Admission Appeals for All Schools at 黄色播放器

Guidance for Parents / Carers

Before you submit an admissions appeal, please read through our appeals guidance below.聽聽

Any parent or guardian who has been refused a school place for their child has the right to appeal the decision. The decision letter issued by the Local Authority will explain why your application has been refused. The most common reason that a school does not offer a place is that the school received more applications than places available, and other children had a higher priority for a place at the school when the school鈥檚 admission policy was applied.

For in-year applications, a place may be refused because the school is at its published admission number (PAN). The school will not want to admit more pupils than they have spaces available, as this will affect resources and the education of other children at the school.

If you are not allocated a place at a preferred school, you are entitled to appeal the decision and an Independent Appeal Panel will consider your appeal. They will take account your reasons for appealing, the school鈥檚 published admission arrangements and their reasons for refusal. You can appeal for more than one school.

The Department for Education publish which we suggest you read in addition to the information below.

You must give your reasons as to why your child should be admitted to the school. You will receive the school鈥檚 paperwork defending the appeal in due course. Both sets of papers will be given to an Independent Appeal Panel, who will decide the appeal. The Appeal Panel decides whether to uphold (allow) or dismiss (refuse) your appeal. It has no other remit. The Panel鈥檚 decision is final and legally binding and can only be challenged in the High Court via Judicial Review. You and the school will be sent a letter after the appeal giving the Panel鈥檚 decision, normally within five school days. You will not be told the Panel鈥檚 decision on the day of the hearing. If your appeal is successful, the decision letter will give further information about the next steps.

In coming to its decision, the Panel must balance the opposing arguments and decide whether the strengths of your reasons for wanting your child to go to the school in question outweigh the difficulties the school would have as a result of the admission. The Panel does have the power to decide that, even though the school is full, your child should be admitted. If they decide your reasons outweigh school issues, your appeal will be upheld and your child admitted. If not, your appeal will be dismissed and the refusal of admission confirmed.

Please be aware that an appeal can prolong the period of uncertainty for you and your child. You should consider accepting any offer of a school place you receive, to make sure that your child has a place should your appeal not be successful. Accepting another offer will have no bearing on your appeal and the appeals process does not limit other options available to you.

Type of Appeals

Types of appeal

There are two different types of appeal hearing. Your refusal letter will explain on which grounds your child has been refused a place.

Infant Class Size Appeal 鈥 Key Stage 1 Appeals (Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 only)

This is where an application is refused because the child鈥檚 admission would breach the infant class size (ICS) limit. The School Standards and Framework Act 1998 states that with effect from 1st September 2001, no child in an infant class (Year R, Year 1 or Year 2) at a maintained school will be in a class of more than 30 taught by a single qualified teacher. Schools can refuse to admit a child to an infant class where to do so would conflict with this statutory class limit.

Appeals heard under infant class size legislation have a very low success rate. This is because appeal panels are limited in the circumstances in which they can uphold an appeal and only the four circumstances below apply:

  1. Admission of additional children would not breach the infant class size limit
  2. Admission arrangements did not comply with admissions law and that the child would have otherwise been offered a place
  3. Admission arrangements were not correctly and impartially applied, and that the child would have otherwise been offered a place
  4. Decision to refuse admission was not one which a reasonable admission authority would have made in the circumstances of your case

If none of these grounds applies to your case, then the law states that the appeal panel has no choice but to refuse your appeal. Your appeal must, therefore, state which of the above grounds apply to your case and the reasons you give for appealing should relate to one or more grounds.

Standard prejudice appeals

This is where an application is refused because the child鈥檚 admission would prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources.

Appeals for children with an Education, Health and Care Plan

Independent Appeal Panels are not able to consider appeals for children who have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) which specify provision in a mainstream school. Such appeals should be referred to the First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability), and can only be made within two months of the issuing of the plan.

The Independent Appeal Panel and Hearing

The Independent Appeal Panel

Panels consist of three volunteers (made up of lay and non-lay members). Panel members are independent of the Admission Authority and have no association with the school. All Panel Members will have been fully trained in the legislation relating to School Admission Appeals. One person will be the Chair of the Panel who will be responsible for the conduct of the hearing including introducing parties, explaining the roles and ensuring that all parties have sufficient opportunity to state their case and ask questions.

The Panel Members will check the names of the appellants when they receive the documentation to ensure there is no conflict of interest and we ask you to do the same when you are informed of their names. A panel member cannot hear your appeal if they know you directly or have had any previous involvement in your case.

A Clerk will be present who is there to keep a record of proceedings and provide advice to the panel. They take no part in decision making.

Appeal Hearings

You must be notified of the date, time and place where the appeal will be held at least 10 days before the hearing. However, if you appeal late and there is a hearing already arranged in less than 10 days from the receipt of your appeal form, you can request for your appeal to be included at the hearing waiving your right to the 10 day notice.

The school is required to provide a written statement explaining the admissions arrangements and how they were applied and the reasons for the decision to refuse admission. At least 7 working days before the appeal you will receive a pack containing the school鈥檚 statement, together with a copy of your own appeal form and any supporting documentation you may have submitted. This same pack is also sent to the appeal Panel Members and the school.

You are strongly advised to attend the hearing in person to present your case, as it helps the appeal panel to be able to talk to parents/carers. If you do not wish to attend, or are unable to, the Panel will deal with your case based on the written evidence on your appeal form and any supporting documents you have submitted.

