We are appealing ds's school allocation. As far as we understand, we don't really have a leg to stand on, but are appealing in any case - if you don't ask, you don't get. We want him to go to the infant school his two elder sibs went to (they are now both in the linked junior school) but we are out of catchment - even though we live closer to the school than many of the in-catchment children.
We have submitted a written application, but is there any benefit to attending the appeal in person? I think that dh thinks I may not be up to it, and he may be right (depression, anxiety, etc).
Attending in person gives you the chance to ask questions about the LA's case and answer any questions the panel may have about your case. If you don't attend they will have to decide entirely on your written submission. I would generally recommend attending unless you really can't face it.
It is fairly normal for the case to refuse admission to talk about overcrowding. The panel has to consider the extent of the overcrowding (if any) and whether that outweighs the prejudice to your child through not being admitted.
If you want to give more details of the LA's case you will get advice on the weaknesses, if any. And if you want to tell us about your case you will get advice on how to improve it.