Appeal your child's school place

You are entitled to appeal for a place at any school that your child has been refused admission to. This can be for a maximum of 3 schools.  

An appeal is not an application, and you cannot appeal for a school you have not applied for. 

When you can appeal

An appeal for children who are in a current year group at school, and who are not transitioning into secondary, primary or junior school for the first time, can be made at any time.

Appeals for children entering their first year of secondary, primary or junior school take place between April and July. This year:

  • the secondary school appeal deadline is 29 March 2024
  • the primary and junior school appeal deadline is 14 May 2024
  • appeals received after these deadlines are called Late Appeals and will be heard as soon as reasonably practicable

Appeals for infant classes

Class sizes are limited to 30. If you’re appealing a decision about an infant class, reception, year 1 and year 2, your application can be turned down if all of the classes already have 30 children.

Your appeal could be successful if:

  • giving your child a place will not increase the class size above the limit
  • the admission arrangements have not been properly followed
  • the decision to refuse admission was not one that a reasonable Admission Authority would make

The threshold for finding an Admission Authority's decision unreasonable is extremely high for infant classes.

The Appeal Panel can only consider what was put in your original school application form, not any new reasons you may add about why you made your initial school application. Keep this in mind when appealing for a child who is in this cohort.


What happens during an appeal

Appeals are heard by an Independent Appeal Panel; independent volunteers who are not connected to the Council or the school that you will be appealing for. 

Whether or not an appeal is successful is determined by the Independent Appeal Panel.

A member of the Council’s Admissions Team will be present during an appeal as well as a representative of the school where possible. 

If the school you are appealing for handles its own admissions, such as a faith school, then a member of the Council's Admissions Team will not be present. The school will provide someone from its own admissions team.

In the run up to your appeal, your child will retain a place at the school they were allocated in your decision letter from the Council, unless you withdraw that place or they are offered an alternative place that you take up.

What happens next

When you have submitted an appeal, you will receive an email of receipt and later a notice letter informing you of when your appeal is scheduled. You will usually be given notice within 10 school days.

Seven days before your appeals takes place, a hearing letter will be sent out to you with further details about your appeals.

Appeals are held remotely by telephone or video. You will receive an email the day before an appeal takes place with the link and number you need to join the appeal. 

Appeals only take place in term time and occur between 9:30am and 3:30pm.

If you need an interpreter, the appeals service will provide you with one. You can also be represented or accompanied by a friend who can interpret for you.

Successful appeal outcomes are not guaranteed, and you are advised to continue to make arrangements for your child’s education in the run up to the appeal.

How to make an appeal

When will you find out if your appeal is successful 

Decision letters are sent within 5 school days after your hearing has taken place. 

Decision outcomes can be offered by email or phone at request, but this can only take place after the decision letter has been posted.

If your appeal is successful, it is up to you to get in touch with the school to arrange your child’s attendance. You have up to 6 weeks to take up the school place. 

Contact School Appeals

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