A guide to school admission appeals using Microsoft Teams

Device guide and set Up

1. Please ensure that prior to the remote appeal, your device is charged or preferably plugged into a power source.

2. Please try whenever possible to sit as close as possible to your Wi-Fi router (or preferably have a hard wired connection into your router). Where possible, encourage members of your household not to use large amounts of bandwidth during the appeal (streaming, gaming, downloading) as this may affect the quality of your connection.

3. It is advised that tablets and smartphones are only used to access a remote appeal when a laptop or desktop computer is not available.

4. Wherever possible, please join the meeting 5-10 minutes before the remote appeal is due to begin, this will give time for troubleshooting. You will be asked to wait in the virtual “lobby” area, and you will be admitted into the remote appeal once everyone is present.

Please note that there is a maximum wait time in the lobby of 15 minutes set by Microsoft, which we cannot override. After 15 minutes in the lobby, the meeting organiser can no longer see that you are waiting. Please do not join the meeting more than 15 minutes before the scheduled start time.

If, for any reason, the start time of the appeal is delayed and you think you have been waiting in the lobby for over 15 minutes in total, you may need to leave and re-join the meeting so that the organiser can let you in from the lobby. We apologise in advance should this happen.

Setting the scene at home

5. Participants are asked to ensure that their backdrop is appropriate for the remote appeal. This includes:

  • trying where possible to sit at a desk or table and frame the camera so that you can see your head and shoulders
  • ensuring that you have an appropriate background and are not positioned directly in front of a window (as the light will cause you to look silhouetted)
  • making sure that there are no other distractions in the room, and where possible, if you can ensure that there are no children under the age of 18 years present
  • ensuring that no confidential papers can be seen on your video feed

6. Make sure that you are in a private environment away from other people and cannot be overheard. The child you are appealing for should not be present.

Joining a meeting on Microsoft Teams

7. You should access the remote appeal by using the links or phone numbers provided in the email invitation sent to you by the appeals team. 

8. Video appeals – Go to the email invitation and select the link “Click here to join the meeting”.  (Please see the separate guide to joining an MS Teams meeting for further information.)

9. Phone appeals - If you are dialling in to the remote appeal, then you need to dial the telephone number in the invitation and when prompted, enter the conference ID given within the invitation.

Waiting in the lobby

10. At this stage, you will be admitted to the ‘lobby’. Please be patient while we admit you to the meeting and check your audio and video. The clerk will be notified when you are admitted to the ‘lobby’ and will admit appellants and presenting officers from the admission authority to the appeal all at the same time. 

Meeting etiquette


11. In order to ensure that everyone present at the remote appeal can hear and be heard, when you are not speaking, please place your microphone on mute (this does not apply to phone appeals).  This avoids background noises or feedback from your device being heard during the remote appeal. When you unmute your microphone, there can be a slight delay of 2-3 seconds before other attendees can hear the person talking.

Video appeals

12. If you have webcam access, please keep your webcam on for the duration of the appeal, to show that you are present.


13. The appeal hearing is private. The hearing will not be recorded and recordings or screenshots are not permitted by any party at any point during the appeal. 

The remote appeal

Standard Introduction:

14. Before the appeal commences, the chair or clerk will check that everyone can hear and be heard. 

15. The chair and clerk will provide some introductory information regarding the appeal and process:

  • the chair will introduce everyone taking part in the hearing and explain their roles
  • the clerk will explain some procedural issues relating to the decision letter and notification process and any housekeeping issues
  • the chair will set out the process for the appeal and the running order

16. Once the appeal is underway, the chair will invite participants to present their case or ask questions in turn. 

If meeting participant(s) drop out of meeting or cannot be heard clearly

17. The clerk on the day will monitor and highlight any participant dropouts.  If the participant cannot re-join the remote appeal immediately then the meeting will be adjourned. All participants will be asked to leave the meeting and immediately re-connect to the meeting. Participants should use the same link that was provided for the hearing. Participants will then be placed back in the ‘lobby’. All participants will be re-admitted to the meeting when everyone has successfully re-connected. 

If the meeting has to be paused / adjourned for any reason

18. The clerk will announce an adjournment, including the reason for adjournment and likely time of resumption. All participants will be asked to leave the meeting and re-join at the requested time. Participants should use the same link that was provided for the hearing. Participants will then be placed back in the ‘lobby’. All participants will be re-admitted to the meeting when everyone has successfully re-connected.