You may be accompanied by a friend or be represented by someone (including legal representation if you wish, though this is not normally necessary or appropriate). If you do intend to be represented you should advise the Clerk to the hearing in writing in advance. Please note that friends or representatives attending the hearing cannot be a representative of the school concerned. It is not normally appropriate for the children who are the subject of an appeal to attend the hearing.

The appeal hearing will be as informal as possible and the proceedings will be based on the principles of fairness and impartiality in accordance with the .

The Chair of the appeal panel will introduce the proceedings and explain the procedures for the hearing. They will have read the information that you and the school supplied and will have copies to refer to. We suggest you bring a copy along too.

The Chair will then ask the school to present their case (Stage 1). This is when they will explain how they feel their admission policy meets the requirements set out in the School Admissions Code, how it was applied to your application, why they feel they are unable to take any more children and what prejudice it would cause them if they did. The Panel may ask questions throughout the admission authority presentation but parents will only be allowed to ask questions once the presentation has been completed. Questions from parents at this stage should only relate to the information provided in the school鈥檚 presentation and should not include the issue of why you want your child to attend the school in question.

In a multiple appeal (i.e. more than one set of parents/carers are appealing) all parents/carers will be present together for Stage 1. After all questions have been asked and the school has summed up its case, all parties are required to leave the room to allow the Panel to make their first decision.

At Stage 1, the panel must consider and decide whether:

  • The school鈥檚 admission arrangements (including the area鈥檚 co-ordinated admission arrangements) complied with the mandatory requirements of the and Part 3 of the Schools Standards and Framework Act 1998; and
  • The admission arrangements were correctly and impartially applied in the case in question.

If the Panel is not satisfied the school has made its case, your appeal must be allowed and the hearing will end there and your child will be admitted to the school.

If the school has proven their case, and the Panel is satisfied that the admissions authority has proved that the school is 鈥渇ull鈥, then the hearing will proceed and everyone will be invited back into the hearing for Stage 2. This is when you then present your case as to why you want your child to attend the school. The Panel and school will then have an opportunity to ask you questions. The Panel may ask you questions during your presentation. The school representative will only have an opportunity to ask you questions when you have finished your presentation. Only you and the school representatives/s will be present with the Panel at this stage. In a multiple appeal all other parents/carers will be asked to leave the room during the presentation of your case so that your individual reasons are heard in confidence.

The Chair of the Panel will then give you and the school opportunity to summarise your cases before leaving the room. The Panel will then make their decision (except if there are multiple appeals).

If there are any adjournments 鈥 the Clerk will ensure both you and the school leave and re-enter the room together, as neither party can be alone with the Panel without the other.

When and where are appeal hearings held?

For September entry appeals, no appeals can be heard until after the specified closing date. They are normally heard from May through to July. An appeal will be arranged on a weekday during term time and usually held in person at another school in the area or at another local venue. The letter sent to you 10 days before the appeal hearing will advise the appeal venue for your hearing.

If you lodge your appeal after the deadline, it might be that it is not possible to hear your appeal until after the start of the new school year in September.

For our BCP Council schools:

  • HET will arrange for an appeal to take place either in one of our Trust schools, or may decide to hear the appeal remotely by video conference, if appropriate facilities are accessible by all parties.
  • From September 2024 onwards, if you wish to make an appeal for immediate entry, you鈥檒l need to lodge your appeal as soon as possible. We鈥檒l aim to hear your appeal within 30 school days from the date your appeal is lodged. This will be on a week-day during term-time.

Further Information

For more information about this guidance and the appeals process, please contact the HET Appeals Team via

We are unable to assist you with the preparation of your case. Further guidance about appeals can be found at:

Department for Education Guidance:

Child Law Advice Service:

Contact (for families with disabled children):

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS) 4 BCP:

Independent Parental Special Educational Advice (ISPEA):

School Admission Appeals Code:

School Admissions Code:


If you have a complaint about the way in which your appeal has been handled and you feel you have suffered injustice as a result of maladministration, you can complain to or .

Maladministration refers to a procedural error, incompetence, neglect or prejudice rather than the actual merits of the decision taken.

Co-ordination of Admission Appeals in our Local Authorities

BCP Council

The School Appeals service at BCP Council has ceased for all non-Local Authority maintained schools, including academies. For main entry applications for September 2024, 黄色播放器 (HET) as the Admission Authority, are responsible for co-ordinating admission appeals commencing Summer Term 2024. In-year admission appeals for HET schools will continue to be co-ordinated by the BCP School Appeals team until September 2024. From September 2024, HET will co-ordinate in-year admission appeals for its BCP Council schools. These schools are:

  • Bearwood Primary School
  • Bishop Aldhelm鈥檚 CE Primary School
  • Hamworthy Park Junior School
  • Hillbourne Primary School
  • Livingstone Road Infant School
  • Livingstone Road Junior School
  • Springdale First School
  • Talbot Primary School
  • Twin Sails Infant School
How to Log an appeal for our BCP Schools

You can request an admission appeal by completing the appeal form on our online portal

Portsmouth City Council, Southampton City Council and Dorset Council

All admission appeals for our schools in Portsmouth, Southampton and Dorset Local Authority continue to be co-ordinated by the Local Authority. If you wish to lodge an appeal for one of our schools in these Local Authorities, please do this via the relevant Local Authority process and refer to their guidance:

Southampton City Council

Portsmouth City Council

Dorset Council