Can I attend the appeal hearing?
You will be asked to attend the appeal hearing and present your case in person. It is best for you to attend the hearing if you can as you will be able to answer any questions the Appeal Panel has and you will be able to ask questions yourself of the admission authority’s representative. You will also have the opportunity to address the Appeal Panel regarding your case. If it is not possible for you to attend, or you have chosen not to attend the appeal hearing in person, the Appeal Panel will make a decision based on the written information that you have sent in. Your case will be considered in the same way as other appeals.
If you are unable to attend your appeal hearing on the date and time you have been given and it is not reasonably practicable to offer you another hearing date, your appeal will be dealt with on paper. If you fail to attend your appeal hearing on the date and time you have been given and have not notified the Surrey Schools Appeals Service beforehand, your appeal will go ahead and a decision made based on the written information you have sent in.
If your appeal is heard in your absence the admission authority’s representative will still be given the opportunity to present the school’s case at the appeal hearing and answer any questions that the Appeal Panel may have with regards to the admission authority’s case only.
What will happen at the appeal hearing?
The clerk will usually speak to you before the hearing and will invite you and the admission authority’s representative to go into the hearing at the same time. At the start of the hearing the Chairman will welcome you and the admission authority’s representative and introduce everyone present. He or she will explain how the hearing will proceed and ensure that all parties are given a proper opportunity to present their case.
The order of the appeal hearing will depend on whether your appeal is the only appeal for the school or if your appeal is one of many for the same school. If multiple appeals have been received for the same school they are usually considered by the same Appeal Panel. An Appeal Panel hearing multiple appeals will not make decisions on any of those appeals until all the appeals have been heard. When you are notified of your appeal hearing date you will be sent a procedure for the day which will explain in detail the order of the appeal hearing.
For the first part of the hearing all parents are invited to attend. The admission authority’s representative will present its case, explaining why the school is unable to take more children into that year group and the issues that would arise if the school had to admit more pupils. All parents and the Appeal Panel will be invited to ask questions.
You will then be given the opportunity to explain to the Appeal Panel all the reasons why you want your child to go to the school in question, why you feel they should be offered a place and what the school can offer your child that the allocated school cannot. The Appeal Panel and the admission authority’s representative may ask you questions. If your appeal is one of many for the same school this part of your appeal will be heard individually without the presence of other appellants.
At the end of the appeal hearing both you and the admission authority’s representative will be given the opportunity to sum up your case before the appeal finishes.