School Admissions Appeals
Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on School Admission Appeals
Following the update to legislation by the UK Government on 24th April 2020 we have now received new
guidance from the Department for Education to assist admission authorities with the administration and hearing of school appeals. With the exception of academy primary schools and secondary schools in Halton (who manage their own admission appeals and whose clerks will make contact with you regarding their appeal hearings), it has been agreed that school admission appeals for places in Reception 2020, for Year 3 at St Bede’s Catholic Junior School in September 2020 and any in-year primary school appeals will proceed by
The clerks to the Independent School Admission Appeals Panels for the preference school(s) you are appealing for a place at will make contact with you in good time before the appeal hearing to advise on next steps; such as when the hearing will be, the school case and how and when to submit any further evidence for consideration by the Panel. If you have already submitted an appeal for a primary school and wish to submit any additional information, you should do so by emailing
It is intended that appeals will be heard as normal throughout June and July, and where possible all appeals will be heard prior to the commencement of the new academic year.
If you are refused a place at a school, you will receive a letter advising you of:
- Why your place was refused;
- Your right to appeal;
- How to appeal.
You may also be interested in the following documents:
The Appeals Process
School appeals are heard by an independent appeal panel comprising of three to five independent members of the public. You can make one appeal for each preference school that cannot offer your child a place.
The admission authority for the school must write to you at least 10 school days before the hearing to confirm the date of the appeal. Organisations such as the
Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) can give you advice on preparing your case and further information on what to expect.
How to appeal
You will find details of how to make an appeal in the admission letter outlining your offer. If your child has not been offered a school place you will need to contact the
admissions team as they can let you know which schools have places available, and can offer you advice on the next steps if you wish to appeal.
School Admission Appeals Timetable
In-year transfer applications
Appeals for children refused a place at a preferred school as a result of an in year transfer application should be heard within 30 school days of the appeal being lodged where possible.
September 2020 entry
Appeals for children refused a place at a preferred school for admission to Year 7 or Reception class in September 2020 will be heard according to the following timetable:
Secondary Appeals: Appeals received by the
deadline of 27th March 2020 should be heard within 40 school days. Appeals received after this deadline may not be heard within this block of appeals, but should be heard within 30 school days of the appeal being lodged where possible. Appeals are normally heard throughout May.
Primary Appeals: Appeals received by the
deadline of 15th May 2020 should be heard within 40 school days. Appeals received after this deadline may not be heard within this block of appeals, but should be heard within 30 school days of the appeal being lodged where possible. Appeals are normally heard throughout June and July.
Parents/carers will be notified of their appeal date at least 10 school days before the hearing.
A copy of the school's statement of case will be sent to each parent/carer at least seven working days before the hearing.
Any additional evidence parents/carers wish to submit in support of their appeal must be sent to the clerk at least 5 working days before the hearing. Any evidence not submitted by this deadline might not be considered by the independent appeal panel.
School Admission Appeals
Infant Class Size Appeals
Regulations made under Section 1 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 limit the size of an infant class (Reception, Year 1 and Year 2) to 30 pupils per school teacher. When considering appeals restricted by infant class size limits, only in very limited circumstances can admission over the limit be permitted. Details of these circumstances and further information can be found within Section 4 of the
DFE School Admission Appeals code.
Appeals not falling under Infant Class Size restrictions
These appeals focus on whether or not the admission of additional children would prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources. Panels must consider whether or not admission arrangements complied with admissions law and were correctly and impartially applied, and whether prejudice would be caused by admitting additional children to the school. Further information regarding these appeals can be found in Section 3 of the
DFE School Admission Appeals code.