The Appeals Process
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your application you have the right to appeal to an independent appeal panel.
If you want to appeal about more than one school you will need to appeal separately about each decision.
The appeal form (248Kb) is available for download.
Alternatively you can request an appeal form by telephoning the School Admissions and Transport Service on 01785 278593.
The deadline for lodging your appeal is 20 school days from the date you were notified that your application was unsuccessful.
As some schools determine their own admission arrangements they will have their own independent appeals procedures. In these circumstances you may need to obtain the appeal form directly from the school.
Appeals are heard by an independent panel of three to five voluntary members of the public. At least one will have an educational background.
Panels cannot include members of the governing body of the school you are appealing about, staff at the local authority or anyone else who may not be sufficiently neutral in making a decision.
The chair of the panel will direct the appeals hearing and make sure that everyone present is treated fairly.
The clerk is not a member of the panel but has an important role to play in ensuring that all relevant facts are established and that the appeal hearing is conducted in a fair way. The clerk will be independent of the school and the education department of the local authority.
You may be accompanied or represented at the appeal hearing by a friend, adviser, interpreter or signer.
The panel will consider the appeal as a two stage process, unless the appeal is on the grounds of infant class size.
At the first stage the panel will establish the facts. This will include considering the school's published admission arrangements and whether the oversubscription criteria for the school was applied correctly.
The second stage is where the panel will use it's discretion to balance the degree of prejudice to the school against the case for the child being admitted to the preferred school.
The appeal panel reaches a decision in private, by a majority vote.
If the panel is considering a large number of appeals about the same school, it will not make a decision about an individual case until all parents have had a chance to put their case forward.
The panel will write to the parents and the admission authority to tell them the decision and give clear reasons for that decision.
Parents who were notified of the outcome of their secondary school or high school application will have until the 28th March 2013 to submit their appeal. Appeals can be submitted after this date but may not be heard before the end of the summer term.
ACE - Advisory Centre for Education
The Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) can also offer advice and support on making an appeal.
The following publication may also be useful:
Primary and Secondary School Admissions and Appeals: A Guide for Parents
The Appeals Process
LA writes to you with an offer of a school place. Parents have at least 20 school days from the date of notification that their application was unsuccessful to lodge their appeal
At least 10 working days before the hearing the admission authority writes to you giving you the date of the hearing.
You start to prepare your case.
Organisations such as ACE or the School Choice Advice Service can help you with this.
Three working days before the hearing, you receive the names of the panel and any additional information.
If you think the hearing was not managed properly, you can write to the Local Government Ombudsman