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Category : Education > School admissions

Decision : Upheld

Decision date : 20 Jun 2016

Summary

A woman complains that there was fault in the way the independent appeals panel considered her daughter's appeal for a place in a reception class.

Finding

The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.

Recommendations

The council should offer a fresh appeal with a new panel and clerk to the woman and the other three appellants.

The council should also:

  • remind panel members and clerks that appellants must be given an opportunity to put their individual cases to the panel;
  • remind panel members and clerks that panels must consider appellants' individual cases when considering the reasonableness of the admissions authority's decision to refuse a place;
  • ensure that, although panels are limited in what they may take into account, appellants are told that they may forward any evidence they may wish in support of their appeals;
  • update its procedure documents to reflect the above; and
  • arrange any appropriate training.

The council has agreed to these recommendations. The woman was offered a fresh appeal, but chose not to pursue this as her daughter is now settled in school.

Ombudsman satisfied with council's response: 3 October 2016

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