The appeal hearing

Find out what to expect from your appeal hearing

All appeals that are not settled or withdrawn will require an appeal hearing. You will be invited to attend this hearing. If you decide not to attend, your appeal will be considered on the basis of your written submission.

The hearing provides you with an opportunity to:

  • explain in person the reasons why you are appealing
  • ask questions about the Admission Authority's case
  • answer any questions the panel or the Admission Authority may have
Who will be at the hearing?

In Hampshire, appeal panels consist of three members (made up of lay and non-lay members). Panel members are independent of the admission authority and have no affiliation with the school.

Appeal hearings are attended by:

  • the person appealing
  • a representative or friend of the appellant (optional)
  • the appeal panel
  • the clerk to the panel
  • an Admission Authority representative
  • and in some instances, a further representative from the school such as a headteacher or governor

The clerk takes no part in decision making. They are there to keep a record of proceedings and provide advice to the panel.

What happens at an appeal hearing?

The two different types of appeals follow slightly different processes. Open the tabs below to find out more.

Infant class size appeal hearing

First, the Admission Authority summarises its case that the admission of further children would breach the infant class size limit. It then sets out how the measures it would have to take to avoid this breach would prejudice the provision of efficient education or use of resources.

If you are part of a multiple appeal, the summary will be done in the presence of all the parents. The appeal panel and parents may ask questions and challenge the Admission Authority's representative on the matters raised in their case.

The panel will then break to decide in private if the admission of further children would breach the infant class size limit.

If the panel are satisfied that this is the case, you will then have the opportunity to individually and confidentially explain to the appeal panel why you think:

  • the admission arrangements breach the requirements of the code
  • the admissions policy has not been followed properly in your child’s case
  • the decision to refuse to admit your child was unreasonable

Download the infant class size hearing example timetable for more detailed information.

Standard prejudice appeal hearing

Stage one

The Admission Authority presents its case and the panel consider whether the school’s published admission arrangements comply with the mandatory requirements of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 and School Admissions Code. The panel will also consider whether the regulations were correctly and impartially applied in your case. If there is more than one appellant present at the hearing, this issue will be heard at stage two (see below) for reasons of confidentiality.

If the admission arrangements are found to comply with the Admissions Code and no mistake is identified that prevented your child being offered a place, then the panel will consider whether prejudice would arise from the admission of a further child (or children).

The panel and appellants may ask questions of the Admission Authority’s representative. If the panel concludes that prejudice exists, it will be necessary to move to stage two.

Stage two - balancing the arguments

This is where you will present your case. Before arriving at a decision, the panel must balance the prejudice that would be caused to the school against the merits of your case.

The appeal panel or the Admission Authority may ask you questions. The Admission Authority may make additional representations regarding issues raised in the second stage of the hearing.

If the panel considers your case to outweigh the prejudice to the school, it must uphold the appeal (and your appeal will be successful).

Where more than one case outweighs the prejudice to the school, but the school cannot admit all those pupils, the panel must go on to compare the cases and uphold those who have the strongest case for admission.

Where the appeal panel is considering a number of appeals for the same school, the case put forward by each parent during the second stage is heard individually and confidentially. No decision is reached on any appeal until all parents' cases have been considered.

For more detailed information on the appeal hearing and timings, download the standard prejudice hearing example timetable.

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