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Tuesday, 05 May 2020 20:02

Coronavirus and School Appeals in Kent and Medway: Part Five


Kent County Council (2019 Secondary Appeals: KCC Panels - Grammar 1308 Appeals, Non-selective schools, 508 Appeals; Other Independent Panels - Grammar 674 Appeals, Non-selective schools, 219 Appeals) 
As I have explained previously, the problems in Kent are most acute in grammar schools, whose appeals tend to happen first in the cycle.
Update 13th May: The Kent County Council website has now been updated to include a small amount of further advice:  and 
Appeal hearing 
'Independent panel members will be responsible for deciding on an individual school basis how appeals are heard'
'The hearing lets you explain to an independent appeal panel why you think your child should be given a place at the school and lets the school explain why it could not offer your child a place. Due to the current social distancing coronavirus restrictions, the appeals process will require adjustments which will vary from school to school. The panel chair will contact those who have appealed directly to inform them how the appeal will be heard' 
As appeals for Kent schools will be conducted by a variety of Admission Authorities, whose appeals will be heard by Independent Appeal Panels run by a different variety of organisations,  it is difficult to prescribe further. Some of the few Local Authorities that have publicly ventured further, appear to heading for difficulties.  
I was surprised to see that the advice delegates decision making further to each Panel to decide on the process, but a further reading of the regulations suggests this is in order. However, I suspect that in practice the decision will rest with the Admission Authority. We await developments; any news would be welcome!
End of Update

Letters sent to parents at several Kent grammar schools confirm that:

“The appointed Independent Clerk will liaise by tele/videoconferencing with the three panel members, each of whom will have a copy of your documents. Notes of discussions will take place by the Independent Clerk, with final decisions about all cases being made by the Panel only after ALL appeals have been heard.” 

You will find a copy of the full letter here

This appears to be the simplified version of the written submission appeal structure laid down by government that I previously advocated, but which appears consistent with the regulations and which eliminates the multiple exchanges between the various parties spelled out here. It is also the approach being adopted by at least one of the three other main appeals groups that operate across Kent and Medway.

You may wish to look at the advice I give in previous articles as to what additional evidence to submit in such a case, here and here

Last modified on Monday, 25 May 2020 15:37


  • Comment Link Saturday, 09 May 2020 06:06 posted by Ben Freed

    In other words, it is all a great mess and we are left wondering if we will ever get a fair hearing.

  • Comment Link Thursday, 07 May 2020 06:10 posted by Jan Yardley

    You appear satisfied with the KCC model. Can you see it being widely accepted. PETER: I believe that for many schools with large numbers of appeals or which are grammar schools, it is the only way forward. We will only know for certain when there are examples in practice.

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