If you have been refused a place at a school you have the right to appeal against the decision to an Independent Appeal Panel.
You are not able to submit an appeal until you have been formally refused a place at a school.
If you are considering submitting an appeal you are advised to contact the Families Information Service.
If your child has a Statement of Special Educational Needs, different arrangements apply. Please visit the special educational needs and disability tribunal for further information.
In reception, Year 1 and Year 2 it is very difficult to win an appeal because of infant class legislation that limits the size of the class to 30 pupils to one class teacher. Very few of these appeals are successful because of the limited grounds that can be considered by an Appeals Panel.
The Appeals Panel will review the decision to refuse a school place. By law an appeal for a place in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 can only be successful if one or more of the following circumstances apply
If you are considering an appeal for these year groups you need to consider carefully whether your case falls within these grounds. Circumstances such as childcare, transport or having children at other schools can not be taken into consideration by the Panel unless they are directly related to those grounds.
For Reception or Transfer appeals for places in September 2013, you will have at least 20 school days to submit an appeal from the day you received notice that your application was unsuccessful.
The deadlines for submitting an appeal in order to ensure that it is heard before the end of the summer term are:
Appeals submitted within the deadline will be heard within 40 school days. You can submit an appeal after these dates but it may not be possible to hear your case until September. Then it will be considered after the panel has already heard any appeals which were submitted within deadline.
Where possible appeals arising from late applications will be heard within 40 school days of this deadline or within 30 days of the appeal being lodged
Appeals submitted after the deadline will be heard within 40 school days of receipt where possible.
Appeals for in year admissions will be heard within 30 days of the appeal being lodged.
You will be given at least 10 school days notice of the appeal date unless you have agreed to a shorter notice period.
Before the appeal hearing, the Clerk will send you a copy of the case that the Admission Authority will present to the Panel. This will set out the reasons why your child has not been offered a place at the school. The Clerk will also inform you of the names of the Panel Member who will consider your case.
If you wish to submit further evidence, you must be submit this to the Clerk in writing at least 7 days before the date of the appeal hearing.
Decision letters will be sent out within five school days of the hearing date wherever possible.
You will be given notice in writing of the place and time of the meeting of the Appeals Panel that will consider your case. If you have a good reason for asking for a different time, you should contact the Clerk to the Panel. You will be given the opportunity to appear before the Appeals Panel to present your case. You may be accompanied by a friend or be legally represented (as may also the admission authority for the school). It is not essential for you attend and you can choose to allow the appeal to be considered from the information on your appeal form. If you do not attend on the day, the appeal hearing will go ahead without you being there.
The conduct of the appeal hearing is at the discretion of the Panel but is usually as follows:
If there are a lot of appeals for the same school, the admission authority will present its case with all the parents present for the first part of the hearing.
The Clerk will write to you and the admission authority telling you the decision of the Appeals Panel and the reasons why it was made. The decision of an Appeals Panel is binding on the admission authority. If the Appeals Panel upholds your appeal, the school will have to admit your child. If your appeal is unsuccessful, a second appeal for the same school in the same school year is not allowed unless there is a significant change in circumstances (for example a change of address).
Please ensure you have read the guidance carefully before you submit your appeal.
If you want to appeal for more than one school you will need to appeal separately for each school.
If you are unhappy with the way in which the appeal was conducted, you may complain to the Local Government Ombudsman. The Ombudsman can only look at matters relating to the administration of an appeal, not the actual decision (for example a failure to follow the correct procedure).
Local Government Ombudsman
17 Shipton Road
If you are unhappy with the way in which your appeal was conducted for an Academy, you may complain to the Secretary of State for Education. The Young Peoples Learning Agency investigates these complaints on behalf of the Secretary of State
Young Peoples Learning Agency
Page last updated: 28 May, 2013