The purpose of this code is to ensure the independence of admission appeal panels and to ensure that all admission appeals for maintained schools and Academies are conducted in a fair and transparent way. This code has the force of law. Where it imposes mandatory requirements, or refers to requirements in legislation, the words ‘must’ or ‘must not’ are used.

This code is designed to give admission authorities the freedom they need to run the appeals process efficiently, whilst maintaining minimum requirements which will ensure fairness and transparency. In drawing up this simpler, shorter code, the Department have been guided by the principle that admission authorities are best placed to decide how to meet those requirements.

The School Admissions (Appeals Arrangements) (England) Regulations 2012 are also included as a download.

Visit the main DfE website for more information


  • Statutory basis for the School Admission Appeals Code
  • Introduction
  • Section 1: Constitution of Appeal Panels
  • Section 2: Appeal Hearings
  • Section 3: Reaching Decisions on Appeals
  • Section 4: Infant Class Size Appeals
  • Section 5: Further appeals and complaints about appeals
  • Section 6: Appeals by governing bodies against local authority decisions to admit twice excluded children
  • Appendix 1 – relevant legislation
  • Appendix 2 – further information about the Local Government Ombudsman and complaints about appeal panels