Practical Legal Advice from a
Specialist Education Law Solicitor

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The Education Department & Admission Authority

 Please also check the Blog on the left for more information and Factsheets about roles and responsibilities.

The Admission Authority and the Appeal Hearing

At the appeal hearing a representative for the Admission Authority must be present and they must answer questions about the school, the organisation of classes and how places were allocated.

 As an appellant wanting a place at a specific school you need to be aware of how places were allocated, and if it was done in line with the published policy and if your case was dealt with properly.

The Admission Authority must comply with the School Admission and School Admission Appeal Codes.  They have to consult and review their policy, and it must be fair and transparent.  A copy of the admission policy for every school should be on the school website.

Before the hearing you will receive a document setting out why your son or daughter has not been offered a place at this particular school.  The Admission Appeal Code says:-

Production of evidence from the admission authority prior to the hearing

2.9 The admission authority must supply the clerk to the appeal panel with all relevant documents needed to conduct the hearing in a fair and transparent manner and in accordance with the specified timetable. This must include details of how the admission arrangements and the co-ordinated admissions scheme apply to the appellant’s application,the reasons for the decision to refuse admission and an explanation as to how admission of an additional child would cause prejudice to the provision of efficient education or efficient use of resources.

 As the test that the Admission Authority must satisfy is:- 

First stage – examining the decision to refuse admission 

3.2 The panel must consider the following matters in relation to each child that is the subject of an appeal:

 a )whether the admission arrangements (including the area’s co-ordinated admission arrangements) complied with the mandatory requirements of the School Admissions Code and Part 3 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998; and

 b) whether the admission arrangements were correctly and impartially applied in the case in question.

 3.3 The panel must then decide whether the admission of additional children would prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources.

As an appellant you have the opportunity to question this in the appeal hearing and if the panel concludes that no prejudice would occur they must allow the appeal whatever your personal reasons for wanting a place are.  However, it should be noted that the majority of appeals succeed on the child’s individual circumstances which is the second part of the process.

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