These guidance notes should be read in conjunction with the more detailed notes for parents on the appeals process, and information about group hearings, which set out the statutory admission appeal process.
If you need further clarification of the appeal process, you should contact the appeals team.
These notes are to assist parents where the Academy Trust of Skipton Girls’ High School, as the admission authority, has not been able to comply with parental preference, as their child has not been deemed as being of grammar school standard. The school is wholly selective on the basis of academic ability and the child’s admission would be incompatible with such selection, under the published admission arrangements.
Skipton Girls’ High School is a designated grammar school within North Yorkshire and as such is permitted to select pupils on the basis of academic ability and places may be left unfilled, if there are insufficient eligible applicants.
Statutory admission appeals
All parents/carers have a statutory right of appeal to an independent panel against the refusal of a place for their child at a grammar school for which they have applied, regardless of whether or not their child has been deemed as being of grammar school standard.
Admission appeals for entry into year 7 in September take place after the national offer date (1 March) and therefore, at the date of any admission appeal, it is likely the school will have allocated places up to its published admission number (PAN).
The admission appeal panel can consider an appeal where the parents/carers believe that their child did not perform to their full potential on the day(s) of the entrance tests. This could be because of medical issues, or other factors. This must be supported by parents/carers submitting independent evidence to the admission appeal panel, to support such claims.
The admission appeal panel can only uphold your appeal if it is satisfied:
- that there is evidence to demonstrate that your child is of the required academic standard, for example, school reports giving year 5/year 6 national curriculum scaled scores to support national curriculum test outcomes and previous SAT results, or a letter of support from your child’s current or previous school clearly indicating why your child is considered to be of grammar school ability
- where applicable, that your parental arguments outweigh the admission authority’s case that the admission of additional children would ‘prejudice’ the provision of efficient education, or the efficient use of resources
The admission appeal panel must not devise its own methods to assess your child’s suitability for a grammar school education unrelated to the evidence provided at the hearing.
The admission appeal panel will also consider the following matters, in deciding your child’s appeal:
- whether the admission arrangements (including the area’s co-ordinated admission arrangements) complied with the mandatory requirements of the School Admissions Code and Part 3 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998
- whether those admission arrangements were correctly and impartially applied in your child’s case
- whether the admission of additional children to the school would prejudice the provision of efficient education, or the efficient use of resources
If the admission appeal panel decides there would be prejudice to the provision of efficient education, or the efficient use of resources at the school by making additional admissions, and it is satisfied that there is evidence to demonstrate your child is of the required academic standard, the appeal panel will then go on to the balancing stage. The panel will balance the prejudice to the school in admitting one or more additional pupils (if there are other admission appeals for that school being held) against your reasons for applying for a place at the school.
It should be noted, however, that, even if the admission appeal panel decides there is no prejudice to the provision of efficient education, or the efficient use of resources at the school by making additional admissions, an appeal cannot be upheld unless the panel has also been satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to show that your child has demonstrated the required academic ability for a grammar school education at Skipton Girls’ High School.
Supporting evidence for the appeal
Please note it is your responsibility as parents/carers to obtain and submit appropriate academic or other evidence to support your claim that, despite their test result, your child is suitable for a grammar school education. This may include asking your child’s teacher or headteacher to provide a report or letter and any relevant additional information about your child in advance of your appeal hearing. Any evidence you provide will be circulated to the admission appeal panel and the admission authority representative.
The admission appeal panel will be considering your child’s academic performance within their current school; therefore, you must be prepared to provide information on this for your appeal hearing. For example, their predicted results in any forthcoming national curriculum tests or SATs Tests, key stage 1/2 SATs results, the results of any school based attainment tests, or where they are ranked within their class group. panel members may also explore your child’s interests outside of school where such interests support your claim that your child is suitable for a grammar school education.
Wherever possible, any supporting evidence should be submitted in advance of your appeal hearing, ideally with your admission appeal form. You will be given a deadline for submitting any additional information. The appeal panel has discretion to decide whether or not to consider any evidence submitted late, taking into account the significance of the information and the effect of the possible need to adjourn the appeal.
Headteachers or class teachers do not attend appeals unless the admission authority agrees that there are exceptional circumstances affecting the child concerned (for example, a death in the family).
Please be advised that in your grounds of appeal, you should also include reasons which help you explain to the admission appeal panel why you prefer the school you are appealing for, or why the school allocated would, in your view, be unsuitable for your child.