Appeal a school admission decision
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.
Last updated: 18 December 2018