Secondary school offer – can you appeal the decision?
Guidance on the appeal process
is the time when schools in England and Wales issue their place offers to
children and their parents for the academic year starting in September. Approximately
83% of applicants get their first preference places. But that means that there
are always a number of disappointed people.
What is the appeals process if you are not happy with the place your child has been offered?
types of schools have different admissions bodies who deal with admissions and
appeals but when you get the offer letter it should tell you how to appeal.
can be a complex legal area and it is understood that in the 21/22 academic
year only about 21% of appeals succeeded.
are also different rules and considerations for Children with and Education
Health and Care plan, so this blog does not cover those.
you want to appeal there are basically two grounds, for non-Infant schools. That
the school has not applied its own admissions criteria correctly, or that the
reasons for your child being admitted outweigh the schools reasons for not
admitting any more children.
will not be sufficient to just say that the school offered is not good enough
or that the one you want is better.
example of the first ground could be that the school says its admission
criteria favour siblings and your child already has a sibling in school, so its
own criteria have not been properly applied.
example of the second ground could be, that your child is part of a family
where different languages are spoken by some family members and your child
needs to learn an unusual language to communicate when visiting those family members.
That argument might be convincing if, for example, the language is Chinese and
only the school you want teaches that, not the one you have been offered. The
thrust of this argument is that the reason for admitting your child to the
school to learn Chinese outweighs the reasons for not admitting any more
children due to oversubscribing. It may obviously not hold water if the
language is say French and both schools teach it.
is more difficult to succeed with an appeal for oversubscribed infant schools
because the law limits classes in those to 30.Therefore the school cannot
breach that rule.
are strict time limits for both parents and schools to follow in an appeal so
if you do wish to appeal you should not delay. You should also accept the place
you have been offered and get on the waiting list for the school you do want, so
that you keep your options open and avoid having no place.
do not have to use a lawyer for a school appeal but there are some law firms
who specialise in this area and it can involve some complex legal considerations.
So if the outcome is very important to you it is worth considering getting some
you fail in the appeals process it is sometimes possible to launch a Judicial
review of that but Judicial reviews can be very expensive and complex. In those
circumstances you would almost certainly need a lawyer if you were
contemplating it as they also have strict time limits.
Our site will enable you to search for lawyers who specialise in
education matters, completely free and without taking your personal data. Check
our useful guidance sections too for information on how
to help you choose the right solicitor, or how
to choose a solicitor with a specialist area of law, like education,
which is particularly important, and how
to make sure your solicitor is regulated. All solicitors listed on
our site are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).