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FAQs - recovering the costs of admission appeals from the EFA

10 February 2014

Academies can recover the cost of some of its admission appeals directly from the Education Funding Agency (EFA). Below, we tell you how to do it and answer some of the questions you may have.

1. Can all schools and academies claim back the cost of appeals from the EFA?

It is only academies that can claim back these costs from the EFA. For maintained schools, local authorities are required to allocate reasonable funds to governing bodies of maintained schools which are their own admission authorities to meet admission appeals costs, including training for panel members.

2. Can the cost of every appeal be claimed back?

Funding to help meet the costs of up to 20 appeal panel hearings is included in an academy’s budget.

Where an academy has heard more than 20 appeal panel hearings, academies can make a claim to the EFA for £180 per admission appeal panel hearing above the 20 for which funds are already provided.

This means that if an academy is hears 50 appeals it can reclaim up to £5,400 from the EFA for the additional 30 appeals (£180 x 30).

3. How can Browne Jacobson help?

Our experienced team are able to help in several ways including taking the role as presenting officer or clerk for a full day hearing multiple cases, saving you time and money:

  • review and recommendations on pupil’s appeal case - £50 per case
  • review and recommendations your prejudice statement - £250
  • act as Presenting Officer or clerk for all your appeals – from £750 per day for 3 or more days, or £900 per day
Please use the form to the right to contact us and we will get straight back to you.

4. Does it apply to all appeals or just the appeals at the normal point of entry?

The Department for Education (DfE) website is not clear on this point. The Admission Appeals Code differentiates between ‘normal admissions’, ‘late admissions’ and ‘in-year admissions’ for procedural purposes but not insofar as the costs that are incurred.

We have asked the DfE to clarify the position and will let you know the outcome as soon as possible.

5. Are all associated costs recoverable or are they limited to room hire costs and panel expenses?

The DfE website simply states that “Where there have been more than 20 appeal panel hearings, academies can make a claim to the EFA. £180 can be claimed…”

It does not put a limit on the type of costs that can be recovered and the EFA does not require that level of detail in the evidence it requires from the academy when making a claim.

6. Does this mean we could recover legal costs associated with appeals?

That would seem to be the case, and perhaps something academies should consider to strengthen their appeals cases. As well as advice and support prior to the hearings, academies could recover the costs of lawyers acting as the presenting officer in their appeals.

7. What do I need to do to recover these costs and what documentation do I need?

To make a claim, you need to submit an invoice and covering letter to the DfE setting out:

  • the total number of admission appeal panel hearings held in the academic year; and
  • the total number of admission appeal panel hearings for which the academy wants to make a claim i.e. the number above the 20 that are already funded through the academy’s budget
  • that the claim is a true and fair one.

You should also keep a record of the costs incurred for auditing purposes.

8. What do I need to do next?

Secondary academies will know by early April how many appeals they are likely to face and for primary academies it will be late in May. Once you know, you will be able to calculate how much you could recover from the EFA and then you can decide whether you want to incur costs up to that amount in managing the appeals. That way, you may be able to keep your appeals cost neutral.

and finally…

Once you have heard all your appeals you can then submit an invoice for £180 for your 21st appeal onwards.

Click here to download and print these FAQs

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