Appeal against an admission decision

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

Despite the restrictions that are in place, as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, appeals will still be considered over the summer months following emergency legislation and guidance from the Department for Education.

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:

Notice for all appellants – Submission of admission appeal forms

If you are unable to fill in an Admissions Appeal form yourself due to a disability or any language barrier you feel may compromise your submission then help is available from our Customer Service Centre who will be able to assist you in filling out the relevant form.

The Contact number for the Customer Service Centre is 0300 123 6707

The Contact Centre staff are unable to advise you of your submission and are only able to fill the form out on your behalf.

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 together with the consent form asking about the technology you have access to.

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. For these schools you must return the appeal form to the school (not to the area education office) together with the consent form asking about the technology you have access to.

The Department for Education has confirmed that appeals will not be conducted in the usual way, with face to face hearings.

It is therefore really important that your appeal case includes all the information you wish to be considered by the independent appeal panel. It will not be possible to introduce new information during the appeal hearing as panel members will not be able to give this the appropriate consideration.

Once we receive your appeal you will be invited to participate in an appeal hearing. The intention is that  hearings will remain informal and last around 20 minutes.

A provisional list of appeal hearing dates is published below. We will write to you to confirm the date and time for your hearing and how this will be conducted.

You will be asked to confirm whether you wish to participate or are happy for the hearing to proceed in your absence, with your written submission. Where possible you will be notified at least 14 days before the hearing to give you time to prepare.

The appeal will be heard by a panel 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 within 7 calendar days, wherever possible.

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.

Appeal hearing dates

This timetable is a guide and dates may change depending on the number of appeals that are lodged, the views of panel members and the outcome of a virtual hearing pilot survey.

Academy and free school appeals will be scheduled along with the relevant voluntary aided district dates.

We will confirm the scheduled date for your school with you after we receive the appeal papers.

District Hearing date
Lancaster voluntary aided secondary 4 – 7 May 2021
Preston/South Ribble voluntary aided secondary 4 – 14 May 2021
Fylde voluntary aided secondary 5 – 7 May 2021
West Lancs voluntary aided secondary 10 – 14 May 2021
Rossendale voluntary aided secondary 10 – 14 May 2021
Wyre voluntary aided secondary 10 – 14 May 2021
Hyndburn/Ribble Valley voluntary aided secondary 17 – 21 May 2021
Burnley/Pendle voluntary aided secondary 17 – 28 May 2021
Chorley voluntary aided secondary 17 – 28 May 2021
Wyre community secondary 31 May 2021 – 4 June 2021
Hyndburn/Ribble Valley community secondary 31 May 2021 – 4 June 2021
Preston/South Ribble/West Lancs/Chorley community secondary 31 May – 11 June 2021
Rossendale community secondary 7 – 10 June 2021
Burnley/Pendle community Secondary 4 – 11 June 2021
Preston/South Ribble/Chorley/West Lancs voluntary aided primary 7 – 18 June 2021
Wyre voluntary aided primary 9 – 11 June 2021
Wyre community primary 14 – 17 June 2021
Hyndburn/Ribble Valley voluntary aided primary 14 – 18 June 2021
Fylde voluntary aided primary 21 - 22 June 2021
Fylde community primary 23 - 24 June 2021
Hyndburn/Ribble Valley community primary 21 – 25 June 2021
Rossendale voluntary aided primary 23 – 25 June 2021
Lancaster voluntary aided primary 28 – 30 June 2021
Burnley/Pendle voluntary aided primary 28 June 2021 - 2 July 2021
Preston/South Ribble/Chorley/West Lancs community primary 28 June 2021 – 9 July 2021
Lancaster community primary 1 - 2 July 2021
Burnley/Pendle/Rosendale community primary 5 – 9 July 2021