A parents guide to school admission appeals
Further advice and information
The appeal team is unable to offer personal advice about your child's appeal. We can, however discuss procedures, administration and legislation and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information regarding availability of school places and waiting lists, please contact our admissions team at email@example.com or by telephone on 01225 713010.
For further information go to the Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) website at http://www.ace-ed.org.uk/ or see the GOV.UK: school admissions appeals code - statutory guidance
The Local Government Ombudsman can investigate written complaints about maladministration on the part of a panel hearing appeals for a maintained school (not an Academy). Maladministration covers issues such as a failure to follow correct procedures or a failure to act independently or fairly - not complaints where a person simply feels that the decision taken is wrong. Further information can be found at: https://www.lgo.org.uk/make-a-complaint/fact-sheets/education/school-admissions or https://www.lgo.org.uk/make-a-complaint/fact-sheets/education/infant-class-size-appeals and https://www.lgo.org.uk/make-a-complaint or the gov.uk website School admissions - complain about the appeals process.
Frequently asked questions
There is no charge to parents for appeals, the school will pay the cost of the appeal.
No. You are responsible for making sure that the panel has any written supporting evidence at the hearing.
In your case you can mention all the reasons why that school would be best school for your child, and what special factors justify your child getting a place. There is no information you cannot include and everything you say or write will be handled in confidence.
Each case is different, however, on average for mid-year appeals both stage one and stage two combined take about an hour. In multiple intake or transfer appeals, stage one could take forty-five minutes to an hour and stage two about thirty to forty five minutes.
Yes. You can bring somebody with you either to support you or to speak on your behalf. You should inform us of your intention to do this prior to the appeal.
No, we actually advise against it. Your child may find the hearing difficult and confusing.
The appeal panel reaches a decision in private, by a majority vote. If the panel is considering a large number of appeals about the same school, they will not make a decision about an individual case until all parents have had a chance to put their case forward. They follow the processes outlined in the GOV.UK: school admissions appeals code - statutory guidance when making their decision.
All appeals are held remotely on MS Teams, if this will be a problem, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.
We do our best to hear the appeals on the same day. However, this is not always possible.
We will do our best to accommodate your needs but due to timetabling, statutory time frames and numbers of appeals being heard on the same day this is not always possible.
If you decide to withdraw your appeal, please let the appeals team know as soon as possible by emailing email@example.com.
No. All panel members are independent and fully trained. They are used to talking to parents and will do their best to put you at your ease. However, if you feel it necessary, you may be represented by a solicitor if you wish.
If you are appealing for a local authority school, a representative from the local authority will present the school's case. There may also be a representative from the school (usually the headteacher) who will be there to answer very specific questions in connection to the school's practices. If you are appealing for an Academy (or other non local authority school), either a representative of the school and/or a representative of the local authority will present the school's case; depending on whether the school has an agreement with the local authority.
Yes. Contact the democratic services department at Wiltshire Council on firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.
No. If your appeal is unsuccessful your child's name will stay on the waiting list. If you win your appeal your child's name will be removed from the waiting list. For further information about waiting lists please contact our admissions team on 01225 713010. Likewise, your place on the waiting list is irrelevant at the appeal.
You will receive an email that we have received your appeal form, usually within 2 working days of receipt.
The council will send you a document a minimum of 10 school days before your appeal stating when it will be held. Please note that appeals will only be held in term time.
We recommend that you do attend your appeal, it gives the Panel the chance to ask any questions they may have enabling them to make a more informed decision. Your appeal can be held without your presence however you can also send a family member as your representative if you are unable to attend. If you are unable to attend, please let us know.
Anything that you feel can help with the appeal decision whether it be a doctors letter, a letter from the school or anything to back up your concerns as to why your child cannot attend the suggested school.
Unfortunately, we will not be able to schedule your appeal before the start of term due to schools being shut during this time.
If you have any queries that are not covered in this document, please email them to email@example.com.