Appeal a school admission decision

10. Unqualified grammar school appeals

In 2020, 209 unqualified Year 7 grammar school appeals were made - only 12 were successful.

If you went to Selection Review and were unsuccessful

The Appeal Panel must decide first:  Was the Selection Review carried out in a fair, consistent and objective way? 

The Appeal Panel must only review the Selection Review paperwork and decide if the Selection Review Panel followed the correct process. The Appeal Panel cannot consider the Selection Review afresh and give parents “two bites of the cherry”. The Appeal Panel can only look at the evidence that was provided to the Selection Review Panel at the time it made its decision.

In 2020, the Appeal Panel decided that 77% of Selection Reviews had been carried out in a fair, consistent and objective way.

Only if the Appeal Panel decides that the Selection Review process was not carried out in a fair, consistent and objective way, can it go on to consider all the evidence you have provided, including academic evidence and your reasons for wanting the school place.

(Parents should not send their Selection Review paperwork to the Appeals Team as it will be provided to the Appeal Panel by the Admissions & Transport Team).


If you did not go to Selection Review, (or you did go to Selection Review but the Appeal Panel decides that the Selection Review was not fair, consistent and objective)

The Appeal Panel will then decide:  Is there enough academic evidence to show that your child is of the required standard for grammar school? 

The Appeal Panel cannot qualify your child unless there is clear, strong academic evidence to show that your child is of the required standards for grammar school.

You must provide academic evidence such as: school reports, SATs results, other school test results where available and letters of support from current / previous schools clearly showing why your child is academically suitable for grammar school.

The Appeal Panel will want to see if your child is academically in the top third of the cohort.  It will be interested in Maths and English results in particular, especially where the child achieved less than 121 in the verbal or maths parts of the Transfer Test. The Appeal Panel will look at academic performance and comments made by the child’s current (and any previous) headteacher. Please do not send in schoolwork or certificates but you can submit a list of relevant certificates/achievements.

The Appeal Panel will also want to know why your child did not achieve the qualifying score in the Transfer Test and you should provide evidence in support of any reasons, such as relevant medical notes, letters from school or health professionals.

The minimum score for qualification in the Transfer Test is 121 and the range goes up to about 180. The greater the shortfall in marks, the stronger the academic and mitigating evidence needs to be.

If the Appeal Panel concludes there is not enough evidence to qualify your child for grammar school, your appeal will be unsuccessful.

If the Appeal Panel decides there is sufficient, strong evidence to show your child is of the required academic standard, and there is a place available at the grammar school, your appeal will be successful, and you will be offered a school place.

However, most grammar school places will have been allocated and the school will be full.  So, if the Appeal Panel qualifies your child but no places are available at the school, it will go on to look at your reasons for wanting a place at that particular grammar school.

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Last updated: 8 July 2021

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