Appeals

If your child does not gain admission to Yardley you have a right to appeal.

We have a Service Level Agreement with the Democratic Service of The London Borough of Waltham Forest who administers admission appeals as an independent body.

Parents’ appeals are recorded on an application form and all details of the admission request and supporting evidence is forwarded to the Democratic Service who arrange an appeal before an independent appeal panel. The decision of the panel is sent in writing to parents.

Appeals are normally held annually for primary transfer in May and June each year. Other appeals are usually heard in intervals throughout the year and approximately 30 school days apart.

The powers of appeal panels

  • Panels are set up to consider individual appeals from parents wishing to get a place at a school for their child.
  • The panel does not have the power to consider complaints or objections on wider aspects of admission policy or practice.
  • The decision of the panel is binding on the school.
  • The decision of the panel is binding on the parent.
  • The appeal is the final stage in the admission process and there are no higher authorities or people to hear your appeal.

 Complaints about appeal hearings

If you believe that your hearing was conducted improperly or unreasonably you may complain to the Commissioner of Local Administration (the Local Government Ombudsman). The Local Government Ombudsman cannot overturn the panel’s decision.

What do you need to prepare?

  • In order to appeal you need to complete and return the appeal form to Waltham Forest admission service for reception age pupils or to the school for other year groups. This must be done by the date written on the appeal form. Forms are available from the admission service or the school.
  • You might like to write your reasons for appealing on the form.
  • You may give other written information to support your appeal at this stage; it can be a written statement of what you intend to say at the appeal. (It is better if the additional papers are available well before the hearing so that the panel can read them before the hearing, we need at least 10 working days before the hearing to arrange this)
  • You may wish to get independent advice.
  • You should give your reasons why you think that your child should attend your preferred school.

How many appeals can I have?

You can appeal once for a place in a school year group unless there is a substantial change to your circumstances.

What happens at hearings?

  • The school does not arrange the hearings this is done by the London Borough of Waltham Forest and they will write to you to tell you when the hearing due.
  • You do not have to attend the hearing; you may like the panel to consider your appeal using the written materials only. Let the clerk to the panel know if that is what you want to happen. Only a small number of people like to have their appeal heard in their absence.
  • If you are attending the hearing you may wish to bring a friend to be with you in the appeal.

How are the appeals heard?

  • The people appealing usually wait in a waiting area until the hearings start.
  • The panel and the clerk to the panel are in the room used for the hearing.
  • The officer from the school waits outside the hearing room and away from the parents waiting area.
  • The clerk will invite the parents and the school representative into the room for the hearing to begin.
  • After the general introduction the school representative gives an overall account of the application processes and why the school does not want additional children added to the school roll.
  • There is an opportunity to ask general questions but not relating to a specific child.
  • Parents then go back to the waiting area so that the panel can hear each individual case.
  • At the end of each hearing the parents leave, the school representative waits outside the room and the next set of parents are invited in to give their case, the school representative also joins them.
  • At the end of the set of hearings the last parents leave and the school representative waits outside for the next school appeal session or leaves the building if there are no more hearings. The LA does not take any part in the decision making part of the hearings.

The clerk remains with the panel and they consider all the hearings and make their decisions.

As soon as possible after the hearing the clerk writes to parents with the decision.

What happens if I win?

If the panel agree with you and say that your child can have a place at the school then the school must make arrangements for your child to have a place at the school.

What happens if I do not win?

If you do not win your appeal the offer of a school place on the most recent offer letter from the Local Authority will still be available.

Is there anything else after an appeal?

The only way that an appeal panel’s decision can be overturned is by a decision of the courts. You would have to be successful in applying for a judicial review of the decision.

I am planning to appeal for a Reception place.

The power of appeal panels is limited in Reception appeals by the requirements of The School Standards and Framework Act 1998. This act refers to the requirement to limit class sizes to 30 pupils.