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.
The Ombudsman upheld the complaint and found fault causing injustice.
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