It is important that, wherever possible, you attend the appeal hearing. It is very helpful for the panel hearing your appeal to listen to why you want your child to attend a particular school. You can also bring someone to help you make your case, such as a friend, relative or other advisor. You are encouraged to attend appeal hearings, although it is possible for an appeal to be heard in your absence if you are unable to attend.
A representative will attend to explain the position for the school. This is usually a council officer if the appeal is being handled by the council, but it could also be a diocesan official for a faith school, or a headteacher or other member of school staff.
A clerk is present at all times during the hearing. Their job is to make sure the correct procedures are followed and that the appeal hearings are carried out fairly. They take notes of the hearing for the use of the panel only, and advise on matters of procedure. They play no part in deciding your appeal and will remain with the panel when they make their decision. At no time will either you or the school’s representative be left alone with the panel.