School admissions appeals regulations are to be changed in light of the current Covid-19 pandemic.
The proposed measures should ensure that appeals can still go ahead rather than be postponed, as that would cause delay for hundreds of families and uncertainty for many children.
The proposed measures are expected to come into force on April 24th and remain in place until January 2021.
If you need help and advice about appealing a school admission decision for your child, get in touch with our Education Law Solicitors.
What Do the New Rules State?
Under the revised regulations, there is no requirement for hearings to be held in person, so video, telephone and paper hearings can be arranged instead.
Also, if a member of the Independent Appeal Panel (IAP) becomes unavailable, it will be possible for hearings to continue with 2 people only, which should also avoid delay.
In addition, deadlines for lodging an appeal are to be extended, with parents being given more time to do so. Proposed time frames are that parents should be given at least 28 days’ notice of the new appeal deadline, and at least 14 days’ notice of the date of hearings.
Although the time frame for issuing decisions is due to change to 7 calendar days, rather than 5 school days, this is essentially the same.
One aspect that hasn’t changed is the role of the clerk and they will continue to advise IAPs on legal aspects of appeals, keep records, and complete other duties, such as compiling bundles.
The proposed changes appear to be good news for parents who are unhappy with the school their child has been allocated for September 2020, as appeals should go ahead and places confirmed before the start of the next academic year.
Our team of Education Law Solicitors have many years of experience in guiding parents through the school admissions appeals process, and we have a number of fixed fee packages available to assist with appeals.
If you would like more information on this, you can call us directly or download a free school admissions appeals pack.