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How to: run an effective admissions appeal panel


At a glance

This module equips clerks, panel members, and chairs with the skills and legal acumen needed for effective admissions appeal roles, fostering confidence and professional development.

You will cover:

navigate complexities in roles amidst refusals, addressing legal expectations and challenges
grasp key laws, practices, and roles, emphasizing the importance of suitable training
step-by-step approach using a case study, aiding effective role fulfilment
access additional study areas, questions, and templates for informed and prepared roles
Study time

45 minutes

Certificate upon completion

Module description

Involvement as a clerk, panel member or chair in an admissions appeal can be challenging work. A refusal of a place at a first-choice school will often and understandably prompt parents and their children to challenge using the right of appeal but there may be justifiable reasons for the refusal.

Adjudicating an appeal requires an understanding of the law and practice of admissions and appeals as well as the roles of those involved and the law expects that those who do to have received suitable training.

Using a step-by-step walk-through approach and a case study of an appeal that requires application of the 2-stage decision process, this module provides an introduction as to how panel members, panel chairs and clerks can fulfill their roles effectively. It also highlights where further study may be needed and provides useful examples of questions to ask and templates to use.

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Preview slides

    • “I was unclear about the two stage process but working through an example really helped. The checking of understanding at different stages was very useful.”

      User review

    • “Being able to go back over information is good as well as the resource content.”

      User review

    • "Clear and logical instructions and advice; links to further reading and statutory guidance; case study was particularly helpful."

      User review

      Who developed this module?

      Paul Aber
      Paul Aber

      Head of Training Development

      Paul leads and manages NGA’s face-to-face training, e-learning and development programmes. This includes recruiting, training and managing NGA’s team of consultants and trainers. Paul has many years’ experience of governance, including in maintained schools and academy trusts.

      Michael Barton
      Michael Barton

      Trust Governance Specialist and South West Regional Officer

      Michael specialises in trust governance, co-ordinating NGA's work with multi-academy trusts and producing tailored resources. He also leads NGA's work in the West Midlands, working closely with the region's trusts and local authorities.

      Claire Mitchell

      NGA Consultant

      Claire is an NGA consultant, delivers sessions for NGA Training, and facilitates on the NGA Leading Governance development programmes for chairs and clerks. Claire is passionate about supporting trustees and governors in their volunteer roles, and has a wealth of experience working in academy and maintained school settings. Claire has over a decade of experience within education and skills and has held a number of senior leadership roles within education, including managing ESFA funded learning provision in excess of £10 million for 150+ education and skills providers. Claire also has experience as a designated safeguarding lead.

      Erica Wilson

      NGA Consultant

      Erica is an NGA consultant, delivering training and facilitating the Leading Governance development programme for clerks. Erica trained as a local authority clerk and has been an independent clerk since 2013 and has worked with local authorities and academy trusts, developing and delivering training to clerks. She has extensive experience of clerking panels, disciplinary investigations and has served as a school governor herself.

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