About school admission appeal hearings
When hearings are held
Appeal hearings are held during the working day. They are not held at weekends, in the evening or during school holidays. We cannot accommodate your working patterns and you may need to book leave from work. If you know that you cannot attend an appeal on certain dates (for example you are on holiday), please include this information on the appeal form. If possible, we will try to avoid hearing your appeal on these dates.
Appeal hearings are usually held at our offices, but could be held at other external venues.
You will receive written notification of the date, time and arrangements for your hearing no later than 10 school days before the hearing. The notification will include a deadline for the submission of any further evidence.
Attending the appeal hearing
The documentation to be considered at the appeal hearing will be sent to you, the independent appeal panel members and the school representative / school admissions officer at least five school days before the hearing takes place. If you have not received the document pack three days before the hearing, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will be invited to attend the appeal hearing and present your case in person. If possible, you should do this as it's very helpful for members of the independent appeal panel to hear, first hand, why you want your child to attend a particular school.
Your partner, a friend, adviser, interpreter or signer is welcome to come to the appeal with you (if you need an interpreter, please let us know on the appeal form).
If you do not wish to attend the hearing, your appeal will be considered on the written evidence you have provided with your appeal form. This also applies if you do not arrive for your arranged hearing.
It is not permissible for a representative of the school you are appealing for to accompany you to the hearing or provide letters of support.
If you have a disability
If you have a disability and need some special arrangements made for you, please state this on the appeal form.
Who will hear your appeal?
Your appeal will be heard by an independent appeal panel of three independent volunteer (unpaid) members, one of whom will act as chairman. The members have been appointed and trained in accordance with the School Admission Appeals Code 2012.
Central Bedfordshire councillors are not eligible to sit as members of the panel.
Either a school admissions officer or a school representative will attend the appeal hearing to present the case as to why your child cannot be admitted to your preferred school and answer any questions that you or the members of the independent appeal panel may have.
Our Education Appeals Clerk will attend to take notes at the hearing and provide advice and guidance about the procedure and arrangements. The clerk will play no part in reaching a decision on your case, but will remain with the panel members while they make their decision.
The hearings are normally held in private. However, when there are a high number of appeals for one school, the appeals will be heard in two stages (group appeals).
Please refer to section 19 of our guidance for parents (PDF 417.5KB) for information about the process for the hearing and group appeals.