School Appeals

If your application for a school place is unsuccessful, you can appeal to an independent Appeal Panel

How do I start the appeal process?               

Please contact the school(s) you wish to appeal for a place at.  They will be able to supply you with an appeal form to complete.

Remember, you can only appeal against a refusal of a place, so please don't contact the school or Local Authority about an appeal until you receive a formal refusal letter or email. 

What happens next?               

Your appeal will be acknowledged by the school/their independent appeal service. As soon as possible, you'll be informed of the date, time and place at which the appeal panel will meet. The panel consists of three people who are not connected to the authority or school concerned.               

You are encouraged to attend and speak at the panel hearing if you wish. You may bring a friend to help you put your points to the panel.               

The appeal panel will pay particular attention to parental circumstances which support your application for the particular school, together with the Authority's reason for refusal. The appeals panel is not bound by the admission authority's published criteria. It has the power to exceed the school's published admission number. The panel's decision is binding on the LA, the school and the parents.               

Is there anything I can do if the appeal is dismissed?               

When an appeal is dismissed, you cannot appeal against the decision of the panel. However, if you have a complaint about the way in which your appeal has been handled, and you feel you have suffered injustice as a result of maladministration, you can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman / Secretary of State.               

Can I appeal more than once?               

Schools do not normally consider a second or subsequent appeal in the same academic year unless you can prove that there has been a significant change in your circumstances. Such a change could include:               

  • Where a sibling link has been created at the preferred school that was not there at the time of the original appeal                 
  • Where a change of address has occurred which means the home address is significantly closer to the preferred school or is now in the catchment area of the preferred school                 
  • Where new evidence is introduced and is supported by a letter from the hospital consultant, health visitor, social worker which could not have been introduced at the time of the original hearing                 

All requests linked to a change in circumstances should be sent to the school.               

What if my child has special educational needs?               

There is a different appeal process if your child has an Education Health and Care Plan and your application is not successful. You can also contact SENDIASS - the local Parent Partnership Service on 01202 451970. They give impartial, independent information, guidance and support to parents and carers with special educational needs and disability.