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A parents guide to school admission appeals

Types of appeal

On-time main round appeals

These are where your child is entering:

  • reception year in primary school
  • year 7 in secondary school
  • year 12 in college or sixth form

and where we have received your appeal form on or prior to the published closing date.

Late main round appeals

These are where your child is entering:

  • reception year in primary school
  • year 7 in secondary school
  • year 12 in college or sixth form

and where we have received your appeal form after the published closing date.

In-year transfer appeals

These are where you wish your child to move schools during other times in the academic year, for example, because the family has moved house. These appeals have no published closing date and are heard throughout the year.

Infant class size appeals 

This type of appeal can only apply to applications for reception, Year 1 and Year 2 (key stage 1), for example, any class in which the majority of children reach the age of 5, 6 or 7 years old during the school year.  Legally such classes cannot have more than 30 pupils with a single qualified teacher.  Not all appeals involving these year groups are covered by infant class size restrictions. 

There are very limited chances of success for Infant class size appeals. When considering an appeal for a place in an infant class, the panel's task is to review the decision already made. It does not have the flexibility to say that the appellant's personal circumstances mean that they should have a place at the school, if this would take the number of children in the class over 30. This makes an infant class size appeal different to other school admissions appeals.

The panel can only offer a place where it is satisfied that:

  • the admission of additional children would not breach the infant class size legislation
  • the admission arrangements did not comply with admissions law or were not correctly and impartially applied, and the child would have been offered a place if the arrangements had been complied with or had been correctly and impartially applied
  • the decision to refuse admission was not one which a reasonable admission authority would have made in the circumstances of the case

In order to determine whether it was 'unreasonable' to refuse admission to your child, the panel must be satisfied that the decision was perverse in the light of the admission arrangements.

For example - it was beyond the range of responses open to a reasonable decision maker or a decision which is so outrageous in its defiance of logic or of accepted moral standards that no sensible person who had applied his mind to the question could have arrived at it.

The Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman: Infant class size appeals (opens new window) does state that A decision that makes it impossible for you to transport all your family to school on time, or even impossible for you to continue working, is very unlikely to be perverse. The courts have established this.

Voluntary, Controlled, or Community Schools

Wiltshire Council is the Admissions Authority, and administers appeals for these types of schools, so please complete one of our appeals forms and email it to us at educationappealsadmin@wiltshire.gov.uk (opens new window).  

School Admission Appeal Form (OpenDocument text format) [20KB] (opens new window)

Voluntary aided, foundation schools or academies

If you have been unsuccessful in securing a place at a voluntary aided, foundation school or academy you must contact the school directly as they are responsible for administering their own appeal arrangements.

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.

Sometimes these types of schools make arrangements with Wiltshire Council to run the appeals service for them, however, check with the school first before completing the appeal form.

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