If you are unhappy with the place your child is offered, you can appeal to an independent panel. You’ll find details of how to make an appeal in the local authority's admission letter that outlines their offer. The letter will also specify a deadline which you must meet if you want to appeal. Only one appeal is allowed for each application. In some areas, you may be able to submit your appeal online.
Depending on the school, appeals are heard either by your local authority or by the school’s governors. Most appeals follow these steps.
The education department of your local authority explains to an independent appeal panel their reasons for turning down your application for a place at your preferred school.
If the panel decides there was good reason for turning down your application (for example, because all places had been allocated to other applicants with higher priority under the admissions criteria), you’ll have the chance to state why you are appealing against the decision. You’ll be able to explain why the school would be the best for your child and what special factors justify your child being awarded a place.
The panel then weighs the benefits for your child going to your chosen school against the negative effects on the school and the other children of having an extra pupil in the class.
If the panel decides that your case is the stronger, it will uphold your appeal and your child will be awarded a place in the school.
Your local authority will have information online about how to appeal against a school admission in your area; follow the below link, 'Appeal against a school admission decision', to find out more.
For infant classes the number of pupils is limited by law to a maximum of 30. Admission applications can be refused because an infant class has reached its legal limit. In this type of appeal, the panel is only allowed to look at two things:
Once a decision has been reached, the panel informs you and your local authority by post within seven days where possible. If your appeal is successful your child will be offered a place at the school. If you are unsuccessful you can ask the school to put your child on their waiting list in case a place becomes available in the future.
If there is a change in your circumstances you may be able to appeal again. It’s worth checking with your local authority to see if this is possible. If you are unhappy with the way the appeal process was performed you can complain to your local government ombudsman. They investigate complaints against local authorities and may recommend a new appeal.