Appeals

 
Appeals against a decision not to offer a place at Busbridge Junior School will be administrated by Surrey County Council. Parents who wish to appeal should contact the Surrey Schools Appeals Service to obtain the appropriate forms through https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/schools-and-learning/schools/admissions/appeals or by telephoning 020 8541 8092 or by emailing surrey.schoolappeals@surreycc.gov.uk

DfE guidance on school admission appeals and the impact of Covid-19 (updated 24th April 2020)
The DfE has issued guidance on school admission appeals and the impact of Covid-19: 
www.gov.uk/government/publications/admission-appeals-for-school-places/coronavirus-covid-19-school-admission-appeals.

In the guidance, the DfE acknowledge that the current Covid-19 outbreak will impact on the ability of admission authorities to carry out admission appeals in the usual way. 
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions the DfE have therefore made changes to the way admission authorities (school governing bodies, local authorities and academy trusts depending on the type of school) carry out admission appeals this year.

The new regulations temporarily amend the 2012 Appeals Regulations and give admission authorities, local authorities and admission appeal panels more flexibility when dealing with appeals during the COVID-19 outbreak. The guidance on changes to the admission appeals regulations is non-statutory and is aimed at supporting all of those who have a duty to act in accordance with the School Admission Appeals Code.


The aim is to give admission authorities as much flexibility as possible to manage appeals in a way that best suits local circumstances, and ensure families appealing an admission decision this year are supported and are not disadvantaged by the measures in place to protect public health.

The regulatory changes came into force on 24 April 2020 and will remain in force until 31 January 2021.

The changes mean:

  • admission authorities will have sufficient time to deal with the annual peak in appeals for children due to start new schools at the beginning of September 2020
  • parents will continue to have the right to appeal to any school which has refused their child a place

Summary of changes - the new regulations:

  • disapply the requirement that appeals panels must be held in person and instead give flexibility for panel hearings to take place either in person, by telephone, video conference or through a paper-based appeal where all parties can make representations in writing
  • relax the rules with regard to what happens if one of the 3 panel members withdraws (temporarily or permanently) to make it permissible for the panel to continue with and conclude the appeal as a panel of 2
  • amend the deadlines relating to appeals for the time that the new regulations are in force

Changes to appeal deadlines
The new regulations provide more flexibility for admission authorities to set new or revised deadlines for submitting an appeal. The amendments to deadlines will ensure that appellants will be given:

  • at least 28 calendar days’ written notice of a new appeal deadline
  • at least 14 calendar days’ written notice of an appeal hearing (although appellants can waive their right to this)

All deadlines for the hearing of appeals must be as soon as reasonably practicable.

Decision letters should be sent within 7 calendar days of the hearing, wherever possible.

Maintaining fairness in the appeals process
The new regulations relax current requirements but will maintain obligations around natural justice and procedural fairness. The DfE are not relaxing any of the clerking duties for admission appeals. Clerks carry out a key role in relation to appeal hearings and provide advice on admissions law as well as keeping an accurate record of proceedings.

Maladministration complaints
Parents can continue to lodge a complaint if they have evidence of maladministration. The DfE are not relaxing any of the requirements set out under Section 5 of the School Admissions Appeals Code which covers complaints about appeals.

Early suspension of changes
The regulations are subject to review, and the DfE can amend legislation to bring forward the date on which they end, if they are no longer required. Transitional provision means the new regulations will continue to apply to appeals that are already underway but which have not yet concluded on or before 31 January 2021

 
School Admission Appeals Timetable (Pre-COVID19)

In year or immediate entry appeals:

Appeals resulting from in year admission applications will be heard within 30 school days of the appeal being lodged.

Appeals for September 2020 resulting from year of entry or transfer applications: 

School

Offer

Appeals lodged by

Appeals to be heard by

Primary

16 April 2020

18 May 2020

20 July 2020 (40 School days)

NB: Appeals will not start being heard until after the relevant closing date has passed.

Appeals lodged after these dates will be heard within 40 school days of the appeal deadline or 30 school days of being lodged, whichever is the later date.

Appellants will be sent notification of their appeal hearing at least 10 clear school days in advance of the hearing.  Appellants will be sent a copy of the school's case 7 clear working days in advance of the hearing.

Appellants must ensure that any further evidence not included with their initial appeal, is received by 5pm on the day preceding three clear working days prior to the appeal hearing date.  Any additional evidence or information received after this date might not be considered at the appeal hearing.

In year or immediate entry appeals will be heard within 30 school days of the appeal being lodged.