- The outcome of your appeal
- Can you appeal again?
- Can you complain after your appeal?
- If you feel the decision of the appeal panel was wrong in law
The outcome of your appeal
After your appeal has been heard you and the relevant admission authority will be notified of the decision.
If your case was one of a group of appeals for the same year group, you will not be notified of the decision until all of the appeals for the school have been heard. This may mean that you will have to wait a few days for the outcome of your appeal.
You will receive an initial letter with just the decision and a detailed decision letter giving the appeal panel's reasons will follow this. The detailed letter will follow as quickly as possible after the decisions have been made and ideally within five working days. However, due to the volume of work during the busy period (April – July) this will not always be possible.
If you phone you may be able to get a result, but we cannot guarantee what time decisions will be received and the phones will be very busy between March and July.
The decision of the appeal panel is binding upon the admission authority and the school.
The Surrey Schools Appeals Service and the admission authority do not play any part in the decision making process with regard to your appeal and cannot change or comment on the decision of an independent appeal panel.
Please also note, normally all correspondence is sent to the named appellant who has completed the notice of appeal form for their child. However, if an estranged partner, with parental responsibility/rights, requires a copy of any of the appeal paperwork, including the detailed decision letter, we cannot refuse; but we would first inform the original appellant and can exclude any information/reference to them if they wish.
If your appeal is successful you will need to confirm with the relevant admission authority whether you wish to accept the school place you have been granted on appeal. You should also inform the local authority if you wish to accept or refuse the allocated place.
If your appeal has been unsuccessful and you have not accepted a place at an alternative school, you will need to contact the Surrey Schools and Childcare Service on: 0300 200 1004 or your local authority for more information on schools in your area.
If your appeal is unsuccessful you cannot normally appeal again for the same academic year.
Can you appeal again?
You cannot re-appeal in the same year for the same year group at the same school. However, if you feel there has been a significant change in your circumstances you should contact the relevant admissions authority and ask if you can re-apply. Unless your application is reconsidered and refused again there is no right to a fresh appeal.
Can you complain after your appeal?
There is no right of appeal against the independent appeal panel's decision. If you are concerned the appeal did not comply with the School Admission Appeals Code (SAAC) and believe this may have affected the outcome of the appeal, you can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) or the Education Funding Agency (EFA).
The LGO can investigate complaints about maladministration (unfairness or mistake) on the part of an appeal panel for maintained schools, excluding academies. Complaints can be made by calling the LGO Advice Team on 0300 061 0614 or via an on line form at www.lgo.org.uk. The Local Government Act 1974 provides that the Ombudsman may not investigate a complaint where there is a right to go to a statutory tribunal. It cannot question a decision by a Local Authority not to offer a child a place at a particular school, as there is a right of appeal.
Complaints about maladministration in respect of appeal panels for academies and free schools can be made to the EFA. Complaints can be made via Gov.uk. Please also see the Education Funding Agency (EFA) fact sheet.
The LGO and EFA cannot overturn the decision of an independent appeal panel, but if it is found that the appeal arrangements breached the SAAC and the breach may have affected the outcome of the appeal, the admission authority may be required to establish a fresh appeal panel to hear your appeal again.
If you feel the decision of the appeal panel was wrong in law
If anyone concerned with the appeal - you as the parent/guardian, or the admission authority - consider that the decision of the appeal panel was legally in error, any one of them could apply for a judicial review. If a judicial review is granted, the Court would consider the lawfulness of the appeal panel's decision. If it found the appeal panel's decision to be unlawful or unreasonable (irrational or perverse legally), it could overturn the decision, or it could order the admission authority to set up a fresh appeal hearing with new panel members.