Admissions Appeals Arrangements
Your right to appeal
If your child has been refused a place at a Nishkam School and you are unhappy with the alternative you have been offered, you have the right to appeal against the decision of the admissions authority. The right to appeal is given under the School Standards and Framework Act, 1998.
What is an appeal?
If you applied for a place and were not offered one, you have the right to appeal against this decision. Please note however that appeals can only be upheld in very specific circumstances. It is not a second chance to apply.
Your appeal will be heard by an independent panel of three people who will consider two main questions:
• Was the school’s decision made properly and in accordance with admissions law and its own admissions criteria?
• Are your child’s individual circumstances so exceptional that it would be worse for them not to have a place at a specific school than it would for that school to accept an additional child? This is called the balance of prejudice test.
What is an appeal panel?
The panel that will hear your appeal is independent of Nishkam School Trust and will consist of three people who are familiar with education. The hearings have to be conducted in accordance within the law, following a procedure set out in a code of practice used by every education admission authority. The panel makes every effort to ensure that the proceedings allow you to have the opportunity to explain the reasons for your appeal.
When will my appeal be heard?
Ten school days before the hearing, you will be told where and when your appeal will be heard. A week before the hearing, the school will send you a statement setting out the reasons why the admissions authority could not offer your child a place at the school. They will also send you a copy of your appeal form. Please bring these papers with you as they will help you at the hearing.
All schools have published admission policies. The statement from the school sets out how your application was considered in accordance with the admissions policy for the school. At the beginning of the appeal hearing, you will hear the reasons why your child could not be offered a place at the school. The panel invite you to tell them your reasons why you would like a place at the school. If the panel accept that there were no mistakes when your application was processed and that the admission of another child would prejudice efficient education, they then come to the balancing stage. This is a difficult task. The panel -will use its discretion to weigh up the advantages which would be achieved by complying with your preference as against the problems it would cause the school by admitting an additional pupil.
We also suggest that you read first the school’s written statement which explains in detail why it could not offer a place at the school and how the admission arrangements were applied.
What will happen at the hearing?
When you arrive at the hearing, the Clerk of the panel will meet you in the waiting area and take you to the room being used for the hearing.
The Chair will invite everyone present to introduce themselves. The panel will be three people who are volunteers and totally independent of Nishkam School Trust. Some have direct experience in education, others are known as lay members. All panel members have been trained before they can sit on appeal panels.
You will be asked at the hearing if you have read the statement and if you have any questions regarding the information in the statement.
A school representative will present the school’s case explaining why it was not possible to offer your child a place. Please note that if you choose not to attend the appeal, the hearing will go ahead in your absence.
You will have an opportunity to ask questions regarding the school case and present your case.
The school will have an opportunity to ask questions regarding the appeal.
The Chair will then close the hearing and advise you that the panel will consider your case, once all the appeals for the school have been heard. The Clerk remains with the panel solely to record their decision and to offer any procedural or legal advice.
Please inform us if you change your mind about attending or decide to withdraw your appeal, so that we can inform the panel and prevent any unnecessary delays to other appellants.
Outcome of the hearing
The panel will make their decision in two stages without the school present except for infant class size appeals which are dealt with in section 4. Regulations 16 made under Section 1 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 limit the size of an infant class (a class in which the majority of children will reach the age of 5, 6 or 7 during the school year) to 30 pupils per school teacher.
First stage – The panel must consider the following matters in relation to each child that is the subject of an appeal: a) whether the admission arrangements) complied with the mandatory requirements of the School Admissions Code and Part 3 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998; and b) whether the admission arrangements were correctly and impartially applied in the case in question.
Second stage – The panel must balance the admission authority’s decision against the appellant’s case for the child to be admitted to the school.
The decision, together with the reasons for the decision will be sent to you and the school in writing by the clerk within five school working days after all the appeals have been completed. The panels decision is binding.
Can I appeal the decision?
If you think that the appeal has not been conducted according to the code of conduct you can complain to the ESFA (Education Skills Funding Agency). They can not overturn the panels decision.https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/complain-about-an-academy/complain-about-an-academy
How do I make an appeal?
Parents wishing to appeal must complete the Online Appeals Form
What information do I need to supply?
The Appeal Panel makes a decision based on the information they are given by both you and the Admissions Authority. The better the information they receive, the better their judgement is likely to be. Please supply as much information and evidence as you can to support your case. Please let us have this information 7 working days before the hearing so that the Panel have the opportunity to consider it fully. The panel will not be able to consider any additional evidence at the hearing.
What does an appeal cost?
You will not be charged for appealing against the decision not to offer your child a place. Each appeal will cost the school and this will come out of the resource budget for its pupils.
Appeal Hearing arrangements due to Covid-19
In line with government guidance Nishkam School West London will not be holding face to face appeal hearings.
All appellants will be contacted in due course with more details.
|Phase||Offer day||Last day to lodge an appeal||
Appeals to be held by
|Nishkam School West London Primary Phase||16 April 2020||
19 May 2020
(at least 20 calendar days' from offer day)
|21 July 2020 (within 40 calendar days' of the deadline to lodge appeal)|
|Nishkam School West London Secondary Phase||2 March 2020||
31 March 2020
(at least 20 school days' from offer day)
|17 June 2020 (within 40 calendar days' of the deadline to lodge appeal)|
In Year Appeals
In year admission appeals will be heard within 30 school days of the appeal being lodged or as soon as reasonably practical.
Appealing after the deadline
If you appeal after the deadline, your appeal will still be scheduled, but it may be heard later than those who returned their appeal forms on time.
Please let us know on the appeal form if you have any disabilities or special requirements and need assistance. We will try and meet your needs where possible.
You may have an interpreter at your appeal hearing, if you would like us to arrange this for you please notify us on the appeal form. Alternatively, if you would prefer, you may arrange your own interpreter. If you are doing this, please let us know when lodging your appeal or as soon as possible before the hearing.
Please note that all information received for appeals will be shared with the Independent Appeals Panel Members hearing your case, and the Independent Clerk doing the administrative work.