School Placement Appeals

You have the right to express your preference for the school you want your child to attend. It can be very upsetting to choose the school you think is right for your child, but not secure a place. Whether the application is in the primary, secondary or sixth-form admissions round, in most cases there are options available to you to appeal, which we can help you with.

Your right to appeal a school refusal is absolute unless your child has been excluded twice and, in certain instances, where the child has challenging behaviour. If that behaviour is as a result of a disability then a refusal can sometimes be challenged on the basis of discrimination.

Local Authorities must comply with your wishes for placement unless it would “prejudice” the provision of education, or the efficient use of resources. If there are more applicants than the set number of places the school may be considered oversubscribed.  Additionally, in all infant classes there is legal limit as to the number of pupils per qualified teacher. An appeal against a refusal to admit a child on the basis that to do so would exceed the maximum number of children per class is called an “Infant Class Size” appeal. It is treated differently from other appeals.  These appeals can be particularly difficult and success rates are notoriously low. That does not mean that your child will not succeed. It is just significantly harder to win these appeals that it is others.

If the refusal is not based on class size, then the Admissions Authority (who decide admissions arrangements) will treat it as a normal appeal. It is therefore vital to have a clear understanding as to which type of appeal is appropriate in your case so that you can tailor and prepare the appeal correctly.

It’s for all these reasons that seeking specialist legal advice in these circumstances can be invaluable.  Our lawyers can quickly identify the correct course of action based on your own individual circumstances; and their expertise means that they know exactly what needs to be done to maximise your chances of succeeding at any form of appeal.

Appealing can be a stressful and difficult time. The burden of collating all the relevant evidence and making your submissions to the Panel can seem overwhelming.  We can help make the process less so.   Our team of lawyers can help you prepare your appeal and can even represent you at the Appeal Hearing itself.

Should you wish us to assist you in your appeal, please contact our lawyers Julian Richards or Stuart Matthews, or alternatively click here to provide us with your details, and a member of the team will contact you as soon as possible.

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