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Panel meetings

What do I need to bring with me to the panel?

The following checklist will help you to make sure that you have everything necessary with you at the meeting:

  • The information sent to you by the clerk, including the Admission Authority’s case.
  • A copy of all information that you have sent to the Clerk about your appeal
  • Any more information which you think will help your appeal.

What happens at the panel meeting?

Before the meeting starts the Clerk will check that all parents/guardians have arrived and then briefly explain the process to you. The process will depend on whether you are part of a group appealing for the same school or are a single appeal for a school. The letter inviting you to the panel meeting will tell you whether you are a part of a group or a single appeal.

Information detailing each process can be found below:

 


 

Group hearing process

All parents/guardians will be invited into the meeting room at the same time.

The Presenting Officer and school representative will also be invited into the meeting at this point.

Stage 1

The Panel Chairman will introduce the Panel members and Clerk and explain that the meeting will follow a set procedure, but will be kept as informal as possible. Panel members are very aware that for parents this is very much a “one off” event and therefore they may be nervous about the process and not sure what to expect.

The Admission Authority will then be asked to present their case. This is the case that you will have already received a written copy of from the Admissions Authority.

The Panel and parent(s)/guardian(s) are then given the chance to ask questions about the Admission Authority’s case

Note: These should be general questions about things such as the school itself or the
Admission Policy, not specific questions about your child.

Everyone except the Panel and Clerk will then be asked to leave the meeting.
The Panel will then make its First Stage decision i.e:

  • Whether the Published Admission Arrangements have been correctly applied
  • Whether the admission of any more children to the school would “prejudice” the interests of other children at the school

If the answer to both is ‘no’ the Panel can agree to admit more children to the
particular year group.

If the answer to both is “yes” the Panel will then invite parents back into the meeting on a case by case basis. These are usually arranged in surname alphabetical order.

Stage 2

The Presenting Officer and school representative are also invited back to the meeting at this point.

You will then be invited back to the meeting (no other child’s parents will be invited back at the same time) to put your case to the Panel. Each case generally takes approximately 20 minutes. The Panel will already be familiar with all of the written information you sent to us, but they will give you the opportunity to say anything you wish. It is important that you say whatever you think is relevant to your case. The Clerk and Chairman will both want to be sure that you don’t leave the appeal thinking that you’ve left something unsaid.

The Presenting Officer will then be given the opportunity to ask you questions.

You and the presenting officer will then be invited to go over the main points of your cases.

The Panel can ask questions of any party at any time during the process.

At the end of questions and summing up, the Chairman will summarise your case and check whether you are satisfied that you have had the opportunity to raise all the issues you wanted to and if there are any additional points you would like to make.

Decisions

You, the Presenting Officer and school representative will be asked to leave the meeting. After all cases have been heard, the Panel will make its decisions.

 


 

Single case hearing

Stage 1

The Panel Chairman will introduce the Panel members and Clerk and explain that the meeting will follow a set procedure, but will be kept as informal as possible. Panel members are aware that for parents this is a “one off” event and therefore they may be nervous about the process and not sure what to expect.

The Admission Authority will then be asked to present their case. This is the case that you will have already received a written copy of.

The Panel and parent/guardian are then given the chance to ask questions about the Admission Authority’s case.

These should be general questions about things such as the school itself or the Admission Policy. Not specific questions about your child.

Stage 2

You will then be invited to put your case to the Panel. A case generally takes approximately 20 minutes. The Panel will already be familiar with all the written information you sent to us, but they will give you the opportunity to say anything you wish. It is important that you say whatever you think is relevant to your case. The Clerk and Chairman will both want to be sure that you don’t leave the appeal thinking that you’ve left something unsaid.

To remind you- it is important that you address the following points:

  • Whether the admission of an additional child/additional children would breach the infant class size limit
  • Whether the admission arrangements follow the School Admissions Code and the admissions law.
  • Whether the admissions arrangements were correctly and impartially applied in the case of your children.
  • whether the decision to refuse you a place was one which a reasonable admission authority would have made in the circumstances of your case.

The Presenting Officer will then be given the opportunity to ask you questions.
You and the Presenting Officer will then be invited to go over the main points of your cases.

The Panel can ask questions of any party at any time during the process.
At the end of questions and summing up, the Chairman will summarise your case and check whether you are satisfied that you have had the opportunity to raise all the issues you wanted to and if there are any additional points you would like to make.

Decisions

You and the Presenting Officer and school representative will be asked to leave the meeting. The Panel will then make its decision.

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