If your child has been refused a place at any school named on your application form or transfer form, you have the right to refer your case to an independent appeal panel for consideration.

What to do

If you don't wish to accept the school place you've been offered for your child, contact the Admissions Team within 10 working days to let them know that you want to make an appeal against the decision. They will send you a Notice of Appeal, which you should complete and return to them, stating the grounds on which you're making the appeal. If you're appealing for a place in another local authority, you must complete one of their notice of appeal forms. You will also receive an Appeal Information Booklet for Parents, which explains the appeal process. 

We'll write to you to let you know the appeal date 14 days before it takes place. We'll send you documentation summarising the reasons for refusing the admission at least seven days before the appeal.

You'll be responsible for presenting your case, for deciding what you'd like to say at the appeal hearing and what written documentation you want the panel to consider. You should submit all written documentation to the Admissions Team at least seven days before the appeal.

The appeals panel

You have the right to attend the appeal to make your case to the panel. If you feel you need some support, you can bring a friend or family member. If you prefer, they can represent you.

All appeals are held in private. We wouldn't expect children to attend the appeal hearings as the appeal is an opportunity for you to put across your case on behalf of your child.

The appeals panel consists of three independent members. Also attending will be a clerk to the panel, an officer from the council, and the headteacher. No panel member has any connection with the school for which the appeal is being heard.

Following the appeal, the panel will let you know their decision as soon as possible and this decision is binding on the local authority, the school and the parent. You won't be able to apply again for the same school in the same school year unless there has been a significant change in yours or the school's circumstances.

Tips for preparing for an appeal

  • Make sure the information you provide is accurate
  • Complete all sections of the Notice of Appeal. If you need an appeals form for a school in another local authority, please contact the appropriate authority directly.
  • Submit any letter, written reports, documentation or evidence relevant to your case at least seven days before the appeal date.
  • Make sure you sign all forms and letters - you may be asked to provide proof of guardianship
  • If you're asked to provide proof of change of address, you can use a tenancy agreement or a solicitor's letter confirming exchange of contract
  • If you're asked to provide documents confirming that your child's registered at your address, you can provide any of the following: child benefit book; information relating to Working Tax Credit/Childcare Tax Credit; letters from your doctor/dentist/hospital; child's bank statement; medical card