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Appeal against an admission decision

If you are not happy with the school place you are given, you can appeal for any school.

You can contact the area education office (admissions department) for help, we can:

  • tell you which schools have places available
  • add your child's name to waiting lists for other schools 
  • provide information to help you appeal

If your child has a statement of special educational needs (SEN) or education, health and care plan, procedures differ; the SEN team at the area education office can help you.

The appeals process

You will need to appeal in writing on the relevant appeal form:

If you have been refused a place at a community or voluntary controlled school, you can appeal to the county council, by returning your appeal form to the area education office.

If you have been refused a place at a voluntary aided or foundation school or an academy or free school, you can appeal against the decision of the governing body. The school will provide you with details of how to appeal and you must return the appeal form to the school (not to the area education office).

Once we receive your appeal you will be invited to attend an appeal hearing to state your case in person and to respond to any queries. Generally hearings are informal and last around 20 minutes. The hearing is not like a court case.

We will write to you to confirm the date, time and venue of the hearing. You will usually be notified at least 14 days before the hearing to give you time to prepare.

The appeal will be heard in front of a panel of 3 people acting independently of the Local Authority. They will have no connection with the school you are appealing for, or the school your child has been allocated a place at. These are the people who will make the decision about your appeal.

We will write to you to let you know the result of the hearing.

If a place has already been refused at appeal, the admissions authority will only consider a second appeal for a place at the same school or academy in the same academic year if they consider that there has been a relevant, significant and material change in the family's circumstances (since the original appeal hearing). If this is the case a second appeal hearing may be appropriate. Individual admissions authorities will decide in relation to re-appeal requests.