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What to Include in an Appeal

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 6 Mar 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Nursery Primary Secondary Grammar

If you do find yourself in the position where you feel you have a case for appealing against the decision of the Local Education Authority and/or the admissions authority it is required that you supply the Independent Appeal Panel with evidence to back up your appeal.

Preparing Your Case

Start preparing your case as soon as you have decided you wish to appeal to decision. Initially you should start by making notes as to why you feel your child should have been granted a place at the school of your choice and also contact anyone that can provide you with written support or indeed is able to appear in person at an appeal hearing.

Once you have made a request to appeal the Admissions Authority is required to advise you at least 14 days (10 working days) before the date of your appeal. You can waive this however if you wish to take advantage of a cancellation and you and any witnesses can make themselves available at short notice.

The Admissions Authority will supply you with a copy of their statement outlining the reasons as to why they have rejected your application and, although they will have it on the day, it is advisable to include it in any material you wish to present before them.

Evidence

At your appeal you will be asked to produce evidence backing up your decision to appeal and also strengthening the case for a reversal. This evidence can take many forms and can vary in relation to the reasons for an appeal.

If, for example, you are appealing because of difficulties with transport and getting your child to a specific school it might well be advantageous if you can offer up evidence from local bus companies or taxi firms with reference to fares and also routes. Bus timetables can be submitted as evidence in such instances. Also a letter from your current employer might also go some way to strengthening your case if commuting to and from work to pick up and drop off your child are cited as reasons for appeal. Also if you are claiming that it is too expensive to send your child to a particular school because of fuel costs etc evidence backing this up will be helpful.

Also if you feel that you are unable to continue working for your current employer given such circumstances, a written statement from them confirming this would be useful.Likewise if you are citing an appeal on the grounds that your child requires special needs education then documentary evidence from your GP and/or an independent specialist would also be useful. Indeed if they can attend the appeal in person and answer any questions the panel may have this will be of great benefit.

As there are many different reasons for appealing the decision of the Admissions Authority, the list can be quite extensive so it is wise to seek help from a professional individual, such as a solicitor or a member of an organisation specialising in school appeals and ask them if they can help you compile the evidence you need.

If they can attend as well this will be of great help and will show the appeal panel that you have thought out your reasons for appeal thoroughly and that it is not just a case of wanting you child at a specific school for no other reason than you feel it is a good school.

In conclusion – as we have already discussed – there are many different reasons for appealing the decision of the Admissions Authority and to enhance your chances of success in appealing the more evidence and information and expert statements you can provide the more chance you will have of success.

But it is also worth noting that not appeals are successful so again it is wise to have another look at other schools within your catchment area and perhaps making a shortlist again.

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I really need help and advice about my son's year 7 admission. We live out of the catchment areas for all of the grammars schools in Kent but my son scored 365 which is a very good score and he was deemed to be a grammar selective. He also did the Bexley one and he was deemed as selective as well. We applied for 2 grammars from Kent and 1 from Bexley but was not given any of place. The most annoying thing is that his last choice which is within our borough was not given to him and he is now placed in school that needs to improvement as per ofsted report. I have approached our borough admission team and I was told that I can not reject the offer made to him rather I have to appeal against it (this I am prepared to do cause I will never allow my son to go that school anyway even if we lose the appeal). The confusion I am having now is that, I was told by one of the admission staff of our borough that I cannot reject the offer and make a fresh late application even though I have spoken to some grammar schools in Kent accepting applicants with lesser grades and I was told that I can make a new application and include their schools on the form. I am really confused on what to do now. If I can make a new late application or I only have choice of appealing against the school they give us. What should I do?
abbey134 - 6-Mar-17 @ 11:43 PM
Hi, my daughter have passed 11+ exam with score is 228, but that wasn't enough for our local grammar school (233 was the last score taken in) but we had 4 other schools within catchment area. NON of our choice schools were granted for my daughter?She was offered local school which has improvement required in foster report and great history of bullying. We are thinking of appealing to our (Birmingham) council. In your opinion, reason that she is the best student at her current school ( we will provide letter from her teacher and head master) would be enough to ask for any of our choice school? Obviously, going to school she was offered will not allow her to progress as much as she would at other local school with outstanding ofsted report?
Jack - 2-Mar-17 @ 10:14 PM
My daughter has lost her appeal for my 11 year old grand daughter to go to a school attended by her sibling a 5 min walk from her home, instead she has to go to a catholic school she is non Catholic 7 miles away both her and my daughter are distraught
Sue - 23-Jun-16 @ 1:26 PM
Kayley - Your Question:
My son didn't get a place in reception at his first preference even though he's been attending the school nursery for 2 years now and goes 4 full days he has all of his friends there he's extremely upset that he has not been accepted and he really doesn't adapt to change at all he just shuts down all the teachers at the school know him and think the system is so unfair what can I do

