PLACING REQUEST APPPEALS INFORMATION FOR PARENTS - COVID 19
Due to the current situation with Coronavirus again this year, the Scottish Government has made some changes to the way Placing Request Appeals can be heard. Please refer to the undernoted "parental guidance from the Scottish Government" for 2022.
If you do choose to appeal after reading this advice, Committee Services will inform you of the appeals process.
Although you can appeal in writing, the facility to appeal by email to firstname.lastname@example.org is still available and would help Committee Services to process appeals more efficiently. Where an e-mail address is provided acknowledgement will be by e-mail.
Please provide the following with your appeal:-
Please note, where an e-mail address is provided your acknowledgement will be sent by e-mail.
Published Parental Guidance from the Scottish Government for 2022 - https://www.gov.scot/publications/choosing-school-guide-parents-nov-16/pages/4/
School Placing Requests and Appeals in 2022
The easing of COVID-19 related restrictions and positive impact of the vaccine programme means that the extended deadlines for local authorities that were in place in 2020 and 2021 for the school admissions and appeals process have been removed. These gave local authorities and appeal committees longer periods for key steps in the process, but these extensions have now been reversed returning to the shorter deadlines that applied previously.
The flexibility to hold appeal hearings by video or telephone conference or in writing, if all parties agree, as well as in-person, continues to apply.
Where an appeal committee proposes to hold a hearing by telephone or video conference, it should ensure that each participant has access to video or telephone facilities allowing them to engage in the hearing at all times and present their cases fully, and that the appeal can be heard fairly and transparently.
Parents have the right to be represented at a hearing, whether it is conducted in-person or remotely, and the appellant may be accompanied by up to three others (including any person representing the appellant).
School placing requests in 2022
If you made a placing request by the 15 March 2022 deadline, your local authority must provide a decision in writing by 30 April 2022.
In many cases, you will receive a response sooner than this.
If you do not receive a decision in writing from your local authority by 30 April 2022, it will be deemed that they have refused your request and you will have the right to appeal to an education appeal committee.
If your request was made later than the 15 March 2022 deadline, local authorities have two months to provide a decision in writing. If you do not receive a response within two months, it will be deemed that the local authority has refused your request and you will have the right to appeal.
If your request was made later than the 15 March 2021 deadline, local authorities have two months to provide a decision in writing. If you do not receive a response within two months, it will be deemed that the local authority has refused your request and you will have the right to appeal.
Appeals process in 2022
You have 28 days from the date you received a decision (placing request) from the local authority to submit an appeal. This deadline for submitting an appeal also applies in cases where the local authority is deemed to have refused your placing request.
An appeal committee has 5 days to acknowledge your appeal request. An appeal committee will usually be expected to hold an appeal hearing within 28 days of receipt of the appeal. If your appeal is combined with other appeals to the same school the 28 days will run from the date of the last appeal was received.
If the Committee is unable to hear your case within 28 days due to circumstances beyond its control it will have up to two months to hold the appeal hearing. If the appeal committee does not hold a hearing on your appeal within 2 months, you will be able to appeal to the Sheriff Court.
You must be given 14 days' notice of the hearing date unless you agree to less notice.
Hearings can take place in person through video or telephone conference, or, if all involved agree to it, in writing.
The appeal committee has 14 days from the conclusion of the hearing to inform you of its decision and if you do not receive the decision within this time period, you will be entitled to appeal to the Sheriff Court.
When the Council is not able to give your child a place in the school you want, you are provided with the reason for this by letter.
The 'reason' is one or more of those explained below and allowed by law. There is an extract from both the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 and Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 included at the end of this guidance. However, the following is a summary of the legal reasons of refusal.
The Council does not have to admit your child to the school of your choice if any of the following apply:-