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Guide: School admission appeals

Two-stage appeal process

If you are appealing for a place for your child in year groups 3 to 11 (or year groups reception,1 or 2 where there are not 30 pupils in a class), your appeal will follow the two-stage process.

Stage one: (about the school’s circumstances)

The presenting officer will present the case of the admitting authority, explaining why a place could not be offered for your child at your preferred school.

You and the panel may question the presenting officer on what has been said.

You and the presenting officer will be asked to leave the room whilst the panel considers: whether the admission arrangements comply with the School Admissions Code and part 3 of the School Standards Framework Act 1998, whether arrangements were correctly and impartially applied and whether additional children would ‘prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources.’

If the panel decides that the arrangements did not comply or were not correctly applied in your case, or that the year group is not full, the hearing will not go on any longer.

If yours is the only appeal for the school, your child will be admitted.

Where there are multiple appeals for the same school and some but not all of the applicants could be admitted, the hearing would move to stage two to consider which children should be admitted.

Stage two: (about your personal circumstances)

If the appeal moves on to stage two, the panel is satisfied that the admitting authority met their obligations (listed above) or the panel is not satisfied but does not believe all of the appellants can be admitted.

You will then be invited back into the room independently of any other parents who are appealing so that you may state your case and explain why you are appealing against the admitting authority’s decision.

You should mention all of the reasons why you feel the school you are appealing for is the best option for your child, and what extenuating factors justify your child getting a place even though the panel has agreed that there was a good reason for turning you down.

The panel and presenting officer may question you about what you have said. All parents will be interviewed individually before any final decisions on admission are made.