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Overview

1. Overview

If you have applied for a school place for your child and the admission authority has refused the school place, you have a right of appeal for the school place to an Independent Appeal Panel (IAP).  

Most appeals for Buckinghamshire Schools are administered by the Education Appeals Team at Buckinghamshire County Council. If you have any queries about admission appeals, please read the Parents’ Guide which contains important information and advice.

The Education Appeals Team is independent from the Admissions and Transport Team at the Council.  If you have queries relating to: allocations of school places, Waiting Lists, Grammar School Transfer Tests and Selection Reviews, these should be made to the Admissions and Transport Team.

2. Types of appeal

There are different types of appeal depending on the school place you are applying for.  The type will affect the evidence which you should provide and the decisions the IAP can make. Please read the Parents’ Guide for further information.

Appeals for Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 (Infant Class Size Appeal)

Your application for a school place into Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 was probably refused because the law limits class sizes in these years to 30 children per teacher.  You can appeal against this decision but the Courts have made it extremely difficult for you to succeed, even if the refusal of the school place causes you extreme personal inconvenience e.g. it is impossible for you to continue working or get children to school on time. 

In 2017, just 4% of appeals were successful and IAPs are usually unable to consider parents’ personal circumstances when reaching decisions.

Appeals where the School is full

Your application for a school place may have been refused because there were more applicants than there were places, the admission authority has allocated places according to the admission arrangements (rules) and the school is full. At the appeal, the IAP will need to weigh your reasons for wanting the school place against the admission authority’s argument that to admit an additional child would harm the education of the existing pupils. The IAP will need to decide whether you or the school has the stronger case.

Unqualified Appeals for Grammar School

You may have been refused a place at grammar school because your child did not qualify in the Transfer Tests.  If you went to Selection Review, the IAP will only be able to consider academic evidence and the reasons you want the school if it decides that the Selection Review was not carried out in a fair, consistent and objective way.

Even if an IAP qualifies a child for a grammar school at appeal, the grammar school is likely to be full, and so the IAP will need to weigh the parent’s reasons for wanting the place against the admission authority’s argument that to admit an additional child would harm the education of the existing pupils. The IAP will need to decide whether the school or the child has the stronger case.

In 2017, 14% of grammar school appeals, where there had been a Selection Review, were successful.  Where there had not been a Selection Review, 2% were successful.

3. The appeal hearing

The Education Appeals Team will give you 10 days’ notice of the appeal date, time and venue.  (You may receive 2 hearing appointments when there are a number of parents appealing for a school. At the first appointment, the admission authority will explain to all parents why places were refused. At the second appointment, only you will be invited to attend to explain why you want the school place).  

A choice of appeal dates cannot be given due to the volume of appeals received. Appeals take place on school days only.

A week before the appeal, you will also be sent copies of the admission authority’s case saying why it refused the school place, and copies of all documents you have submitted to the Education Appeals Team in support of your appeal.

If you cannot attend the appeal, please inform the Education Appeals Team as soon as possible so the IAP is not kept waiting and the Clerk to the IAP does not contact you.  If you wish to withdraw your appeal, please confirm this in writing to the Education Appeals Team.

If you do not attend the appeal hearing, the IAP will make a decision in your absence taking into consideration all the information received from you.

At an appeal hearing, you will be invited to say why you want the school place and the admission authority will explain why the place was refused. After you and the admission authority have left the room and the IAP has considered all the evidence presented, the IAP will make its decision, and you will either be successful or unsuccessful in obtaining the school place for your child.

The IAP’s decision is legally binding on you, the school and the admission authority. You will be informed of the decision by letter which will be sent by first class post (and not over the telephone or email) no later than 5 school days after the appeal (or the last appeal where there are multiple appeals for a school).

4. Request an Admission Appeal

Make an appeal for a school place

You can make an appeal if you have applied for a Buckinghamshire School place and been refused.

What you need to know

  • You will need to submit a separate appeal form for each child and/or each school
  • You should send your evidence no later than 10 days before the appeal hearing or the IAP may not be able to consider it
  • Do not send school work or certificates
  • It is your responsibility to provide your evidence in support of your appeal

Before you begin

  • Read the Parents' Guide
  • Prepare any evidence you wish to upload in support of your application
  • Prepare your reasons for your appeal

Primary school

If you were refused a place on 16 April 2018, your deadline date for appealing is 14 May 2018 (2pm).

(Appeals received by this deadline will be heard between June and late July 2018, but appeals received later will not be heard until September/October 2018).

In-year appeal forms must be submitted within 20 school days of the date you received written notification that your child was refused the school place.

The appeal form takes approximately 25 minutes to complete.

Request a primary school appeal

Secondary school

If you were refused a place on 1 March 2018, your deadline date for appealing is 28 March 2018 (2pm).

(Appeals received by this deadline will be heard between early May and late July 2018, but appeals received later will not be heard until September/October 2018).

Late Transfer Year 8 & 9 for September 2018 entry - if you were refused a place on 6 April your deadline date is 14 May 2018 (2pm)

In-year appeal forms must be submitted within 20 school days of the date you received written notification that your child was refused the school place.

The appeal form takes approximately 25 minutes to complete.

Request a secondary school appeal

5. Timetable

 

Date

Event

1 March 2018

Secondary Transfer Allocation Day

28 March 2018

(2pm)

Secondary Appeals Deadline  - completed appeal forms must be received by the Appeals Team by 2pm on 28 March 2018*

May – July 2018

(excluding Bank Holiday and school Holidays)

Secondary Admission Appeals heard

16 April 2018

Primary Allocation Day

14 May 2018

(2pm)

Primary Appeals Deadline  - completed appeal forms must be received by the Appeals Team by 2pm on 14 May 2018*

June – July 2018

Primary Admission Appeals heard

At least 10 school days prior to hearing

Appeal hearing date and time letters sent to parents

At least 10 working days prior to (the Stage One) the appeal hearing

Deadline for Admission Authority to submit its case

At least 10 working days prior to (the Stage One part) the appeal hearing

Extra evidence deadline – parent/s should ensure that any additional documents/ information in support of their appeal is received by the Appeals Team by this date.

At least 7 working days prior to hearing

Case papers to parents, admission authority and panel members

No later than 5 school days of the appeal or, in the case of multiple appeals, within 5 school days of the last appeal for that school

Decision letter is sent to parents and Admission Authority

* For the appeal to be heard by July 2018

6. Results of 2017/18 appeals

 

Appeal Type

Number Heard

Number Upheld

% Upheld

Home to School Transport appeals

8

1

13%

Primary School appeals -  Years 3 to 6

69

32

46%

 Primary School appeals -

 Reception,  Year 1 and Year 2

78

3

4%

Upper Schools appeals -  Year 7

147 

47 

32% 

Qualified Grammar School  appeals - Year 7

54

7

13%

Unqualified Grammar School appeals after Selection Review – Year 7  

133

19

14%

Unqualified Grammar School appeals with no Selection Review – Year 7

52

1

2%

Upper School appeals – Years 8 to 11

30

12

40%

Qualified Grammar School appeals – Years 8 to 10

77 

23

30% 

Unqualified Grammar School appeals - Years 8 to 10

67

10

15% 

Sixth Form appeals

4

0

0% 

7. Contact the Education Appeals Team

Email: appeals@buckscc.gov.uk

 

Post:
Education Appeals Team,
Buckinghamshire County Council,
County Hall,
Aylesbury,
HP20 1UA