What Actions to Take if Your Appeal Fails
It has to be said that not all appeals succeed and as such you can find yourself in the unenviable position of not having placed your child at the school of your choice and also having lost your appeal.
If this happens you are entitled by law to appeal again but this process can sometimes take longer than the initial appeal and you may find that it is harder to attempt to affect a satisfactory appeal a second time around if you have nothing further to add to your case.
In this scenario it may be wise to look again at the options available to you regarding other schools in your catchment area – especially if there are other schools available and you have been appealing against the decision to have your child placed in your first choice school.
Having said that it is sometimes the case that the Independent Appeal Panel may feature a different set of individuals from your first hearing and they may favour your appeal in a different light but it must be stressed that normally an appeal panel decision is binding and it is very difficult to have this overturned. There must be exceptional circumstances or a degree of new evidence brought to the fore that will influence a different outcome.
Deciding on Another SchoolYour local education authority will obviously understand your reasons for wanting your child placed at a particular school but if there are no places available and the appeals panel have judged in their favour it would be wise to go through the selection process again and perhaps decide upon a different school.
If this is the best option for you the local education authority will be more than happy to help you with this process and will not be prejudiced against you. After all you are acting solely with your child’s best interests at heart and they will appreciate this.
Appealing AgainYou can of course if no other school is available – depending entirely on your location – seek the advice of a solicitor who can advise on what steps to take. And there are also organisations that deal with school appeals and can offer advice on how to proceed.
It is worth stressing however that attempting a second appeal will – or could – slow down the process of having your child placed so you must decide whether or not you think a second appeal will proffer a different result. Again a solicitor or member of an organisation specialising in school appeals will be able to give you advice on whether a second appeal will prove fruitful or not.
Should you decide to appeal again you can ask for your evidence to be reviewed and you can try to accumulate new evidence which will strengthen your case. You could do this by speaking to the school in question and asking them to speak on your behalf or submit a written statement as to why they feel your child would be ideally suited at that particular school if the decision is based purely on the decision on the local education authority. Again it is worth stressing that not all appeal panels grant a second hearing if the decision of the first hearing seems to be rigid and no solution can be reached.
You will find that most appeal panels will suggest that you try and source an alternative school for your child so it is wise to investigate all other schools within your area – if there are any – before attempting a second appeal.