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New admissions appeal code - October 2022

As a parent, you can express a preference about which school your child attends. The Local Authority must comply with that preference, unless certain exemptions apply. If you are not happy with the decision made by the admissions authority, you can then look to submit an admission appeal and challenge that decision. As Education law specialists, we have assisted many parents and guardians with their appeals, whether that is by providing legal advice or by one of our admissions appeals lawyers representing our clients at the hearing itself.

Alongside the policy of the relevant admission authority, the admissions appeals procedure is governed by the admissions appeal code, which is guidance published by the Department of Education which dictates how schools and local authorities should govern the appeal proceedings. As of October 2022, a new version of the admissions appeal code has just been published. 
While the code has not been updated since 2012 the changes implemented are relatively few, with the tests and process for the panel to consider appeals remaining mostly the same. The main change made seems to be based around providing greater support and flexibility for virtual hearings. 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, new temporary measures were taken to allow admission appeal hearings to be held remotely, as previously they had all been held in person. Rather than withdraw these temporary measures, the Department of Education has taken the decision to incorporate them to the appeal code permanently.

The Code now allows appeals to be heard either at a physical hearing, remotely (by video call or phone) or by some combination of the two. If the hearing is held virtually, the admissions authority is under an obligation to ensure that the appeal is capable of being heard fairly and transparently. In doing so they must be satisfied that the parties will be able to present their cases fully and that each participant has access to video or telephone facilities allowing them to engage in the hearing at all times. Regardless of the method, the guidance is clear that parents must be allowed to make oral submissions. This can be done by yourself, or you can instruct an education law solicitor to speak on your behalf.

It cannot be understated the impact that the right school can have on your child’s education. If you or someone you know would like help with an admissions appeal, please feel free to get in touch. Our education law solicitors are specialists in our field with years of experience and we can help you to get the best possible outcome for your case. 

If you would like to discuss your matter further, please feel free to contact us on 0333 202 7175. Alternatively send us an enquiry through our website and one of our admissions appeals lawyers will contact you later that same day to discuss your matter further.