Admissions Appeals: information for Governing Body ‘presenting officers’
(Please note that advice for parents is attached to the bottom of this page)
The presenting officer is the representative of the admission authority (the governing body) who will be present at the appeal hearing and speak on behalf of the admission authority. Normally this will be the head teacher, or someone with specific responsibility for the admissions process. In most cases there will only be one representative from the school acting as ‘presenting officer’ at an appeal hearing.
The presenting officer must be prepared to explain the governing body’s reasons for refusing admission, and to answer questions from the panel members and the parents about the case being heard, the school and the local coordinated admissions arrangements, clearly and without the use of jargon. The presenting officer must attend throughout the hearing. Where there is more than one appeal being heard (grouped or multiple appeals), the same presenting officer must be at each one.
The admission authority must give the Clerk the following information at least 10 school days before the hearing (unless the parents have waived their right to this notice):
a) a written statement summarising how places at the school were allocated and how the admission arrangements for the school apply to the parents’ application, together with any relevant background information or documents on which they placed substantial reliance (such as the parents’ application form or references from religious ministers). Where distance criteria have been used to allocate places, the statement should demonstrate how this was applied to the parents’ application compared to those offered a place;
b) a written statement summarising the reasons for the decision and attaching a copy of the decision letter, explaining how admission of an additional child would cause prejudice to the provision of efficient education or use of resources, making it clear whether or not the admission authority is defending its decision on the basis of infant class size legislation. The statement should include a summary of the school’s net capacity, and could also include a map or plan of the school if this would be helpful. Please note that panel members cannot ‘tour’ the school to make their own assessment as this could call into question their independence and lead to allegations of lobbying;
c) the relevant extract of the coordinated admissions scheme where this is relevant to the appeal and a statement from the local authority explaining how the scheme was applied;
d) copies of any information or documents that will be supplied to the panel at the hearing, including any documents that have been submitted by parents.
The Clerk will send all the parties, copies of all the information provided in advance of the hearing.
During the hearing, neither the parents nor the presenting officer will be left on their own with the panel. Where any of the parties have previously met each other, care needs to be taken to avoid any impressions that they may be working together.
More information within this section