If you’re not happy with the primary school your child has been allocated, you may be thinking about appealing the decision. But will the coronavirus crisis impact school appeals? In short – yes, but it won’t stop them from going ahead.
With social distancing guidelines in place and uncertainty about when schools will reopen, the current appeals system simply isn’t going to work. So the government has announced plans to relax the guidelines for admissions authorities (ie local authorities, academy trusts, faith schools) to enable school appeals to be heard.
What are the main changes?
Usually, appeals are heard by an independent panel of three. Parents are expected to attend in person. But the government has introduced new regulations which makes the process more flexible.
Panel hearings will now be able to take place by telephone, video conference or through a paper-based appeal. If one of the three panel members withdraws, the panel can continue and conclude the appeal with just two people.
Admission authorities will also need to review their existing deadlines for appeals to be submitted and make sure they are reasonable under the circumstances.
These regulations will be in force until 31 January 2021.