Our Response:
Your only option is to appeal the decision. In addition to this article, you can see more information via the Family Lives link here.
GetTheRightSchool - 15-Jun-16 @ 10:14 AM
My son didn't get a place in reception at his first preference even though he's been attending the school nursery for 2 years now and goes 4 full days he has all of his friends there he's extremely upset that he has not been accepted and he really doesn't adapt to change at all he just shuts down all the teachers at the school know him and think the system is so unfair what can i do
Kayley - 14-Jun-16 @ 7:35 AM
Hi i havent a clue on this whole process, but i am wanting to appeal as the school i chose refused my son. Within the appeal can you state you have no extra help or family close by to drop and collect, as the school theyve gave me is far..an that im due to start a course/part time work, so wouldnt be practical..Or are these reasons not valid! If you get my drift.
j - 8-May-16 @ 10:17 PM
Hi, we applied for primary school, which is attending our first child( he is in year 4 ) , but we didn't get a place for our daughter at the same school, because we are not in this catchment area . But daughter is attending this school's nursery class. School sent a letter, that we are only 41 on a waiting list, so i understand that we have no point to appeal this decision . Or maybe?
gabdom - 30-Apr-16 @ 12:30 PM
Hello, I have recently separated from my partner and am a single mother of two. I moved one of my sons near my work but my eldest son is on a waiting list and still at his current school. drop off and pick up is a nightmare. I can't go part time or employ a child-minder/club as I simply can't afford it. Pleas can you give me advice on what to put as I am appealing the decision. Thank you.
aha - 29-Apr-16 @ 2:16 PM
Lou - Your Question:
My son currently attends an infants feeder school, he was been refused a place at our first preference Primary (Juniors) despite it being the fed school and our nearest school (0.7 miles away). I am also aware of another child who applied to the same school, attends the same feeder school as my child but lives closer to another school within the same county yet he was offered the place. Both my child and the other child in question require no other special needs. I currently have an older child at the preference school but who would have left by the time my youngest starts. The other child has no siblings. I am struggling to understand why he was given priority over my child's application. I have outlined all the facts to the Local Authority via email (upon their request) yet it's been total radio silence on their part. I've put an appeal through but I'm hoping it won't have to get to that. Any advice or previous experience of a case like this would be much appreciated. Many thanks.

