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If you are unsuccessful in your application for a place at a school, you have the right of appeal to an appeal panel that is independent of the Local Authority (LA) and the school. The decision of the panel is binding on the LA, the school and parents.
The LA and school governing bodies will have done everything they can to meet the preference of parents whose applications were received by the due date in the first allocation of places within the limits of 'efficient education and the efficient use of resources'.
Each school has a limit on the number of pupils it can accomodate. This means that some children may not be offered a place at their preferred school because there is no room. The LA and schools need to consider:
The Local Authority's calendar of dates for appeals for Community and Voluntary Controlled schools|.
If the school is a Community or Voluntary Controlled school you should apply for an appeal form from the Admissions Services team on 01202 456223 or from this address:
Customer Service Centre
St Stephens Road
If the school is a Foundation, Trust or Voluntary Aided School or an Academy then you need to apply directly to the school.
As soon as possible, you will be informed of the date, time and place at which the appeal panel will meet. The panel consists of three people who are not connected to the authority or school concerned.
You are encouraged to attend and speak at the panel hearing if you wish. You may bring a friend to help you put your points to the panel.
The appeal panel will pay particular attention to parental circumstances which support your application for the particular school, together with the Authority's reason for refusal. The appeals panel is not bound by the admission authority's published criteria and has the power to exceed the school's published admission number. The panel's decison is binding on the LA, the school and the parents.
When an appeal is dismissed, you cannot appeal against the decision of the panel. However, if you have a complaint about the way in which your appeal has been handled, and you feel you have suffered injustice as a result of maladministration, you can complain to the commission for Local Administration known as the Ombudsman.
The local authority will not consider a second or subsequent appeal for a community school in the same academic year unless you can prove that there has been a significant change in your circumstances. The final decision as to whether this change warrants a fresh appeal will be made by the council's head of law and administration. Such a change could include:
All requests linked to a change in circumstances should be sent to the Admissions Services Team at the Town Hall.
If your child has a statement of special aducational needs and you are unsuccessful in your application for a place at a school, you do have a right of appeal. You may also wish to contact the Bournemouth Parent Partnership Service on 01202 451970 for impartial, independent information, guidance and support to parents and carers with special educational needs.
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