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The easing of COVID-19 related restrictions and positive impact of the vaccine programme means that the extended deadlines for local authorities that were in place in 2020 and 2021 for the school admissions and appeals process have been removed. These gave local authorities and appeal committees longer periods for key steps in the process, but these extensions have now been reversed returning to the shorter deadlines that applied previously.
The flexibility to hold appeal hearings by video or telephone conference or in writing, if all parties agree, as well as in-person, continues to apply.
Where an appeal committee proposes to hold a hearing by telephone or video conference, it should ensure that each participant has access to video or telephone facilities allowing them to engage in the hearing at all times and present their cases fully, and that the appeal can be heard fairly and transparently.
Parents have the right to be represented at a hearing, whether it is conducted in-person or remotely, and the appellant may be accompanied by up to three others (including any person representing the appellant).