Our Response:
I'm afraid we cannot comment on whether your son was given priority. I hope other readers will be able to help with their own experiences. However, if your feel you have been unfairly treated then you should press ahead, as only then will you be given the answers you need.
GetTheRightSchool - 22-Apr-16 @ 10:58 AM
My son currently attends an infants feeder school, he was been refused a place at our first preference Primary (Juniors) despite it being the fed school and our nearest school (0.7 miles away). I am also aware of another child who applied to the same school, attends the same feeder school as my child but lives closer to another school within the same county yet he was offered the place. Both my child and the other child in question require no other special needs. I currently have an older child at the preference school but who would have left by the time my youngest starts. The other child has no siblings. I am struggling to understand why he was given priority over my child's application. I have outlined all the facts to the Local Authority via email (upon their request) yet it's been total radio silence on their part. I've put an appeal through but I'm hoping it won't have to get to that. Any advice or previous experience of a case like this would be much appreciated. Many thanks.
Lou - 21-Apr-16 @ 2:06 PM
My son currently attends an infants feeder school, he was been refused a place at our first preference Primary (Juniors) despite it being the fed school and our nearest school (0.7 miles away). I am also aware of another child who applied to the same school, attends the same feeder school as my child but lives closer to another school within the same county yet he was offered the place. Both my child and the other child in question require no other special needs. I currently have an older child at the preference school but who would have left by the time my youngest starts. The other child has no siblings. I am struggling to understand why he was given priority over my child's application. I have outlined all the facts to the Local Authority via email (upon their request) yet it's been total radio silence on their part. I've put an appeal through but I'm hoping it won't have to get to that. Any advice or previous experience of a case like this would be much appreciated. Many thanks.
Lou - 21-Apr-16 @ 12:46 PM
Shirl - Your Question:
My son didn't get into my daughters school, I'm devastated! We do not live in the catchment of the school but it was the only school that was not full when we moved to the area. The school they have put him in has the same start and finish times as my daughters school and is a different council so they have different term dates. It will be impossible for me to get them both to school on time as we have no family network and my husband works away, I also have work commitments. It has took my son the two years we have lived here to come out of his shell an talk to the staff at his nursery, I think it would knock his confidence going to a different school than his big sister. Do you think I have any chance on winning the appeal an what grounds do you think I appeal on? Thanks

Our Response:
I'm afraid sibling priority has been dropped in oversubscribed schools in a bid to try and create a fairer system by retaining the catchment area policy and giving priority to those who live nearest. Rather than take the emotional approach i.e your child's lack of confidence, I would advise you concentrate on the practical elements and that the logistical problems you face by him going to another school outweigh the school's problems in offering him a place. However, be aware I imagine there will be a lot of appeals as there always are to oversubscribed places and therefore a lot of competition.
GetTheRightSchool - 20-Apr-16 @ 11:43 AM
My son didn't get into my daughters school, I'm devastated! We do not live in the catchment of the school but it was the only school that was not full when we moved to the area. The school they have put him in has the same start and finish times as my daughters school and is a different council so they have different term dates.It will be impossible for me to get them both to school on time as we have no family network and my husband works away, I also have work commitments. It has took my son the two years we have lived here to come out of his shell an talk to the staff at his nursery,I think it would knock his confidence going to a different school than his big sister. Do you think I have any chance on winning the appeal an what grounds do you think I appeal on? Thanks
Shirl - 19-Apr-16 @ 7:55 AM
Hi my daughter has been refused for a place in Crossley Heath grammar school . She has passed the 11pluse test and my son attends Crossley Heath school too. And I live near to Crossley Heath school too. I want to go for an appeal. Can anyone advice me.
Sham - 5-Mar-16 @ 1:18 PM
@ribena - I would see if you can do both, especially if others have attained a place with a D grade. Even if you appeal it is going to take time, so you won't be able to send him anyway. therefore you might as well try from every angle. Good luck!
Jen - 25-Aug-15 @ 9:53 AM
my son got B in English Lit but a D in English Lang 4 points away from a C so he is not at his sixth form choice. Some children have got into that school with a D should I get the paper remarked or Appeal but if I get remarked it will take up to 30days and he sould be back to school next week
ribena - 24-Aug-15 @ 4:33 AM
JonBryn - Your Question:
Hi. Our small Welsh primary school is being closed in two years and, as a consequence, the teachers applied for jobs elsewhere and have left. Recruitment of replacement teachers has proved difficult and the council met the parents to discuss alternatives for all pupils should our school close immediately, none of which were at all attractive. The council also noted that there were only limited places available at the more attractive neighbouring school. We asked the council to give recruitment one last go and then come back to meet the parents and governors before confirming closure or not of our school. In the following days, some parents applied to transfer to the neighbouring school and their applications were processed quickly (faster than normal). By the time we found out that places were being assigned it was too late - but we applied anyway and our children were refused because the neighbouring school is now full. We are appealing that decision on grounds that the spirit of the Admissions Code has been breached - we thought we had an agreed process with the council. They say they had a duty to process the transfer requests. I cannot blame the parents at all - the situation has caused great stress in the community but I think the council has acted irresponsibly and unfairly by quickly processing the transfers from the first applicants. Have you ever seen a situation like this before and do you think I have any hope of winning an appeal? Thanks Jon

