The following is our guide on the legal steps involved in Appeals against Refusal of Placing Request cases.
Many of you out there like me, will be a parent. I’m sure that I don’t only speak for myself when I say that making sure my children have the best education they can possibly get is certainly one of the most important matters for me as a parent and one which is a critical part of my role to ensure their best interests are served at all times However, for some parents simply having to send their kids to a school that as a parent they know is not in the best interests of their child is at times a reality.
The Council system in Scotland creates something known as ‘Catchment Areas’ – that is simply a way of your local council determining which primary of secondary school your son or daughter ought to go to based on your address alone.
This time of year is one which finds many parents choosing to do something about this where that ‘Catchment Area’ placement means their child being placed in a school that they do not consider to be in their child’s best interests. Those parents are making a Placing Request to a Council to have their son or daughter attend another school; a school that they believe is better for their child.
The following list is designed to give you a guide on the legal steps which are involved. These are:
1. Firstly, you must enrol your son or daughter with a school to receive an education, this is the law. This means that, although you might not want them to go to a certain school, you still need to enrol them there on the basis that the school is your Catchment school.
2. Next, if you want your child to go to a different school you have to consider submitting a Placing Request for your school of choice and so you require to identify what school that is.
3. Then to submit a Placing Request for another school then visit the website of the Council within the Catchment area of the school you want your child to go to. Once there you’ll find a very straightforward online form to fill in, and after a few clicks it’ll be complete.
4. From there, the Council will then let you know if your application has been successful or refused.
5. If successful then great. Your child will be able to attend the school you have chosen for them.
6. However if your application is refused then you’ll receive a letter from the Council explaining why. Then you can do one of two things – you can either (A) Appeal the decision or (B) submit another application as per the previous step. Its important that you are aware that if you choose option B, that is to appeal, you cannot submit another application whilst your appeal is ongoing.
7. If you choose to Appeal the decision to refuse your application then it is vital for you to know that you only have 28 days to submit your Appeal to the Council in question.
8. You’ll find on most Council websites an Appeal form. You’ll need to complete this. Most Councils again allow you to submit you Appeal online by email.
9. It is vital for you to know that your Appeal needs to be relevant, factual, honest and always stated in terms which highlight what is in the best interests of your son or daughter and their individual needs. The Appeal Committee will want to know about the circumstances of your son or daughter and why you are Appealing.
10. Once submitted, then you wait for a decision. Once you obtain a decision your Appeal is going to be either granted or refused. If granted, then great.
11. However, if refused again the clock starts ticking as you then only have a further 28 days to submit a further Appeal but this time to your local Sheriff Court.
When you get to this point, this can become a very complex situation and therefore I want you to know that our team of solicitors are on hand to guide you. Simply contact the details below and book in your free consultation with one of our Education Law solicitors. They’ll help you understand the process in more detail and guide you. However you don’t have to wait until you get to that point, we’re happy to hear from you and guide you at any point in the process.
Contact our Education Law Solicitors in Scotland
*Your first one-hour consultation with us is £50 ex. VAT. Should you then instruct us to act for you in the matter within 90 days we will deduct £50 ex. VAT from your fees.