The best system is the one that you think will give you the result you want .....
I used to hear appeals when the Review Panel was operating, and there were still plenty of cases unsuccessful at review, coming through to appeal with 120 and strong support.
A review would certainly weed out the most compelling cases (not necessarily those with 120 and strong support) and reduce the number of appeals, but the problem nowadays is with making timely arrangements. All those who go unsuccessfully to a review would still
be entitled to an appeal. There is no obligation on the authority to have a review stage - there is
a statutory right of appeal.
In Bucks the results come out in late November. Parents have around 2 weeks to submit an appeal. The appeals office works flat out throughout December to make all the arrangements, so that appeals can start at the beginning of January, and finish before the first round of allocations on 1st March. They don't know in advance how many appeals there will be. The assumption is 900-1000 - it could be less, it could be more.
If there were a review stage, parents would have a two week period to apply for review starting late November, reports would have to be obtained from schools, arrangements would then have to be made for specific cases to be scheduled and papers to be distributed, the review panel would then meet over a period of time to consider 100s of cases, results would have to be issued, and then the appeals process could start ..........
How would all this be fitted in with appeals between late November and 1st March?
No doubt someone will suggest having reviews and appeals simultaneously. It would be chaos!
Or how about telling those unsuccessful at review that their appeals will be late - after the first round of allocations? They would like that!
Remember that under the "old system" 11+ appeals started after Easter
. When the National Allocation Day was introduced, Bucks to their credit brought the appeals forward to January to meet the 1st March deadline. But it meant that the review stage had to be cancelled .......