School admissions appeals

If your child's been refused a place at any school named on your application or transfer form, you have the right to refer your case. An independent appeal panel will then review your appeal.

What to do

If you don't wish to accept the school place you've been offered for your child, contact the school admissions team. You need to do this within 10 working days and let us know that you want to appeal against the decision. We'll send you a notice of appeal - this includes an information booklet. You should complete and return this to us, 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.

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

You'll be responsible for presenting your case. You need to decide what you'd like to say at the appeal hearing and what written evidence you want the panel to consider. You should submit all written evidence to us 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. The appeal is a chance 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. 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's 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 that 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