given a place at the school, we won the case and the child was able to attend school in September that year.
"Finding out that your child hasn't got the placement that you were hoping for can be devastating, but, it's important for you not to panic as there is time to take action."
"Our priority when taking on any school admission appeal is to act in the best interests of the child, as their future is at stake."
"The best thing for parents to do if they're unhappy with their child's school placement is to get legal advice from our Education Law solicitors. The sooner you speak to us, the quicker we can act and ensure that your child gets an appropriate place."
Simpson Millar Can Help You
If you'd like more detailed information about making an appeal, our free appeals guide explains everything you need to know and walks you through the process.
Alternatively, if you'd like to speak to one of our education law specialists now, simply call us, freephone, on 0808 129 3320