An appeal hearing takes place before a panel which normally consists of 3 to 5 people together with a clerk who is available for advice.
The hearing is meant to be informal and whilst it is not compulsory for parent's to attend it is generally viewed that it is better to attend to enable the appeal to be presented in the strongest way. There are occasions when the panel will need to clarify any points in the written application or you may want to provide further supporting information.
Although practice may vary from panel to panel generally the order of procedure is as follows:-
- The LEA provides evidence as to why there would be a prejudice in admitting the student or pupil.
- The Parents and the panel can then ask any questions.
- The parents or guardians present their appeal and if necessary bring witnesses and provide additional evidence.
- The LEA and the panel can then ask questions of the parents.
- The LEA sums up the evidence and concludes to the panel what has been heard.
- The parents or guardians can then sum up and conclude their application.
- The panel then consider all the factors and decide whether the LEA have established prejudice in this case and whether the potential grounds of appeal outweighs the prejudice.
The written decision is then sent to the parents.
In some cases it is possible to appeal the decision of the panel by judicial review. At Educarers we have specialist advisers who can help in this complicated area of law.
Please contact Educarers if you need advice for your hearing.