Package 1: Review
This involves a complete review of your appeal and the statement of the admissions authority. This will be done initially by e-mail but may also involve telephone contact to resolve any outstanding issues.
The appeal process is a judicial process and is therefore subject to the principles of natural justice. This means that both sides, you, as parents, and the admission authority, will be given the opportunity to submit a written statement; you will also be given the opportunity to question the other side. This latter part is often overlooked by parents in preparing for an appeal.
We will send you a draft statement template for you to complete which will identify the reasons as to why you applied for a place at your preferred school and also any reasons as to why the allocated school may not be suitable.
After we have received your response, the review will suggest any areas where your appeal could be improved and will also suggest issues that you should draw to the attention of the Appeal Panel. It will also identify failures to comply with the Codes on School Admissions and Appeals and the various regulations dealing with school admissions and appeals.
We will, in addition, send you a list of questions to send to the admission authority for them to provide the answers. These answers will then be used to question and challenge the admission authority’s statement.
We will provide a response, which will also show you how to challenge the admission authority’s case and will identify the weaknesses in their statement.
This package provides a unique service that includes unlimited counselling. What this means to you, in practice, is that you can contact School Appeals as many times as you want in order to be satisfied that you have the answers to any outstanding questions and that you feel confident about attending the appeal. We believe that this is an invaluable service for you; School Appeals will prepare you for what might be otherwise quite a daunting experience. The appeal process is a formal process but the appeal panel will try to make the appeal hearing as informal as possible within the formal structure set out in the School Admission Appeals Code.
Package 2: Review, representation & advocacy
£995 + expenses
Many parents will be quite happy, having sought advice, to attend the appeal on their own and will feel confident in being able to present their own case and also to challenge the admission authority’s case through questioning. However, if the school is popular and is substantially oversubscribed, there may well be a significant number of appeals. If this is the case, then it is likely that the appeal panel will hear the admission authority’s case before all of the parents that are appealing. This being the case there could be anything up to one hundred sets of parents that are appealing and you may not be used to speaking in public and may miss the opportunity of asking questions in front of so many people.
To address this situation Package 2 includes all of the services available in Package 1 and, in addition, also includes representation and full advocacy at your appeal. School Appeals will attend the appeal with you and will arrange to meet you for about an hour before the appeal. This will provide the opportunity of resolving any outstanding issues and also to discuss the approach at the appeal hearing. School Appeals will help to present the case in the best possible way to maximise the chances of a successful appeal.
Based on considerable experience, School Appeals knows that Appeal Panel members like to hear from parents at the appeal and so generally, School Appeals will deal with the admission authority’s case by challenging the various issues raised by the authority by way of extensive questioning.
School Appeals will then help you to present your case in the most favourable light to increase the chances of the appeal being successful.
The cost of this package is £995 plus expenses. We promise to keep expenses to the absolute minimum and will be based on standard class train fares and overnight stays at hotels similar to premier inn or travel lodge if this is necessary.
Package 3: Search of 3 schools & counselling
Package 3 involves a school search for three schools to establish what the schools are like and also to determine the likely chances of a successful application. The package will include the following:
School Appeals will look at three schools to assess the suitability for your child. We will look at the ethos of the school to see if it meets your expectations for both you and your child.
School Appeals will also look at the admission criteria for admission and will make an assessment as to the likely chances of a successful application based on the admission criteria and how best you meet it. This will help you to determine the ranking of the schools on your application form. The national closing date for secondary applications is 31 October in each and every year in England; the closing date for primary applications is 15 January. The closing dates for Welsh schools will be established by the local authority in their area.
School Appeals will look at the Ofsted reports to see if any concerns have been expressed about the school either in relation to any of the policies that the school is required to adopt and also any areas of the curriculum that may be a cause for concern.
In addition, School Appeals will also provide an assessment of the school’s academic results and how they compare to other local schools and also the national average.
You will receive a complete report to enable you to make a judgement as to which schools to include on your preference form.
If you are applying for an in year transfer, the role of School Appeals will be the same but the popular schools will already be full and in these circumstances a place will only be offered through the appeals process but this shouldn’t prevent you from making an application.
Unlimited counselling will also be provided so that you will be able to maximise the chances of a successful application.