Appealing against a decision
If your child has been refused a place at a school for which they have applied, you can appeal that decision; details on how to do this are below.
For Local Authority Schools (Community Schools or Voluntary Controlled Schools) you can download the appeal form from this page under the Downloads section or from Forms, guides and policy documents. Alternatively email email@example.com and we can email you a form. Please email your completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You still need to complete and send in an appeal form, even if you selected to appeal on the parent portal.
For Academies, Foundation Schools and Voluntary Aided Schools contact the school in the first instance to let them know you would like to appeal. Some of these schools administer their own appeals so you would need to appeal directly to them. Others have arranged for Wiltshire Council to administer their appeals. The school will be able to advise whether you should appeal with them or complete the appeal form and send to us.
We recommend reading a parents guide to school admission appeals prior to completing the form.
You should submit your appeal form within 20 school days from the date of notification that your application was unsuccessful.
Appeals will be held remotely, using Microsoft Teams. So long as you have a computer, tablet or phone you will be able to take part remotely. Guidance will be provided on how you can access your appeal hearing. If you are unable to take part in a remote hearing, please advise us of this as soon as possible by emailing email@example.com , so we can discuss how to facilitate your appeal.
Your appeal will be heard as soon as is reasonably practicable. You will be advised of your appeal date at least 10 school days in advance of the hearing.
There are deadlines which we must adhere to within the School Admissions Appeals Code:
- For applications made in the normal admissions round, appeals must be heard within 40 school days of the deadline for lodging appeals
- For late applications, appeals should be heard within 40 school days from the deadline for lodging appeals where possible, or within 30 school days of the appeal being lodged
- For applications for in-year admissions10, appeals must be heard within 30 school days of the appeal being lodged
- 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.
- Occasionally these schools make arrangements for Wiltshire Council to administer the appeals process, the school will be able to advise you if that is the case.
- 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 20 days of the date of your refusal
- You can download the form or contact customer services on 01225 713010 to request one.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01225 713010 for details of how to appeal.
Appeals for September 2023 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 Appeals||Late April / May / June / July 2023|
|Primary Appeals||Late May / June / July 2023|
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.
- 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
Infant Class Size Appeals
This type of appeal can only apply to applications for Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 (key stage 1), i.e. any class in which the majority of children reach the age of 5, 6 or 7 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.
Please note that 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 appellants 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.
Please contact email@example.com for further information.
If your enquiry is urgent, please call 01225 718259, 01225 718059 or 01225 718352. If we are unable to answer, please leave a message and we will get back to you.