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What to Include in an Appeal

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 21 Sep 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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My family have relocated to Brighton from Berkshire, a month ago, but my 13 year old son has still has not been offered a school place!We're renting for a year whilst house hunting, and live in a property 5 minutes walk from 2 Secondary schools both of which teach a syllabus equivalent to his previous school in Berkshire which is extremely important for his GCSE options and the reason that they were applied for. The LA say my only option is a school, which would require two bus journeys and that teaches a completely different curriculum, which doesn't even include several subjects that he's been studying for the past two years and his GCSE subject option.Surely, this is a case for the LA to provide an extra place given the circumstances.Please can anyone advise?My son has already lost vital school days this term, ridiculously unfair!Thankyou
Jane66 - 21-Sep-17 @ 12:27 PM
Hi, Im looking Some advise;In June this year Im regester my daughter for the exam 11+ (for Grammar School) and I received comfirmation from Bexley Council, Because she' my only Child and Im not British Born I don't know how this proces works I thought rest of the details like when and Where this exam will take a place School will be inform the parents sometimes before exam but my daughter starts School this September on Monday she' told me that some children have exam Today also some will have tomorrow I was comfused and next day spoke with her teacher which she inform me that council send the list to School when and which children will have exam but my daughter name wasn't on the list! School advise me to give a call Bexley Council which I did, Adviser who answear the phone she said my daughter exam was today at 9:00 am at Bexleyheat Grammar School which she's alrady missed because Bexley Council didn't send me a letter they also They Not Feels guilty about it and try blame me for it! She said Is nothing I can do and my daughter she can try next year! I don't want to she try next year coz of the Council mistake We spend lot of time and money to preper her for this exam and I don't want all this been wested.Please If anyone been in same situation before can you advise me What to do Is any option to appeal
Monika25 - 13-Sep-17 @ 10:24 PM
Hi there I really need help with this if got my daughter appeal on the 10 July for secondary school as the school she was offered she can't go there due to being bullied for 6 yrs at her primary school and all them children go to that school so I have to appeal I'm not sure what I write in the letter and what I say please can so.one help me with this
Mc - 2-Jul-17 @ 4:24 PM
Hi. I'm looking some advice. My child has been offered his third choice of secondary school. Which is a good school. His first choice though is the school beside the nursery and primary school that he's been attending for the last 8yrs yet they have refused him entry. Yes we don't live in the area but another child that lives in our area received a place ahead of my son. Do you think I have a case for appeal?
mrsj - 21-May-17 @ 10:26 AM
Hi, I have an appeal today for my sons secondary school place and I've come to the realisation that I have no case really apart from the fact the school he has got in too is rubbish in my eyes! And I want he to get the best possible education he can and believe the school I want him to go to can provide that better then the school in our catchment area other then that I don't really no what else to say I feel like I'm in over my head I don't know what to do! Can anyone give my any advise?
Deb - 19-May-17 @ 1:37 PM
@Issaya - it sounds to me as though you have a good case. Good luck, you'll need it as the LA always find a good excuse not to give a place where it can.
Jill - 16-May-17 @ 11:45 AM
My son was first on the waiting list for a primary school place in Sep 2016 but the school has given a place in December the same year to another child. The place become available in Oct, 2016 while my son was still first. However, according to the school, they hold that place for two months for a child who had additional learning needs. After two months waiting, the parents of the child with learning needs changed their mind to go to another school. At that period, another student had applied few days before the December offer. They have given the place to this child who applied in December. As we believe that our son should have been given the place rather than holding it for 2 months, we asked the council further explanation. The council's admissions’ office confirmed to us that the school can only hold a place for only 2 weeks and they have not been informed about this case. We believe that the school’s decision didn’t follow the correct admissions procedure. The place should have been given to my son rather than holding it for two months and giving it to another child. On this ground, I am appealing against the decision made by the school. Do you think this is a strong appeal? Please help.
Issaya - 15-May-17 @ 4:38 PM
Hello, my son has been refused a place at a secondary catholic school because of distance. He was in band 2. Band one is for looked after children. My son has dyslexia and language seal he is on the senco register. The school does not admit children outside 1.74 miles we r 4 miles as the crow flies but in reality it is a 20 mins journey by train and foot. What sort of things can i say. It is important to us that Cameron goes to a catholic school as we r practicing catholics it's a small school able to provide for my son. I would appreciate your reply kind regards
Blue - 8-May-17 @ 9:26 PM
Hello All, I am in need of your help. My little girl is 4 years old and is in the nursery but has not been given the reception place. After further investigation my little girl was put in a Category 4 instead of a Cat 3 all because of the Board line runs down the middle of the Road (so if we was on the Old number side she would of been classed as a Cat 3 and would of been given a Place. Also she is catholic and goes to church with my self and they have placed her in a none catholic school. Also I am a single parent and have help of my sister 3 days a week both drop off and pick up as she takes my nephew. The school they have sent her too is out of the way and difficult for my self to get her to school and I could afford to put here in morning and afternoon club. I physical and mentally don't know how I am going to manager of cope. Please help and advise if I have good grounds to appeal on.
Stacie Corfield - 25-Apr-17 @ 2:30 PM
Hi, I am looking for some advice, My daughter hasn't been accepted into the same primary school as my son. When I applied for my son to attend this school we were in the catchment area, since then, the LA has changed the catchment area, although we are living in the same house, we are no longer in the catchment. I also work at rely on a childminder who works from this school and pre school only. If my children were to go to separate schools, I would need to reconsider my job as I would not have childcare or I would need to try to find additional childcare Either way, this would affect us financially and add so much more stress to our already busy lives. My daughter is very anxious and doesn't cope well with big changes. It took many months for her to even say a word to staff or children when she started pre school. She would soil or wet herself after me collecting her from pre school/ childminder due to not asking to go to the toilet, this happened many times until she finally learned to trust staff/ childminder. She has made a few friends, she has confidence while with her friends but generally struggles socially.This will be a difficult transition for her but I fear that in unfamiliar surrounding, without the confidence she has with her peers, could really set her back. Her pre school are happy to write a reference to this and her key worker at the pre school had offered to appear at an appeal hearing. If it would help. I would like to know how these reasons may be viewed at an appeal. Any advice or opinions would be much appreciated.
X1101 - 20-Apr-17 @ 10:18 PM
My daughter didn't got her place in my local primary school because was oversubscribed. I've put a medical reason that she has got motion sickness and gettin into a bus is a nightmare( + Taking antivomit drugs twice a daymake her dizzy and sleepy) . Anyone have any idea if that medical reason could help in my appeal? I am so devastated
Kath - 20-Apr-17 @ 2:23 PM
@Mrs_dinger - this is a good case for an appeal. Especially, if you can show logistically and financially that it is not possible to do two trips!
Bec78 - 20-Apr-17 @ 11:59 AM
My son has been attending primary school since september I applied for my daughters place in the same school but it has been rejected. It is not our catchment school but she also has been refused a place in that and been given a place at a school 45 minute walk away. How do I get 2 kids to 2 different schools by 9am? Before and after school clubs are out of the question I am a stay at home mum with a new baby my husband works away most of the week so I am the only one to get the kids to school and we have no spare money for school clubs.
Mrs_dinger - 19-Apr-17 @ 6:25 PM
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
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