School Admissions Appeals
Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on School Admission Appeals
In Halton, as in many other parts of the country, School Admission Appeals are considered by a Panel of at least 3 Independent Panel Members. These people are unpaid and trained volunteers, the majority of whom are retired and in the category of people being advised by the Government to self-isolate for an extended and currently indefinite period of time.
This unfortunately means that there will now be unavoidable delays to progressing and hearing school admission appeals this year due to the Coronavirus outbreak and a lack of available Panel Members. Admission authorities will ask their appointed Clerks to contact parents with a revised date as soon as this is practicable, and we will keep you updated pending advice from the Department for Education about how all Education Appeals are to be administered in this unprecedented time.
If you are refused a place at a school, you will receive a letter advising you of:
- Why your place was refused;
- Your right to appeal;
- How to appeal.
You may also be interested in the following documents:
The Appeals Process
School appeals are heard by an independent appeal panel comprising of three to five independent members of the public. You can make one appeal for each preference school that cannot offer your child a place.
The admission authority for the school must write to you at least 10 school days before the hearing to confirm the date of the appeal. Organisations such as the
Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) can give you advice on preparing your case and further information on what to expect.
How to appeal
You will find details of how to make an appeal in the admission letter outlining your offer. If your child has not been offered a school place you will need to contact the
admissions team as they can let you know which schools have places available, and can offer you advice on the next steps if you wish to appeal.
School Admission Appeals Timetable
In-year transfer applications
Appeals for children refused a place at a preferred school as a result of an in year transfer application should be heard within 30 school days of the appeal being lodged where possible.
September 2020 entry
Appeals for children refused a place at a preferred school for admission to Year 7 or Reception class in September 2020 will be heard according to the following timetable:
Secondary Appeals: Appeals received by the
deadline of 27th March 2020 should be heard within 40 school days. Appeals received after this deadline may not be heard within this block of appeals, but should be heard within 30 school days of the appeal being lodged where possible. Appeals are normally heard throughout May.
Primary Appeals: Appeals received by the
deadline of 15th May 2020 should be heard within 40 school days. Appeals received after this deadline may not be heard within this block of appeals, but should be heard within 30 school days of the appeal being lodged where possible. Appeals are normally heard throughout June and July.
Parents/carers will be notified of their appeal date at least 10 school days before the hearing.
A copy of the school's statement of case will be sent to each parent/carer at least seven working days before the hearing.
Any additional evidence parents/carers wish to submit in support of their appeal must be sent to the clerk at least 5 working days before the hearing. Any evidence not submitted by this deadline might not be considered by the independent appeal panel.
School Admission Appeals
Infant Class Size Appeals
Regulations made under Section 1 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 limit the size of an infant class (Reception, Year 1 and Year 2) to 30 pupils per school teacher. When considering appeals restricted by infant class size limits, only in very limited circumstances can admission over the limit be permitted. Details of these circumstances and further information can be found within Section 4 of the
DFE School Admission Appeals code.
Appeals not falling under Infant Class Size restrictions
These appeals focus on whether or not the admission of additional children would prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources. Panels must consider whether or not admission arrangements complied with admissions law and were correctly and impartially applied, and whether prejudice would be caused by admitting additional children to the school. Further information regarding these appeals can be found in Section 3 of the
DFE School Admission Appeals code.