This guide provides information for parents/carers/students who may be considering whether to appeal against the decision by Camden School for Girls not to allocate a place in the sixth form. The information given relates to appeals for entry to Year 12 in September 2023. Please keep and refer to this guide in advance of your appeal. It contains useful information about how the hearing is conducted.
1. Should I make an appeal?
Before appealing you should carefully consider whether the problems you/your child will face, if they do not go to Camden School for Girls, would be greater than the problems caused for the school by an extra sixth form student.
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 sixth form 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 you/your child the right to a place at a particular sixth form. There is no guarantee that your appeal will be successful. If you are appealing, you should make arrangements for an alternative sixth form place in case your appeal is unsuccessful. Accepting a place at another sixth form does not affect your right to appeal.
2. How do I make an appeal?
You should fill out the form available on the school’s website 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 reply should be returned to Duska Cutler, the appeals administrator. You can email your form or post it to her at the school. Her details are at the end of this guide.
You should include in your submission any supporting documents which you wish the Appeal Panel to consider (e.g. medical reports) by Thursday 31 August 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 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 during the week commencing Monday 18 September 2023.
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 should let us 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:
a) at least one person with experience in education who is acquainted with educational conditions in the area, or who is the parent of a registered pupil at a school.
b) at least one lay member. Lay members are people without personal experience in the management or provision of education in any school (though it is permissible to use people who have experience as governors of other schools, or who have been involved in education in any other voluntary capacity).
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. This statement will also give the reasons why the school, on behalf of the Governors, has not given you/your child a place.
Appeal Panel members will also be sent copies of all written information that you and the school have provided.
6. Who will attend the hearing?
The following people will be present at the Appeal Hearing:
1. The Appeal Panel Members (see section 4)
2. The School’s Representative
3. The Student / Student’s Representative (s)
4. The Independent Clerk
If at all possible, parent(s)/carer(s)/student should attend personally, as the student’s representative, to put forward their case. You know your case best and will be able to provide information which is essential for the Appeal Panel to make a balanced decision at the end of the appeal.
You may, if you wish, bring along a friend to support you or a representative who can present your case. In either case, you should let the appeal administrator know in advance who is accompanying you. This person can be an 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 the school. If there are special arrangements you require to enable the hearing to proceed (for example you are disabled or require an interpreter) you should inform the appeal administrator.
If you do not attend the hearing, your case will be heard in your absence and the Appeal Panel will carefully consider all the written evidence before coming to a decision.
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 parent(s)/carer(s)/ student are able to put forward their/their son’s/daughter’s case.
The hearing will follow this order:
I The Case for Camden School for Girls
A The School’s Representative will explain how the Admissions Criteria were applied to your son’s/daughter’s application and why a place has not been allocated at Camden School for Girls.
B Questioning of the School’s Representative by the Student / Student’s Representative (s)
C Questioning of the School’s Representative by the Panel
II The Parent(s)/Carer(s)/Student’s case
A The parent(s)/carer(s)/student will explain why they believe Camden School for Girls should have allocated a place in the sixth form to them/their son/daughter and provide information to support their appeal.
B Questioning of the parent(s)/carer(s)/student by the School’s Representative.
C Questioning of the parent(s)/carer(s)/student by the Panel.
III Summing up by the School’s Representative.
IV Summing up by the Parent(s)/Carer(s)/Student
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:
i) comply with the mandatory requirements of the School Admissions Code and Part 3 of the SSFA 1998
ii) were correctly applied in the individual’s case, and decides whether “prejudice” would arise were the child to be admitted. If this is proved, the panel moves on to the second stage.
10. When will I hear about the outcome 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 5 working days of the final appeal.
11. 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 DfEs School Admission Appeals Code 2022.
When you have read this guide, if you still wish to appeal, please send your forms to:
Clerk to Governors
C/O Camden School for Girls
London NW5 2DB
Or email the completed forms to: firstname.lastname@example.org