Child Not Allocated a Preferred Grammar School Place?

Author:
Emma Davies
Senior Associate Lawyer, Education and Community Care
Date:
03/03/2022

Aside from a limited number of exceptions, Grammar Schools are the only schools in England and Wales that can admit children based on their academic abilities. If you have made an application for your child to attend a Grammar School, you’re already aware of the 11+ examinations that are used to decide if your child is considered to be of grammar school ability.

But, what happens if your child wasn’t offered a place?

Even if your child did perform to the required standard in their 11+, they may not be offered a place at the school. This is because there are not enough places available. So, if you’ve not been offered a place because of a limit in numbers, you have no choice but to engage in the General Secondary School Admissions Appeal Process.

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Even if your child did not pass the 11+ exam, you are able to make an appeal and the way the Independent Appeal Panel deal with this depends on the school’s processes for the 11+, as follows:

Grammar School Internal Review Process

The Grammar School your child applied to may have an internal review process for children who’ve failed the 11+ examinations by a small margin. This review process has to be conducted fairly and equally to all children in this situation.

You should ask the school if they have an internal review process. You should also know that any internal review process has to comply with the Schools Admissions Code. If the school does have an internal review process and you decide to appeal, the Independent Appeal Panel will only look at whether the Code was followed and if the review was conducted fairly, when reaching their decision. This means that your child’s academic ability will not be considered by the panel as part of the appeal.

No Internal Review Process?

However, if the school doesn’t have an internal review process, then the Independent Appeal Panel has to initially decide if your child is of Grammar School ability. This could involve looking at SATs results, previous school reports and any other relevant documents. If, as a result of all that information, they decide that your child is not of Grammar School ability, then the appeal would end there.

If, after consideration of the evidence, the Independent Appeal Panel decides that your child is of Grammar School ability, then the appeal would continue under the General Secondary School Admissions Appeal Process.

The General Secondary Admissions Appeal Process

Even if your child is not given a place at a Grammar school, you will still have to go through the same secondary school admission appeals process as everyone else.

How we can Help With the Secondary School Admissions Appeal Process

Our Education Lawyers understand how upsetting it is when your child hasn’t been offered a place at your preferred Grammar School.

We can help you understand if making an appeal is the right decision, giving you help and legal advice about the process and your chances of success.

Our specialist education law advisors can give you all the information you need on how best to approach an appeal and give you their insight into the process, so you are well prepared about what to expect.

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