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If you are refused a place for your child at your preferred school you have the right to appeal against the decision of the Admission Authority.
There are two types of appeal hearing.
- For Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 the majority of hearings are 'Infant Class Size' appeals.
- For Key Stage 2, (Years 3 - 6) appeal panels must follow the 'two stage process' for 'Ordinary Prejudice' appeals.
1. Infant Class Size appeals
Government legislation means that infant classes (Reception, Year 1 and Year 2) with one teacher cannot contain more than 30 pupils. (see 'Infant Class Size legislation' (msword, 34 KB) (opens new window)). At the appeal the independent appeal panel can only look at:
- Whether the admission arrangements were lawful.
- Whether the admission arrangements were incorrectly applied and your child should have been offered a place.
- Whether it was unreasonable/perverse (in law) to refuse your preference. The appeal panel would need to be satisfied that the decision was so completely absurd/outrageous that no reasonable person, with the same facts would have made that decision.
('Unreasonable' here means that an admission authority's decision is not rational in light of the admission arrangements in terms of its legal responsibilities or is outrageous in its defiance of logic. It is extremely difficult to win an Infant Class Size appeal on this ground.)
Given the extremely limited grounds on which an appeal may be upheld, Infant Class Size Appeals are rarely successful. Parents/carers can find it frustrating when they realise that the powers of the panel are limited. We are therefore drawing this to your attention now, so you can make an informed choice about whether you wish to appeal or not. The purpose of this information is to explain clearly the role of the Appeal Panel and not in any way discourage you from appealing, which of course is your legal right if you feel you have grounds to do so.
2. Ordinary Prejudice appeals
During the first stage the panel must have regard to the reasons for the decision to refuse admission and an explanation as to how an additional child would cause prejudice to efficient education or efficient use of resources.
The second stage is when the panel will balance the prejudice against the weight of the factors of your case. The panel will take into account the reasons you have given for your preference. If they feel that the reasons you have put forward outweigh the admission authorities case they will uphold your appeal and offer you a place at your preferred school.
Why do Children In Care and Special Educational Needs children have priority?
The local authority or admissions authority has a legal obligation to give Children In Care top priority in their oversubscription criteria.
Children with Special Education Needs are outside the admissions process, the local authority has a duty to reserve places at schools named in a child's Statement of Special Educational Needs.
Your right to appeal does not affect your right to go on the waiting list for any school that you applied for but did not get offered a place. The Admission Authority must keep a waiting list for at least one term. The waiting lists for local authority maintained new reception 2012 and admission to Year 7 secondary will be available from May 28, 2012 until the end of the term in December 2012. You can request your position by calling 0117 903 7694.
Please see 'Offered a second or third preference (pdf, 305 KB) (opens new window)' and 'Offered a place that was not one of your preferences (pdf, 307 KB) (opens new window)' for handy flowcharts to help you to work out what to do once you have received your offer letter.
School admissions Bristol City Council PO Box 57 Bristol, BS99 7EB Opening Hours
Telephones: 9am - 5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am - 4.30pm Friday.
Closed Wednesday until 12noon for staff training.
- Email: email@example.com
- Work: 0117 903 7694
- Fax: 0117 903 7710