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conducting lawful admissions appeals during the COVID-19 outbreak

15 April 2020

Please note: the information contained in our legal updates are correct as of the original date of publication

Traditionally, the summer term is the busiest period for school admission appeals. Despite the current coronavirus outbreak, 2020 is expected to be no different.

However, strict social distancing measures mean that all admission authorities must adapt their processes to ensure that families who submit an appeal are not disadvantaged and are able to have their appeal heard by an independent panel in a fair and transparent manner.

To help schools and academies prepare for such appeals our experts have put together guidance on conducting admission appeal hearings during the outbreak and a series of support services. In line with the more relaxed regulation expected to be announced by the Department for Education on 24 April, the two main methods through which hearings should be conducted are:

  1. Paper
  2. Video or telephone conferencing.

To help you understand your statutory obligations and prepare for any admissions appeals that come your way we have scheduled a webinar on Friday 24 April at 2.30pm. During the webinar Partners Richard Freeth and Dai Durbridge will:

  • Highlight key elements of the School Admission Appeals Code 2012 and review any regulations and guidance from the Department for Education on conducting appeals during COVID-19.
  • Outline the process and main options for conducting appeals remotely.
  • Set out how you can ensure hearings conducted remotely or on paper are fair and effective.
  • Explain how we can help you prepare school staff, admission appeal clerks and panel members for the new processes.

Register for the webinar here.

training and events

14Oct

ISBL regional Conference Sheffield

Browne Jacobson’s Associate Sophie Jackson discusses the rise in growth of SEN and the impact of this on schools. Please note that this event was postponed from June 2020.

View event

19Nov

CST Inaugural Annual Conference Hilton Metropole, NEC, National Exhibition Centre, Pendigo Way, Marston Green, Birmingham, B40 1PP

Come and meet the team at CST’s Inaugural Annual Conference this summer. Partner Nick MacKenzie will also be delivering a workshop on governance leadership.

View event

focus on...

Upcoming webinars

Negotiating contracts under PPN04/20 with Bishop Fleming

This webinar will explore the potential pitfalls of contract negotiation and the regularity implications for Academies. After the webinar you will be well prepared to ensure that you have commercially competitive contracts, that also comply with the Academies Financial Handbook.

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Keeping children safe 2020 – managing allegations and agency staff

Our leading HR and safeguarding experts Emma Hughes and Dai Durbridge will provide you with all the information you need in order to meet your statutory obligations in the on-demand recording.

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Back to School - preparing for the reopening of schools in September

Schools in England were closed other than to the children of key workers and children who are classified as vulnerable from 20th March as part of the management of the coronavirus pandemic. As part of the relaxation of lockdown measures many primary schools in England began a phased reopening for pupils from 15th June.

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Legal updates

Admissions during Covid-19

Whilst the Department for Education (DfE) has implemented statutory changes to elements of the frameworks relating to admission appeals, exclusions and special educational needs, there have been no changes relating to the legislation relating to admissions.

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The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

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