Our Response:
I'm afraid we couldn't possibly comment on this, for the obvious reasons that it would be impossible to predict an outcome. However, I wish you luck with your appeal.
GetTheRightSchool - 10-Aug-15 @ 11:12 AM
Hi. Our small Welsh primary school is being closed in two years and, as a consequence, the teachers applied for jobs elsewhere and have left. Recruitment of replacement teachers has proved difficult and the council met the parents to discuss alternatives for all pupils should our school close immediately, none of which were at all attractive. The council also noted that there were only limited places available at the more attractive neighbouring school. We asked the council to give recruitment one last go and then come back to meet the parents and governors before confirming closure or not of our school. In the following days, some parents applied to transfer to the neighbouring school and their applications were processed quickly (faster than normal). By the time we found out that places were being assigned it was too late - but we applied anyway and our children were refused because the neighbouring school is now full. We are appealing that decision on grounds that the spirit of the Admissions Code has been breached - we thought we had an agreed process with the council. They say they had a duty to process the transfer requests. I cannot blame the parents at all - the situation has caused great stress in the community but I think the council has acted irresponsibly and unfairly by quickly processing the transfers from the first applicants. Have you ever seen a situation like this before and do you think I have any hope of winning an appeal?Thanks Jon
JonBryn - 7-Aug-15 @ 4:19 PM
My son didn't get the school so I am ready to appeal, my son has a bladder problem which causes him to have accidents which he is very embarrassed about. My son has been with the same children since nursery and they know about his condition and except it and it isn't a issue for my son, all his mates got the local school but as we don't live close he never got in. I have his a letter from the doctor with his diagnosis alongside a fact sheet all about his condition. I'm extremely worried about my son as if going to secondary school isn't stressful enough now he won't be with anyone he knows. I know I won't win but can not try :-(
Tash - 9-Jun-15 @ 4:50 PM
@bonnie - I can't tell you what grounds you have to appeal. However, should you wish, you can appeal via the link here. I hope this helps.
GetTheRightSchool - 27-May-15 @ 2:22 PM
My eldest son did both the AQ & GL test. Got 93 in AQ & 230 inGL.We pick4 schools his first choice which incorporatessecondary and grammersecond & third choice grammer and 4 secondary. To our horror and disbelief he was placed at his 4th choice.With no reason why he was placed there. What ground do I have to appeal. Thx
bonnie - 25-May-15 @ 12:15 AM
@Reg - yes, as specified in the article, at your appeal you will be asked to produce evidence backing up your decision to appeal and also strengthening the case for a reversal. This evidence can take many forms and can vary in relation to the reasons for an appeal. It seems you have the evidence, especially as the predicted grades are below those judging by her report. In addition, as the article states, you should have a good case if you can show the panel that you have thought out your reasons for appeal thoroughly and that it is not just a case of wanting you child at a specific school for no other reason than you feel it is a good school. Wishing you the best of luck.
GetTheRightSchool - 20-May-15 @ 2:09 PM
I have received an email to tell me that the refusal was based on her predicted grades which they said were "a number of B and C grades". I knew this was not possible so I arranged a meeting with my daughters school who said they sent her last report from after Christmas, which had 5A, 5B and 2 C grades. They also sent a very strong reference along with a letter advising that they do not use 'predicted grades' however, they would expect a pupil who is working hard to acheive 1 grade higher than the grade on the report. Making her actual "predicted grades" 5A*, 5A and 2B grades. The 2 B grades were based on coursework as she was absent for the mocks so they could potentially be higher. Can I appeal on the basis that the admissions authority made a mistake when processing her application? Thank you
Reg - 17-May-15 @ 9:27 AM
@Reg - I'm afraid we don't know the finer details of the appeals system and what the protocol is. It might be that the school doesn't think you will be successful if your daughter's grades were not high enough and they know pretty much what the successful criteria is for appeal, which is why it might have sounded like they were trying to put you off.
