I understand that we won't receive the appeal pack until the end of March/early April. Does anyone have any idea roughly when we have to have our written appeal submitted by?
It tends to be 2 weeks before the hearing. It is possible to send additional stuff later, but is an admin nightmare for the clerk! You can even bring extra evidence on the day, but if you did, you'd need to bring 5 copies - 1 for the school, 1 for the clerk, 3 for the panel, and expect the panel to adjourn to read & absorb it. It should only need to be done if you've been waiting for a report - say medical - that was late appearing. You would not be penalised for bringing new evidence on the day.
Some people might also bring - say - school work on the day, but don't expect the panel to inspect it in great detail - we're not allowed to make our own judgement on the brightness of pupils, as we're not qualified to do so! We can look at evidence from those who are, such as teachers or Ed Psychs.
Most people will send the complete appeal on time. You can send back the appeal application form saying 'paperwork to follow'.