Publication - Advice and guidance

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

Last updated: 28 Feb 2022 - see all updates
Published: 24 Feb 2021

Guidance on temporary amendments due to COVID-19 to the placing request process and appeals processes for placing requests, placing requests for pupils with additional support needs and exclusions.

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


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

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

The Scottish ministers have made new regulations which restore the deadlines and timeframes that applied to the placing request and appeal process prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and which had been amended to provide assistance to local authorities and appeal committees. The amendments made to the 1982 Regulations by the Education (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 (“the 2020 Regulations”) which enable appeal hearings to be held remotely and allow for hearings to be conducted by way of written representations remain in place.

The Choosing a School Guide is available on-line and education authorities can continue to signpost parents to these documents for information about the relevant timeframes and deadlines that apply to the placing request and appeal processes.

Arrangements for appeal hearings in 2022

The provisions allowing remote hearings, which were introduced by the 2020 amendments to the 1982 Regulations, remain in place. This means that appeal committees may continue to hold hearings virtually, either by video or telephone conference or, if all parties agree, entirely in writing. This provides a range of alternatives to face-to-face appeal hearings giving appeal committees and participants continued flexibility in how appeal hearings are conducted, and to reduce any continuing risk of virus transmission.

First published: 24 Feb 2021 Last updated: 28 Feb 2022 -