GetTheRightSchool - 15-May-15 @ 2:23 PM
Thanks for that, very useful! I have sent a letter to express my wishes to appeal and was contacted yesterday by telephone by the admissions director. She explained why my daughter was not offered a place ie; oversubscription and her predicted grades were not high enough. She also said they dont have a waiting list 'as such' and parents are advised to contact the school in early September to show they are still interested and the applicants profile will be revisted. She then went on to ask if we had any extenuating circumstances and I began to explain and then realised if this goes to appeal Im giving them information which will help their arguement, so before I gave it all away I told her that I did not wish to discuss it any further. I asked that she send me details of how to proceed with the appeal and she said first I have to write a letter to the Head Teacher.I thanked her for taking the time to phone me directly and then asked that she send me something in writing.She seemed taken aback by this but agreed to email me over the next couple of days.I dont know if Im being paranoid or notbut I dont feel the school is being totally up front and honest, almost as if they are trying to put me off.Shouldn't they have sent me all of this information in the form of a letter?And is it normal practice to have to write to the Head Teacher before launching an appeal?Any advice would be very much appreciated, Thank you.
Reg - 14-May-15 @ 8:05 AM
@Reg - I have included the gov.uk link; appealing a school's decision here. It will tell you all you need to know about the appeals process and what to do next. I hope this helps.
GetTheRightSchool - 12-May-15 @ 12:11 PM
What is the best way of notifying a school you would like to appeal against their decision not to offer our daughter a place at their 6th Form? What do I need to request from them?-they have not included any information regarding a right to appeal in the email sent refusing her an offer. I tried to ring the school and could not get through so I went to the school and spoke to the receptionist and was told they had more people phoning in than there 'were fingers in the whole school' and to email on Monday regarding a waiting list, she then added, without me even asking, that 'you definitely can't appeal'.I have since checked their website and that is not the case.I found that very odd, if I didnt know any better I could have taken her word for it and not have bothered to appeal. Also should I request that they place her on the waiting list in the same letter as my notification to appeal? Thanks
Reg - 10-May-15 @ 3:17 AM
Thanks for your advice Emma. I will appeal. Thank you.
Miss T - 6-Apr-15 @ 12:04 PM
@Miss T - yes, you should appeal. Especially if you were told that your moving would not affect her being placed in her chosen school. It;s at least worth a try, as appealling costs nothing.
Emma - 2-Apr-15 @ 12:30 PM
I am asking for some advice please. I was placed in a temporary accommodation outside of the borough we applied for housing. My children are attending primary school in the borough who will house us.Me and my family were evicted from the house we lived and did not make ourself homeless intentionally so we were helped by the council which I am grateful. My older child was preparing to sit the 11+ exams during all this crisis. We were move twice due to place not suitable for my children's wellbeing.We had already chosen schools in the borough/catchment area who housed us. When it was time to fill CAF I was told I have to fill it in borough we are temporary placed, I was worried as the schools I applied for my child would be affected due to distance and my child passed all her exams. The lady from council assure me that I don't need to worry as the LEA work together and they would be notified that we live in temporary accommodation by the council who is housing me. I listen and went to do CAF at temporary accommodation Borough. The result came out and my daughter was not given her first choice or second. She was only given third as she was in Top 60, if she was then she would have been given school in borough we temporaryly live. I found out my daughter could have gotten her first choice as her score was highbut didn't get place because of distance. Just need to know if I should appeal or what to do as I am a bit confused. Thank you
Miss T - 31-Mar-15 @ 5:42 PM
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