Admissions appeals during the Covid-19 outbreak

The coronavirus outbreak will impact on the ability of admission authorities to carry out admission appeals in the usual way. Regulatory changes are being introduced to enable appeals to continue

Following primary school offer day on 16 April 2020, important regulatory changes are coming into effect to ensure parents and schools can carry out appeals. While the Covid-19 outbreak places restrictions on gatherings of more than two people, the ability of admissions authorities to carry out appeals in their usual way is limited.

Three regulatory changes will come into effect on 24 April 2020 to relax some of the current requirements in the School Admissions Appeals Code 2012 and give admissions authorities the flexibility to carry out appeals in the way which best fits their local circumstances during this unusual time.

  1. Appeals will be able to be heard by telephone or video conference or judged on paper-based submissions where all parties can make their case in writing.
  2. Where one of the three standard panel members needs to withdraw, either temporarily or permanently, it will be possible to proceed with a panel of two.
  3. There is additional flexibility for admission authorities to set new deadlines for submitting appeals, provided that those appealing are given at least 28 calendar days’ written notice of the deadline and at least 14 calendar days’ written notice of an appeal hearing. Wherever possible, decision letters should be sent within seven calendar days of the hearing.

Clerking duties remain the same as in previous years. Where it is not safe to hear appeals in person due to social distancing, the clerk must contact all the parties involved, explain the temporary arrangements and establish whether everyone has the necessary equipment to take part in either a telephone or video conference.

These new regulations are being put into place to support both primary and secondary admission appeals over the summer and into the autumn and will apply until 31 January 2021.

The full guidance was released on 14 April 2020.

Last Updated: 
15 Apr 2020