A stage two appeal involves a review by an independent appeal panel – a stage one appeal must be carried out before a stage two appeal can be considered.
If a parent/guardian or student remains dissatisfied they have the right to make a written request to escalate the matter to stage two, where an independent panel considers written and verbal representations from both the parent/guardian and council officers. Following the appeal hearing, a detailed written notification of the outcome is sent to the parent/guardian, setting out:
- The nature of the decision reached
- How the review was conducted (including the standard followed e.g. Road Safety GB);
- Information about other departments and/or agencies that were consulted as part of the process;
- What factors were considered;
- The rationale for the decision reached;
- Information about the parent/guardians' right to complain to the Secretary of state
Submitting a stage two appeal
Appeals are registered by contacting the Clerk to the Panel in the council's Democratic Services (01628 796319). You can appeal against the result of a stage 1 appeal decision made by the home to school transport team. All appeals must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by post to:
Clerk to the Appeals Panel
Democratic Services Section
Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead
St Ives Road
If you wish to appeal against a decision, you should complete this form:
What happens next
A copy of your appeal form will be forwarded to the council's home to school transport team and a statement will be prepared by them. The statement will detail how the policy has been applied in your case and the reason for the refusal of your application. All written information you have submitted will be circulated to the appeals panel.
Your hearing must be held within 40 working days of receipt of your application form. You will receive at least seven working days notice of the date, time and location of your appeal. With this notice there will be a copy of the information that will be put before the appeal panel and a note of the procedure to be followed at the hearing.
How does the appeal hearing work?
Appeals are determined by an appeals panel. The panel comprises three councillors and meets as and when required - there is no set programme.
The panel considers each case in private and on its merits within the policy adopted by the council. Appeals are timetabled and every effort is made to keep to your appointed time.
You are of course most welcome to attend the appeal panel to put your case and to bring someone with you to assist if necessary. Experience has shown that it is rarely necessary for you to be represented by a solicitor and indeed you should be aware that the council cannot pay any of your costs relating to the appeal. If you are going to be represented or assisted you should let the officer administering your appeal know as soon as possible. A democratic services officer will be at the hearing acting as clerk and as an independent source of advice on the procedure. A representative of the director of operations will attend to put the council's case.
You don't have to come to the appeal if you do not want to. In such cases the appeal will be determined on the basis of the written material submitted. You can submit written material in support of your appeal right up to the appeal date, although it assists if you submit the material earlier.
Appeal hearings are arranged as informally as possible. Although the chairman will decide how the appeal hearing is run, the normal procedure is as follows:
- The chairman will welcome you to the appeal, outline the procedure and introduce the other appeal panel members to you. He/she will also introduce the director of operations representative, who you may well have already met outside the room.
- The director of operations representative will begin by explaining why your child has not been provided with transport assistance. If you or the panel wish to ask any questions on what has been said you can do so.
- The chairman will then ask you to put your case. You will be given as much time as you need, so please use it to your best advantage. It is important to try and make clear why you feel your child should be provided with transport assistance. The appeal panel will have received all the written information you have submitted. The panel and the director of operations representative can then ask you questions if they need any more information.
- The chairman will give the director of operations representative and you the opportunity to sum up your case before you are both asked to leave.
The emphasis is on informality coupled with fairness to ensure you receive a fair and impartial hearing.
The panel's decision on your appeal will be notified to you in writing, normally within seven working days of the meeting. If your appeal has been allowed, an officer from the home to school transport team will contact you about making the necessary arrangements. If your appeal is dismissed, there is no further local avenue for consideration of the case. However, if you feel that the matter has been handled inappropriately by the council, you may take the matter up with the Local Government Ombudsman or seek to get the matter judicially reviewed. (You should obtain legal advice if you want the matter judicially reviewed).