Appeals Panel hearings are informal and are held, so far as possible, fairly local to your home town or area. First, the representative from the Local Authority will explain why it was not possible to meet your request for a place at your preferred school. You can ask questions if you wish. The Panel may also ask questions.
You will then have an opportunity to present your case and answer any questions about it from the Panel and the Local Authority's representative. No other parents will be present when you present your own case.
You do not have to attend although many parents choose to do so. The Panel will allow you to be accompanied by a friend or to be represented although government advice is that legal representation should not normally be necessary.
Whilst Appeals can be considered on the basis of your written information alone, the presence of a parent or representative at a hearing will normally enable the Panel to obtain more information about a child's circumstances than is contained in written information alone. Such information, which a parent may not have considered to be relevant when he or she filled in the Appeal application form or submitted documents in support of the Appeal, could have a bearing on the outcome of the Appeal.
If you are unable to attend the Appeal then it is important that you send in the fullest possible information about your reasons for wanting a place at the school in question.