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Where will the panel meeting be held?

Panel meetings are usually held at a suitable venue in the area of the school in question.

When will I know the date of the panel meeting?

We have to give you at least 10 school days written notice of the date of the appeal hearing.

Sometimes if, at short notice, the opportunity comes up for us to arrange for your appeal to be heard earlier than that. We will ask if you are willing to waive your entitlement to the 10 days’ notice.

We do not hold panel meetings during school holidays.

What if I cannot attend on the date arranged?

We are required to arrange for all appeals for the same school to be heard by the same panel. It is therefore rarely possible for us to rearrange a panel date, unless your appeal is the only one for a particular school. If you cannot attend, your appeal will go ahead on the basis of all written information submitted by you. You can, of course, send us more information for the panel provided you give us reasonable time to forward it on to them. Alternatively you could ask someone to attend on your behalf.

If you do ask someone to attend on your behalf it is important that you brief them fully, so that they can speak for you. We are not able to allow a re-run of your appeal hearing if you find that your representative did not tell the panel everything that you wanted.

What if I am unable to attend at the last minute?

  • You can ask a friend or representative to attend on your behalf.
  • You can call us and ask for your case to be considered on the basis of all of your written evidence

Whichever you choose please notify us as soon as possible.

When will I receive papers for the meeting?

At least 5 clear working days before the panel meeting a copy of the admission authority’s case will be sent to you. If you have not received a copy of the case by 3 working days before the meeting, please contact us.

What do I need to bring with me to the panel?

The following checklist will hopefully help you to make sure that you have everything necessary with you at the meeting:

  • The information sent to you by the admission authority
  • A copy of all information that you have sent to the clerk about your appeal
  • Any more information which you think will help your appeal

Who are the panel members?

  • One person with experience in the education field (that is someone who has experience in education who is acquainted with educational conditions in the local authority area or who are parents of registered pupils at school)
  • One 'lay' person (that is someone without any personal experience in the management or provision of education in any school. School governors and people volunteering in schools are allowed to serve as 'lay' members)
  • One person from either of the above two groups

One of the panel members will act as 'chair' of the panel. The chair is responsible for managing the meeting.

Who else attends the panel?

The clerk to the panel who is independent of the admissions authority and of the school attends the whole meeting.

In addition the admission authority's representative (known as the presenting officer) attends and is normally accompanied by a representative of the school in question, usually the headteacher. The school representative is there to answer questions about the school itself only.

Who can I bring with me to the panel?

Parent(s) or guardian(s) can attend and bring a friend or adviser. You are entitled to bring a legal representative but this is not a necessity.

If you intend to call any witnesses or be represented at the hearing you are required to notify the clerk to the panel. 

Can I bring my child to the panel?

The School Admission Appeals Code 2012 issued by the Department for Education does not prevent a parent from bringing their child to the panel as a witness.

What is the difference between an oral and a written appeal?

Written appeal

This will be considered on the basis of all of the information that you have sent to us about your case. This includes:

  • your online appeal form and any attachments which you sent to us with it
  • any other information that you may want to send to us before the panel meeting.

Oral appeal

This is where you the parent(s) or guardian(s) attend in person to explain your case to the panel. The panel will also have copies of all of the information which you have sent to us about your appeal.

When parent(s) or guardian(s) attend the appeal, they have the opportunity to hear and comment on or question the admission authority’s case. Also it is often helpful to the panel for you to attend since they can clarify any points of doubt or confusion with you.

All appeals

The Presenting Officer for the admission authority attends all appeals.  Both types of appeal are treated equally.

What if I opt for a written appeal and then want to change to an oral appeal?

You can change to an oral appeal at any time before the panel hearing. We will make every effort for you to appear in person.

Am I allowed to send in more information after I have read the admission authority's case?

Yes, you can send in further information as you wish. It is important that you send it to us in good time for us to copy it and post it to panel members at least 3 clear working days before the panel meeting.

You must forward any information to the clerk to the panel.

Please note that it is the panel’s choice on whether any material not submitted by the specified deadline will be considered. In making a decision the panel will take into account its significance and the effect of a possible need to adjourn the hearing.

Please note: the submission of any false or misleading information could possibly result in the withdrawal of an offer of a school place.

Decision letters

Within five school days, we will write to you with the decision. The letter will explain the panel’s decisions at both stages of the process and will include reference to those points raised by you which were the Panel’s main considerations when reaching their decision.

What is the likelihood of my appeal being successful?

Panels consider every case on its merit. Please see statistics for recent years:

Secondary schools
Number of appeals heard 250 161 79 127 76 122 230
% of successful appeals 28% 29% 56% 56% 30% 36% 50%


Primary Schools2008/92009/102010/112012/132013/142015/162016/17

Number of appeals heard








% of successful appeals









If I am not happy with the decision, can I appeal again?

The decision of the panel is final, and is binding on you, the school and the admission authority. There is no appeal against the decision itself.

If you feel that there has been a fault in either the way in which your case was processed, or in the way in which the panel meeting was conducted. You can appeal to the Local Government Ombudsman, or for academies, to the Education Funding Agency who act on behalf of the Secretary of State. Their details will be included in your decision letter.

What if I lose my appeal, but still do not want my child to go the allocated school?

Please contact the admissions team on 0300 111 8007 to discuss what other options may be available to you.

Can I see the notes of the panel meeting?

The notes are the property of the panel and are not covered by the Freedom of Information Act 2000. They are not therefore available to parents or guardians.

Where can I find guidance for parents?

Information is available on the Department for Education website.

Telephone: 0370 000 2288

What is the legislation on admission appeals?

The School Standards Framework Act, 1998 (as amended)

The School Admission Appeals Code – effective from 1 February 2012. 

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