Ridiculous that we have been put through all of this if they felt that all along.
Unfortunately there isn't any other way of doing it if there is no system of non-statutory ("head teachers'") appeals, which bring their own problems.
I would advise anyone submitting documents by e-mail to request acknowledgement of receipt and always follow up with hard copies. It is too easy for things to go wrong with mistyped e-mail addresses, e-mails going automatically into Quarantine or Spam folders from some provider addresses etc.
It all sounds very positive! Hope you get to hear good news very soon.