Secondary School Admission Appeals Explained

Posted on: 1 min read
Sarah Woosey Profile Picture
Sarah Woosey

Interim Head of Education Law

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National Offer Day is an emotional day for many parents across the UK, as they find out which secondary school their child plans to attend. But although parents who are unhappy with the decision have a right to appeal, many could be harming their chances of success by how they prepare their appeal.

According to figures from the Department for Education, secondary school appeals heard by a panel made up 4.1% of new admissions in 2017-18. That’s up from 3.7% in 2016-17 and 3.6% in 2015-16. However, the success rate for secondary schools fell to 23.4%, down from 24.6% in 2016-17 and 26.3% in 2015-16.

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Our Education Solicitors and Lawyers believe some parents could be lodging unsuccessful secondary school admission appeals partly because they’re not engaging with the appeal process in a meaningful formal way.

While thousands of unhappy parents will appeal to the Independent Appeals Panel, the vast majority of them will fail due to a lack of knowledge of the appeal process and how to prepare their case. Parents surely can’t be expected know about this, but with the number of appeals growing year-on-year, if they don’t engage with the issue in a meaningful way, they won’t achieve the result they want.

Each and every parent whose child doesn’t receive a place in their favoured school thinks it’s unfair, especially when the school is the closest to you. This can understandably be upsetting, but in order to increase your chances of winning a secondary school appeal, it’s vital that you focus on the School Admission Appeals Code and its requirements, as this is what the Independent Appeal Panel will be taking into consideration.

The secondary school admissions appeal process follows strict deadlines and evidence gathering criteria, so it’s important that you understand the process fully before taking it on yourself. However, it can be time-consuming, so many parents will choose to hire a specialist Education Solicitor to give their child the best chance of getting into their preferred school.

Our Education Solicitors have many years of experience in secondary school admission appeals and can represent you at the appeal hearing, and guide you through the entire appeals process.

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