Covid-19 Changes in School Admissions Appeals Guidance

Author:
Emma Davies
Associate, Chartered Legal Executive, Education and Community Care
Date:
30/04/2020

In this time of uncertainty, it’s important to make sure that your child is still getting the most out of their education. Delays on school admissions could leave families feeling uneasy during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In order to prevent delays on school admissions, HM Government have amended the regulations around School Admission Appeals. These changes will ensure that appeals won’t be postponed, so your family won’t be left unsure about where and when your child will go to school.

The changes to School Admission Appeals include:

  • Using video, telephone and paper hearings instead of in-person hearings
  • If an Independent Appeal Panel (IAP) member isn’t available, Hearings will continue with just two people
  • Deadlines for making an Appeal will be extended
  • Parents will be given at least 28 days’ notice of the new Appeal deadline
  • Parents will be given at least 14 days’ notice of the date of Hearings
  • The time frame for communicating decisions is now 7 calendar days

The changes to the education legislation have been put in place as of 24th April 2020. These changes are expected to remain until January 2021, where HM Government will reassess the UK’s position concerning Covid-19.

If you believe your child has been unfairly denied admission into a school, get in touch with our Education Lawyers for legal advice.

Call us on 08002605010 or request a callback and we will help you.

Changes to School Admission Appeals

Although School Admission Appeals have been changed in some ways, other aspects of the Appeals remain the same. One aspect that has not changed is the role of the Clerk. The role of the Clerk is to:

  • Advise the Independent Appeal Panel on the legal aspects of the Appeal
  • Provide advice to parents
  • Keep records of the Appeal
  • Deal with all of the administrative parts of the Appeal
  • Answer the parent’s queries before the Appeal Hearing
  • Communicate the Independent Appeal Panel’s final decision to the parents

It’s important that the Clerk’s role remains the same so that the outcomes of School Admission Appeals is communicated clearly to parents. This ensures that families know whether their children will be admitted to schools as soon as a decision is made, and so can begin to make plans for their children’s future education.

These changes will provide a sense of relief if you are unhappy with the school your child has been allocated for September 2020. The new education legislations ensures that appeals go ahead and places are confirmed before the start of the next academic year.

Starting at a new school can be a scary process for children, but knowing in advance which school they are going to will provide families with peace of mind and stability in their day to day lives.

Our free Guide to School Place Appeals includes tips for parents, things to avoid saying during School Admission Appeals, and guidance on how to find out your preferred school’s over-subscription criteria.

Our Education Lawyers have years of experience in guiding parents through the process of School Admission Appeals and can tailor our service to your needs. We have a number of fixed fee packages available so that you’ll never be surprised by any sudden costs.

For legal advice call our Education Solicitors

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