Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): school placing requests and appeal hearings - guidance for local authorities

Published: 8 Jun 2020

Guidance for local authorities and education appeal committees on temporary arrangements for placing requests and appeal hearings due to COVID-19.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): school placing requests and appeal hearings - guidance for local authorities


The guidance is non-statutory and explains the temporary changes to The Education (Appeal Committee Procedures) (Scotland) Regulations 1982 (“the 1982 Regulations”), the Education (Placing in Schools Etc.–Deemed Decisions) (Scotland) Regulations 1982 (“the Deemed Decisions Regulations”) and the Additional Support for Learning (Placing Requests and Deemed Decisions) (Scotland) Regulations 2005 (“the 2005 Regulations”). It also provides guidance for managing the placing request process and appeals processes during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak for placing requests made under section 28A of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, placing requests made under the Education (Additional Support Needs) (Scotland) Act 2004 and exclusions of pupils.

It provides guidance to education authorities and education appeal committees who are required to comply with the above regulations.  

We have made emergency regulations (Education (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Regulations 2020  and The Education (Deemed Decisions) (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2020) which temporarily amend the above regulations to give education authorities and education appeal committees additional flexibility when dealing with appeals during the outbreak, and to ensure that placing request and appeal timetables work in light of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The amendments are intended to be temporary and the Deputy First Minister has written to the Education and Skills Committee to set out his intention to revoke these regulations by 28 February 2021.

The vast majority of the requirements in the 1982 Regulations and Education (Scotland) Act 1980 (“the 1980 Act”) and Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 (“the 2004 Act”) remain unchanged and must still be complied with.

In addition, and for the avoidance of doubt, references in this guidance to placing requests include requests made under the 1980 Act and the 2004 Act (where the appeal route lies to the Education Appeal Committee and not the First Tier Tribunal for Scotland, Health and Education Chamber); and the guidance relating to education appeal committee procedure applies to appeals, to Education Appeal Committees, against those placing request refusals and also to appeals against exclusion decisions heard by the Education Appeal Committee. Further information specific to placing requests for pupils with additional support needs appeals and exclusion appeals appear in Annexes A and B respectively.   

The Choosing a School document is still available on-line and has been supplemented with additional information about arrangements for the 2020 admissions round. Local authorities can continue to signpost parents to these documents.