Use of remote technology in school admission and exclusion appeal hearings: Consultation

Closed 12 Mar 2024

Opened 16 Jan 2024



Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, education authorities and education appeal committees faced significant challenges in meeting the statutory requirements of the legislation that apply to school admission and exclusion appeal hearings. In response to their concerns amended regulations provided education authorities and appeal committees with greater flexibility, to enable appeal hearings to continue to be heard in a timely way. This included amending the timescales and deadlines relating to appeals and giving flexibility for appeal hearings to take place by telephone or video conference, or where all parties agree wholly in writing, as well as in-person.

As the threat to public health from COVID-19 eased, the amended timescales and deadlines returned to those in place prior to the pandemic. However, the freedom for appeal hearings to be conducted remotely has remained.  

We have regularly reviewed the operation of the school admission and exclusion appeals system with education authorities and parent representative bodies. The feedback from stakeholders has been positive about the use of remote means for appeal hearings.

We propose that the use of remote means for appeal hearings become a permanent feature of the school admission and exclusions system.

Purpose of this consultation

We hope to gather more evidence on the direct views of parents and children and young people about the arrangements for using remote means in appeal hearings, as well as other interested stakeholders.

It is our intention to bring any changes into force in time for the spring 2025 school admissions round.

We invite interested parties to consider the proposal and provide their insights through this consultation by 12 March 2024.  

Your input is important to us and will contribute to shaping the future of school admission and exclusion appeal processes in Scotland. We appreciate your time and commitment to enhancing the transparency, fairness, and accessibility of our education system. 

Thank you for your participation. 


Read the consultation paper. The consultation paper contains full background information for this consultation. You may find it useful to read or refer to while responding.

School admissions definition

School admission appeals are also often referred to as "placing request" appeals. A placing request refers to a formal application made by a parent or guardian to request a specific school placement for their child. This may be a school other than the one designated for the child's residential area (often known as the catchment area school). Placing requests are subject to approval by the local education authority. Decisions are based on factors such as school capacity and the individual circumstances of the child. If parents disagree with the decision they can request an appeal hearing. 

Useful information about responding to this consultation

As you complete your response, each page will provide the option to 'Save and come back later' at the bottom. This means you can save your progress and return to the consultation at any time before it closes. If you don't use this feature and leave the consultation midway through, your response will be lost.

Once you have submitted your response, you can enter your email address to get a pdf copy of your answers sent to you.

On the 'About You' page at the end of this consultation, organisations will have the opportunity to tell us more about their work and/or how their response was informed.

After the consultation has closed there will be a few months delay before any responses are published. This is because we must check any responses to be published abide by our Terms of Use.

A analysis report will usually be published some months after the consultation has closed. This report will summarise the findings based on all responses submitted. It will be published on the Scottish Government website and you may be notified about it if you choose to share your email address with us. You can also join our consulation mailing list where we regularly list newly published analysis reports (as well as new consultations).



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