Appeal a school admission decision

9. Qualified grammar school appeals

Your child may be qualified but there is no guarantee that they will be offered a grammar school place because there are usually many more qualified children than places available.

There were over 3,900 qualified grammar school applicants for Year 7 entry in September 2020 but only about 2,300 available places.

Schools offer places according to oversubscription criteria or rules (published on school’s websites). Under these rules, places are more likely to be offered to children who have siblings at the school or who live near the school. 

Most appeals for grammar school places fail, even for qualified children, because the schools are already full and can show they do not have the resources to admit further children without harming the education of the existing pupils. 

If a child is qualified for grammar school, it does not matter what score they achieved.  A child with a score of 150 is not any more likely to be allocated a grammar school place or succeed at appeal than a child with 121 (or even a child who achieved 119 but was qualified by the Selection Review Panel.) 

In 2020, 214 appeals for year 7 were submitted by qualified grammar school applicants -  only 5 appeals were successful.

Only 3% of appeals for grammar school from out-of-county applicants were successful in 2019. The grammar schools are usually very heavily over-subscribed so please think carefully about appealing, especially if your child does not live in Buckinghamshire or lives out of the school’s catchment area.

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Last updated: 12 April 2021

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