Primary School Admissions 2014 - What We Learnt
Infant class size is the biggest hurdle to getting your child their first place at school and National Offer Day is right around the corner, for both primary and secondary schools.
We have studied the information from last year’s appeal round, and this year’s is likely to be similar.
Infant class size appeals usually hinge on 2 factors: a mistake by the Admission Authority
, leading to a place being denied; or the Independent Appeals Panel (IAP)
being satisfied that the original decision was unreasonable. The definition of unreasonable for the purposes of the appeal is very high.
Most parents will believe that there has been an element of unreasonableness in the decision, but perhaps do not realise that the legal definition sets a very high threshold which is difficult to meet in the majority of circumstances.
Every year appeals are on the rise and last year was no different. Birmingham had the most infant class size appeals on our list with 933, followed by Leeds with 833, Essex with 659 and Nottinghamshire with 362. The figures year on year suggests that the number of infant class size appeals is continuing to increase.
Most Successful Place For Appeals
The places for the most successful infant class size appeals are spread out between Durham with 124 out of the 239 lodged, Nottinghamshire with 121 wins out of 362 lodged and Kirklees with 72 out of 345.
For these successful appeals, parents would have had to make themselves very familiar with the admissions process of a school. Following that, a written appeal would need to be submitted.
Getting a solicitor to help you draft your appeal ensures that the evidence is strong and the right arguments are made clearly and concisely for the IAP to read. It is sensible to ensure that the focus is on the School Admission Appeal Code and its requirements, otherwise appeals can ‘lose their way’ and rely on emotion and irrelevant issues that the IAP are unable to take into account.
Least Successful Place for Appeal
Birmingham, Hertfordshire, Kent and Surrey are four authorities that had a large number of failed appeals. Apart from Birmingham, all of these locations are based in the South East. Typically, larger less rural authorities, where there may be more schools available to choose from, face some of the fiercest competition
in terms of trying to get your child into the schools that other parents also prefer. In areas of high demand, checking class sizes and focussing on the Code for guidance is essential to finding out if you have a fighting chance of success.
To help you find out both the primary and secondary figures from your local authority area last year, giving you a precious insight into what you may be facing in 2015, we have designed an interactive tool. By exploring our school admissions map, you can find out how many appeals were lodged, won and lost in your area.
If you received your child's school placement details and find it's not the school you were expecting or the place you wanted, download our free guide to the school admissions process and find out how you can appeal. Getting all the facts on admissions appeals in your authority now, means you can approach a solicitor for advice on what the best course of action will be for your child.