If your child is refused a place at any school for which you have expressed a preference, you have the right to appeal against the decision to an Independent School Appeals Panel. This applies where the school is community controlled, a faith school or an academy.
How to appeal
If your child is refused a place at any school, you will receive a letter from the Local Authority explaining why you have been refused and giving details of how to appeal the decision.
If you decide to appeal against the decision not to offer your child a place at your preferred school, the request must be made in writing stating your child’s details and giving your reasons for appealing. Appeals should be submitted to: firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively you can send to :
Timetable for school appeals
|Type of appeal||Appeals Lodged||Appeals to be heard|
|Year 7 admissions September 2021 (Normal rounds)||By 26 March 2021||Within 40 school days of receipt|
|Within 40 school days of receipt|
|Reception Class Admissions September 2021 (Normal rounds)||By 14 May 2021||Within 40 school days of receipt|
|After 14 May 2021||Within 40 school days of receipt|
|In year Transfer admissions||From date request received||Within 30 school days|
Appellants will receive at least 10 school days’ notice of their appeal hearing.
It is expected that all additional evidence in relation to an appeal is submitted five days before the date of the appeal. This is to try and ensure that all parties have time to consider the additional evidence
The appeal hearing
Due to the ongoing Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic new regulations (The School Admissions (England) (Coronavirus) (Appeals Arrangements) (Amendment) Regulations 2020) have come in to force to allow the appeals process to continue during the period of social distancing in a fair and transparent manner.
During the period whilst the regulations are in force (up to January 2021) the appeals process will be carried out remotely.
Appellants will be contacted 15 working days prior to their appeal date to further outline the process and the options available, with paperwork being dispatched 10 working days in advance of the hearing.
The Appeals Panel will be made up of three to five members who fall into these categories:
- At least one lay member who has no personal experience of management in schools
- At least one member who does have personal experience in education
There will also be a Clerk to the Panel who will advise on any legal issues if necessary and will note the proceedings. The Clerk remains with the panel whilst making a decision but has no part in the decision making.
A representative from the Local Authority (for all community schools appeals) or the school’s Governing Body/Academy Trust (for all church aided and academy schools appeals) will also be there to state their reasons for refusal.
Infant Class Size Appeals
The Schools Standards and Framework Act 1998 require that from September 2001 no five, six or seven year old in an infant class at a maintained school will be in a class of more than 30 pupils. If your preference for a primary school is refused because the class has reached its statutory limit, you will be given the right of appeal but this category of appeal can only be upheld if an Appeal Panel is satisfied:-
- that the decision was not one which a reasonable admission authority would make in the circumstances of the case; or
- that the child would have been offered a place if the admission arrangements had been properly implemented.
More information on Infant Class Size appeals: