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Jane Sutton Education Consultant

Jane Sutton
Education Consultant

School Admissions Appeals Advice and Support

Have you been refused a place for your child to attend their preferred school?

You can apply for any school you wish for your child, but this does not mean you will be given a place at that school. Most popular schools are over-subscribed, which means every year disappointed families, like yourselves, need to consider all their options and make decisions about what to do next.

Every parent who is refused a place for their child must be offered the right of appeal.

If you decide to appeal you will find yourself on a lengthy journey, that in normal circumstances can be difficult to navigate due to legal obstacles and official procedures and protocols. You may often feel anxious and stressed leading up to the appeal hearing, which can be extremely daunting, often likened to a 'mini court' with feelings of being 'on trial'.

Whilst the appeal hearings are meant to be informal, they come under the umbrella of a ‘tribunal’ and must follow statutory legal requirements. Therefore, with having to adhere to such strict legal parameters, appeal hearings are mostly very formal occasions.

COVID 19: Reflecting on 2020 Appeals and moving forward to 2021

The information above is regarding normal circumstances, but we are not living in normal circumstances, we are living in the midst of a global pandemic where every aspect of everyday life has changed. Appeal hearings are no exception, new government regulations were introduced on 24 April 2020 to remove the requirement for appeals panels and all other parties to be together in the same room. As an alternative, flexibility was allowed for appeal panels to hold hearings by telephone, video conference or through a purely paper-based appeal where all parties could make representations in writing.

The temporary 2020 regulations that were due to end on 31 January 2021 have been extended until 30 September 2021. Therefore, all appeals during that time will be arranged according to this legislation, unless things change dramatically, and conditions allow face to face hearings to safely take place again.

Free no obligation, 15 minute telephone call

It is important that you read through my website, including the Fees page, before making the phone call.

Phone between 10:00am and 5:00pm on 07725 702770.

The following information will be helpful to assess your case:

  • The local authority you live in;
  • The names of the schools you applied for, in order of preference;
  • The school your child has been offered;
  • Distances to all schools mentioned;
  • What position your child is on waiting lists for schools (if you have this);
  • What can your preferred school offer your child that other schools cannot;
  • You may want to talk about your family circumstances and how this relates to your preferred school.

If the only way to gain a place at your preferred school is through appeal, I will assess the strength of your case, based on the information you have provided and let you know whether I will be able to help you with it, or not.

I do NOT take Appeals for Infant Year groups (Reception, Year 1, Year 2). It is very difficult to win Infant Class Size appeals where there are 30 children per class. This does not mean you should not go to appeal at all. I suggest you have a go and it may possibly be that you might be one of the very small percentage of parents who win this type of appeal.

I do NOT take Appeals for Grammar Schools where the child has NOT passed the relevant test. This does not mean you should not go to appeal at all. You should take up your right of appeal and set out to convince the appeal panel that your child has the academic ability required and give reasons why your child did not pass the test on this occasion, backed up with relevant evidence.