Some of the most frequently asked questions about the appeals process
Can I know why previous appeals were upheld for my preferred school?
Previous decisions on school admission appeals do not set precedents so no-one can predict whether your appeal will be successful or not.
In addition, school admission appeals are confidential so you cannot ask to see copies of previous appeals or know why other appeals were successful.
Your appeal will be considered on your own individual circumstances.
Can I withdraw my appeal?
If you have changed your mind and no longer wish to go ahead with your appeal, you will need to contact the BCP Council School Appeals Service.
Is there anything I can do if the appeal is dismissed?
When an appeal is dismissed, you cannot appeal against the decision of the Appeal Panel.
We would therefore suggest that you have an alternative plan, in case your appeal is not allowed. You can speak to the Local Authority at any time to discuss alternative school places and waiting lists – this will not affect your appeal in any way.
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 or Education and Skills Funding Agency.
Maladministration refers to a procedural error, incompetence, neglect or prejudice rather than the actual merits of the decision taken.
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 and material 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 medical professional or social worker which could not have been introduced at the original hearing
All requests linked to a change in circumstances should be sent to the school, as it is the admission authority’s decision on whether they accept a second application.
What if my child has Special Educational Needs?
There is a different appeal process if your child has an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and your application is not successful.
The School Appeals Service is unable to hear your appeal under current legislation.
If your child is currently being assessed for Special Educational Needs or an EHCP, you can lodge an appeal up until the point the EHCP is issued to your child.
Bournemouth and Christchurch residents
Please speak with the SEN team on 01202 456267
Please speak with the Family Information Service on 01202 261999