Is it appropriate to phone the school and make enquiries about the number of appeal applications they have recieved? Not sure whether this sort of information would help or hinder! 47 is an awful lot, will they hear all of them or do some get turned down before a hearing?
An appeal would also be dropped if a place was offered from the waiting list: the child was
at the top of the list and someone else who already had a place declined it. I have known that happen right up to the day before appeals starting (even once during the appeals for one that we'd heard).
Note that there is also a slim chance that a place would be offered if, during preparing for the appeals, the school side re-marked the papers manually and found that there was an error in favour of the child, meaning that they would have been offered a place given the corrected score. This would take the school over PAN/IAN, but they have no choice in the matter.
47 is quite a lot. Rest assured that the panel will not take the top 'x' pupils from the waiting list - the mitigating circumstances for each appeal are considered individually. Copious notes will be made both by the clerk (the official record) and by the panel members (unofficial, aide memoire notes - one panalist even drew sketches of the parents so she could remember them), so even though there's a lot of appeals they will be able to give all equal consideration, irrespective of being heard first or last.