The Department for Education (DfE) has announced new regulations which will relax admission appeal procedures from today (24th April 2020) and last until 31st January 2021.
The DfE recognise that due to the current restrictions of social distancing measures and school/academy closures that schools and academies may be unable to meet the current admissions appeals requirements and deadlines.
The updated regulations will apply to any appeals that have not been concluded at, or any new appeals submitted before 31st January 2021.-
The new regulations confirm that:
- panel hearings can take place by telephone or video conference (where everyone can access the necessary equipment and the appellant can participate) or by a paper-based appeal where the appellant fails to, or is unable to take part in, and where it is impractical to offer an alternate date, and everyone is able to make representations in writing;
- appeal panels can have 2 members; and
- deadlines have been revised to require at least 28 calendar days’ written notice of a new appeal deadline, at least 14 calendar day’s written notice of an appeal hearing and for decision letters to be sent within 7 calendar days of the hearing.
Further guidance will be prepared and issued by the DfE over the coming months in support of these new and temporary regulations.
A full version of the updated regulations and current guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/admission-appeals-for-school-places/coronavirus-covid-19-school-admission-appeals
The new regulations and guidance should provide you with a more manageable admissions appeals process during this restrictive time and we will provide a further update when further guidance is published.
If you would benefit from any support to help your school or academy manage your appeals procedures please do not hesitate to contact us.