Appeal hearings are informal and are generally held local to your home town or area.
First the schools representative, known as the presenting officer, will explain why it was not possible to offer a place at the school. The presenting officer will need to show to the panel that further admissions to the school will result in 'prejudice to the provision of efficient education or efficient use of resources.'
You will be invited to ask questions about the case presented and to challenge this view. The independent appeals panel will also ask questions of the presenting officer.
You will then have the opportunity to present your case, including any personal information that you feel is relevant. The presenting officer will then be invited to ask questions and the panel will also ask questions. No other parents will be present when you present your own case.
You do not have to attend the hearing although many parents choose to do so. The panel will allow you to be accompanied by a friend or to be represented although government advice is that legal representation should not normally be necessary.
Whilst appeals can be considered on the basis of your written information alone, the presence of a parent or representative at a hearing will normally enable the panel to obtain more information about a child's circumstances than is contained in written information alone. Such information, which a parent may not have considered to be relevant when he or she filled in the appeal application form or submitted documents in support of the appeal, could have a bearing on the outcome of the appeal.
If you are unable to attend the appeal then it is important that you send in the fullest possible information about your reasons for wanting a place at the school in question.