Most pupils in Powys are allocated a place at their first choice school. If we can’t allocate a place at the preferred school, an alternative school place will be offered. You must then decide whether to accept the place or to appeal against the decision.
If you appeal, we will ask a panel to consider your case. The panel must consist of three to five members appointed by the council, or the governing body of an Aided School from the following categories:
Independent appeal panels must consider each case individually and they cannot limit themselves, in advance, to the admission of any particular number of pupils. The appeal panel works in two stages.
The Factual Stage looks at whether there was a lawful reason to refuse admission; if there was not, the child must be admitted; if there was, the committee moves on to the next stage.
The Balancing Stage looks at the possible negative impact on the school and its pupils if the child is admitted and at the strength of the parents’ case and ‘balances’ them to decide if the child should be admitted.
The decision of the appeal panel is binding on the council and the school governors.
Welsh Government advice states that schools can’t refuse admission to pupils or give them low priority on the grounds that
a) they may disrupt the education of other pupils or
b) because of a belief that the school cannot cater for his/her special educational needs.
These factors will not be used to allocate places.
When dealing with admission appeals under statutory class size legislation, appeal panels do not follow the two-stage process. Instead, an appeal panel can only uphold an appeal if the admission arrangements were not properly implemented or if the decision was not one which a reasonable admission authority would not have made in that case.
We will offer places in our schools up to the admission number. Places granted by the independent appeals panel, following successful appeal, will be in addition to the admission number. If the appeals process leads to the admission of pupils beyond the admission number, we won’t fill any places that are given up until numbers drop below the admission number.