A guide for Parents / Carers of Secondary Transfer Pupils on the Admission Appeals Procedure for The Camden School for Girls 2021
This guide provides information for parents/carers who may be considering whether to appeal against the decision by Camden School for Girls not to allocate a place for their child. The information given relates to appeals for entry to Year 7 in September 2021.
1. Should I make an appeal?
Before appealing you should carefully consider whether the problems your child will face, if they do not go to Camden School for Girls, would be greater than the problems caused for the school from the admittance of an extra pupil over roll (120).
You should also consider what evidence you can produce to convince the Appeal Panel to award a place even though they may find that the school is full.
When considering whether to appeal, it is important that you are aware that although the law allows you the opportunity to appeal against the admission decision, it does not give your child the right to a place at a particular school. There is no guarantee that your appeal will be successful. If you are appealing, you should make arrangements for a place at an alternative school in case your appeal is unsuccessful. Accepting a place at another school does not affect your right to appeal. Camden Local Authority is always willing to discuss alternative schools with vacancies at any stage in the process.
2. How do I make an appeal?
You should fill out the form available on the school’s website clearly setting out the reasons for your appeal. You may include any letters, correspondence, written reports or documents that support your case. Please include as much information as you can and enclose all the supporting documentation for your appeal. This is important because, if, for any reason, you do not attend the hearing then the panel will make a decision based on your written submission only.
Your form should be returned to the Appeals Administrator. Her contact details are at the end of this guide. You should include any supporting documents which you wish the Appeal Panel to consider (e.g. medical reports) by Friday 26th March 2021 at the latest. It is possible, if absolutely necessary, to submit new additional evidence up to 3 days prior to the hearing for consideration by the panel. Short evidence (e.g. a doctor’s note) can be submitted at the hearing and must be considered by the panel. However, please note, that if significant information is received less than three working days before the hearing, it may be necessary to adjourn the hearing.
3. When will the appeal be heard?
Once your appeal has been received you will be given at least 10 school days’ notice of the date, time and place where the appeal will be heard by the Appeal Panel. On days where there are numbers of appeals being heard, it may not be possible to keep to the time stated and you should be prepared for a delay.
Appeals will be heard in the week commencing 21st June 2021.
Wherever possible you should attend the hearing and present your case in person, but you may prefer not to attend and instead allow your appeal to be considered on the written statement you have submitted and that provided by the Camden School for Girls. If you do not attend, the appeal will be decided on the information available. On your appeal form you must let the Appeals Administrator know whether or not you will attend.
4. What is an appeal panel?
The Independent Appeals’ Clerk, acting on behalf of the admission authority, will appoint three panel members from the following:
5. What happens next?
Before the hearing you will receive a written statement prepared by the Camden School for Girls, advising you how the admissions policy was applied in your case, and a general statement explaining the implications for the school of admitting pupils over roll. These statements will give the reasons why the school, on behalf of the Governors, has not given your child a place.
These statements, together with copies of your submission, will be sent to you, to the Independent Appeals Clerk, to all Appeal Panel members, and to the School Representative.
6. Who will attend the hearing?
The following people will be present at the Appeal Hearing:
If at all possible, parent(s)/carer(s) should attend personally, as the child’s representative, to put forward their child’s case. You know your child best and will be able to provide information which is essential to enable the Appeal Panel to make a balanced decision at the end of the appeal.
You may, if you wish, bring a friend to support you or a representative who can present your case. This person can be a Choice Adviser, a locally elected politician, or an employee of the local education authority such as an educational social worker, SEN adviser or learning mentor, provided that this will not lead to a conflict of interest. You are not allowed to be accompanied by an employee or governor of this school. In addition you are also allowed to bring witnesses. In either case, you should let the Appeals Administrator know in advance who is accompanying you. If there are special arrangements you require enabling the hearing to proceed, for example you are disabled or require an interpreter, you should inform the Appeals Administrator.
7. Will the hearing be private?
8. What will happen at the hearing?
The Chair of the Panel will introduce all of those present and try to ensure that the arrangements are as relaxed and informal as possible so that parents/carers are able to put forward their child’s case.
The hearing will follow this order:
1) The Camden School for Girls’ case
a. The School’s Representative will explain how the Admissions Criteria were applied to your child’s application and why a place has not been allocated at Camden School for Girls.
b. Questioning of the School’s Representative by the parent(s)/carer(s)
c. Questioning of the School’s Representative by the Panel
2) The Parent(s)/Carer(s) case
a. The parent(s)/carer(s)/student will explain why they believe the Camden School for Girls should have allocated a place at the school to their child and provide information to support their appeal.
b. Questioning of the parent(s)/carer(s) by the School’s Representative.
c. Questioning of the parent(s)/carer(s) by the Panel.
3) Summing up by the School’s Representative
4) Summing up by the Parent(s)/Carer(s)
Members of the Appeal Panel may ask questions at any time if they require clarification of what is being said or if they need further information.
9. The Decision
There are two stages:
The Appeal Panel must first decide whether The Camden School for Girls’ published admissions arrangements:
1) Were lawful and properly applied.
2) If so, whether giving your child a place would prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of the resources at the school. That is to say whether the school would experience difficulties if it were to admit another child. If the Panel finds that there would be no prejudice, then it must uphold your appeal and your child will be admitted to the school. If the Panel finds that there is prejudice, then it must go on to the second stage.
This is the balancing stage, where the Panel reaches its decision by weighing the strength of your case against the difficulties the school would experience if it took a child over roll. If the Panel decides that your case outweighs the difficulties of the school, your appeal will be upheld and your child will be admitted to the school. Otherwise, your appeal will be unsuccessful.
10. When will I hear about the outcome of the appeal?
The Appeal Panel is required to hear all the appeals before making any decisions. Every effort will be made to let you know the outcome of your appeal within five working days of the final appeal.
11. Is the Panel's decision final?
The Panel's decision is binding on the school and the Admissions Authority. This means that if your appeal is successful, the school must admit your child. If your appeal is not successful, your child's name may remain on the waiting list at the school if you wish.
There is not further right of appeal. However if you feel that the appeal panel has not been properly set up or has not followed procedures correctly you can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman You should note that the Ombudsman cannot overturn the Panel's decision as this can only be done by the courts.
12. FURTHER GUIDANCE
Parents needing further advice should contact either of the following:
Camden Local Authority School Admissions Team 020 7974 1625
The Advisory Centre for Education www.ace-ed.org.uk
The above advice has been prepared with reference to the DfE’s School Admissions Appeals Code (2012).
When you have read this guide, if you still wish to appeal, please send your form to:
Ms Duska Cutler,
Camden School for Girls
London NW5 2DB
Or email the completed form to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Appeals Timetable 2021
|Date by which appeals must be submitted||26th March 2021|
|Dates when appellants will be sent notification of their appeal hearing||Week commencing 7th June 2021 (10 school days in advance of the hearing)|
|Dates when the appeals will be heard||Week commencing 21st June 2021|
|Deadline for submitting additional evidence||Within 3 school days of the appeal hearing (please read full details about submission of evidence above)|
|Decision letters sent to applicants||Within 5 school days of the appeal hearing (whenever possible)|
Appeals lodged after these dates will be heard within 40 school days of the appeal deadline or 30 school days of the appeal being lodged, whichever is the later date.