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Appealing against a decision

Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

The coronavirus outbreak will impact on the ability of admission authorities to carry out admission appeals in the usual way and there may be unavoidable delays. We are preparing to hold appeal panel meetings virtually and considering amendments to the deadlines relating to appeals in accordance with government Regulations. As the office is now closed, all appeals must be emailed to educationappealsadmin@wiltshire.gov.uk. If you are unable to scan and email your appeal form please telephone us on 01225 718259.

  • If you have been unsuccessful in securing a place at a voluntary aided or foundation school or academy you must contact the school directly as they are responsible for administering their own appeals.
  • Some schools may require you to make an appeal within a strict timescale so it is important that you contact them as soon as possible.
  • These types of school also run their own waiting lists so you must contact the school directly for information on their waiting list policy.
  • Whenever a child is refused admission to a voluntary controlled or community school his or her name is automatically added to a waiting list
  • If you have not secured a place at your preferred voluntary controlled or community school, you must appeal through Wiltshire Council within 21 days of the date of your refusal
  • You can download the form Appeal against a school admission decision or contact customer services on 01225 713010 to request a paper copy

Your appeal will be heard by an independent appeal panel, which will consider:

  • Whether the admissions authority followed its own admissions policy and if it had good reasons for not offering your child a place (e.g. the school was over-subscribed and other children met the over-subscription criteria more closely)
  • Whether your child’s need to be at the school is greater than the effects of having additional children at the school
  • Your reasons for wanting your child to attend the school
  • Any supporting evidence that might be relevant to your case (although this may not apply if this is for an infant class size appeal).

If you have been refused a place at a Wiltshire school but do not live in the county, you must contact Wiltshire Council's school admissions team on 01225 713010 for details of how to appeal.


Appeals for September 2020 year of entry, for the following year groups, reception, junior and YR7 secondary will be processed in accordance with the timetable below. If you require further information please contact Customer Services on 01225 713010. 

Secondary AppealsMay / June / July 2020
Primary AppealsJune / July 2020

Please note, appeals for In Year Transfers will not be processed in line with these timescales but within those outlined in the School Admissions Appeals Code.


If your child has been permanently excluded you still have a right to apply for another school and appeal if you are turned down.

However, where a child has been permanently excluded from two or more schools there is no requirement for an admission authority to comply with parental preference for a period of two years from the last exclusion.


There are restrictions to the size of classes for infant children:

  • The law says that during a normal teaching session infant classes must not contain more than 30 children to one teacher. Infant classes are those where the majority of children will reach the age of five, six or seven during the school year (i.e. reception and Key Stage 1 classes)
  • A normal teaching session does not include a school assembly or other school activity usually conducted with large groups of pupils e.g. PE/games, music or drama
  • Schools must admit up to their Published Admissions Number (PAN) but, if you are applying for an infant place, admission authorities may refuse your application if they have reached this limit

There are only very limited exceptional circumstances which will enable an admission authority to offer a place in an infant class which already contains 30 pupils.

These are:

  • Children admitted outside the normal admissions round with statements of special educational needs or Education, Health and Care Plans specifying a school
  • Looked after children and previously looked after children admitted outside the normal admissions round
  • Children admitted, after initial allocation of places, because of a procedural error made by the admission authority or local authority in the original application process
  • Children admitted after an independent appeals panel upholds an appeal
  • Children who move into the area outside the normal admissions round for whom there is no other available school within reasonable distance
  • Children of UK service personnel admitted outside the normal admissions round
  • Children whose twin or sibling from a multiple birth is admitted in ways other than as an excepted pupil
  • Children with special educational needs who are normally taught in a special educational needs unit attached to the school, or registered at a special school, who attend some infant classes within the mainstream school

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Last updated: 17 April 2020 | Last reviewed: 17 April 2020