How do you appeal a school place?

To appeal a school place you must have a legal right to do so: this means that by law you have rights, responsibility and authority for a child and this will which includes decisions about their education. Children who are over age 16 can also appeal in their own right. If your child has been refused a place, the letter sent to you by the school will include information about how you can appeal the decision.

What are the grounds for appeal?

There are two grounds:

  • if the school didn’t apply their admissions criteria
  • if the school didn’t apply the criteria correctly. 

How long does a school admissions appeal hearing last?

The appeal will be heard by a panel of three or more people, who must be independent from the school. Appeals usually last for around 30 minutes and you will receive a letter with the decision within five school days. 

Can an appeal be rejected?

An appeal can be rejected by the appeals panel. The panel’s decision is final and can only be appealed by judicial review. However, your child can be put on the schools waiting list for the school of your choice. Schools will sometimes put on extra classes for oversubscribed years.

What are the types of exclusions?

There are three types of exclusion:

  • fixed term exclusion - for a certain number of days up to a maximum of 45 days in any one academic year.
  • permanent exclusion - when a child is no longer allowed to attend the school and their name is removed from the school roll. This can only happen if there has been a very serious disciplinary offence and the welfare of other pupils would suffer if the child remained in school.
  • lunchtime exclusion – when parents or careers have to take responsibility for their child during lunchtimes and return them to school for afternoon lessons. This is used when the child’s playground behaviour is considered unacceptable. 

Can a fixed-term exclusion be made permanent?

No, a fixed-term exclusion cannot be made permanent, or be extended. In rare cases, it is possible for a further fixed-term exclusion (or permanent exclusion) to be issued, to begin directly after the end of the first fixed-term exclusion. This usually only happens if further evidence of the incident that led to the exclusion has come to light.

Can my child be excluded for something that happened outside school?

Yes. The decision can be made to exclude if it can be established that there’s a link between the event outside school and maintaining good behaviour levels in the school.  This might apply if the child were to be accused of a serious crime such as possession of drugs or assault.

What is the statutory walking distance for schools?

The statutory walking distance is dependent on the child’s age. For children aged between 5 and 8 the statutory walking distance is 2 miles. For children over 8 and up to 16 the statutory walking distance is 3 miles. The distance is measured by the nearest available safe route on foot. If there’s no safe route, children aged 5 to 16 must be given free transport as long as they are attending a suitable school that is nearest to where they live. This is the case regardless of how far away the school is. This can be a very significant point for families with special needs children whose school may be a long way away.

I am not eligible for free school transport but is there still some help available?

You may still be able to get some help towards the cost of travel to school, if you child is not eligible for free transport. This will vary based on your local authority - you will need to check with the Local Authority directly.  For example you may get help towards your child’s transport if you are a low income household, or if you have recently moved house and changing schools would disrupt your child’s education - such as if they are in the middle of GCSEs.

Do college students get a free bus pass?

Students that are in full time further education and under the age of 19, can apply for a free bus or rail pass for their travel to and from college. They must live more than 3 miles from the closest campus offering their chosen course. Students that travel by car can also apply for help towards fuel costs. 

We understand your situation and our expert team are here to help

Get in touch to speak with someone who can help you move forward.

A father and daughter walking their Labrador in a green field
Designed and built by Onespacemedia