A guide to school admission appeals using Microsoft Teams

This guide is designed to assist all participants with remote school admission appeals.

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 five to 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. 

Problems joining the meeting

11. If you have problems accessing the meeting using the link provided, please contact the appeals team immediately for assistance.

Meeting etiquette


12. 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 two to three seconds before other attendees can hear the person talking.

Video appeals

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


14. 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

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

16. 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

17. 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

18. 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

19. 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.

If meeting participant(s) drop out of meeting and it is not possible to reconnect within a reasonable time period

20. Where a participant drops out and it is not possible to reconnect within a reasonable time period, the panel will adjourn the hearing and you will be notified by the clerk of revised arrangements for the appeal as soon as possible.

21.  Where an appellant fails or is unable to take part in the hearing at the arranged time and it is impractical to offer an alternative date the appeal may go ahead and be decided on the written information submitted.

At the end of the appeal

22. At the end of the hearing, the appellant(s) and the admission authority representative(s) will leave at the same time. Please click on the red phone symbol to leave the meeting.

If you have dialled into the meeting, end the phone call as normal.