We are monitoring government guidance for managing admission appeals. It is likely that alternative arrangements will be made in order to hold admission appeal hearings. Further details will be published on this page when available.
- About an appeal
- How to make an appeal
- Change of address
- How places were allocated at oversubscribed schools
By law, an admissions authority must enable parents to appeal to an independent body if their school application is unsuccessful. South Gloucestershire Council is the admissions authority for community and voluntary controlled schools in this area. For voluntary aided schools and academies, the school’s governing body is the admissions authority.
The appeal panel must be independent of the admissions authority and the decision it takes is binding on the admissions authority. This means that whatever decision an appeal panel reaches, neither the admissions authority nor the school can reverse it. The decision of an appeal panel can only be overturned in a court of law where the appellant or admission authority are successful in applying for judicial review of that decision.
A second round of allocations, where any places that become available are re-allocated, will be completed first and you will be sent further details of the appeal process and date of any appeal hearing, if the admission authority remains unable to offer a place at your preferred school(s). As all places which become available within the school’s admission level will be allocated using the published admission criteria only, no automatic priority is given to those who have lodged an appeal as opposed to those just on the waiting list.
The vast majority of reception appeals are heard in the context of infant class size legislation, ,that is no infant class may contain more than 30 pupils (except in very limited circumstances). Infant class size appeals will only be upheld in very exceptional circumstances and it is important to note that there have only been seven successful infant class size appeals in South Gloucestershire since the 2004-5 admission round.
At infant class size appeals, the independent appeal panel can only look at:
- whether the admission arrangements were lawful
- whether the admission arrangements were incorrectly applied and your child should have been offered a place
- whether it was unreasonable/perverse (in law) to refuse your preference – the appeal panel would need to be satisfied that the decision was so completely absurd or outrageous that no reasonable person, with the same facts, would have made that decision
Parents and carers can find it frustrating when they realise how very limited the powers of the appeal panel are. We are therefore drawing this to your attention now, so you can make an informed choice about whether you wish to appeal or not. The purpose of this information is to explain clearly the role of the Appeal Panel and not in any way discourage you from appealing, which is of course, your legal right if you feel you have grounds to do so.
Further information on infant class size appeals updated since the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency is available in our leaflet, Independent school admission appeals – amended during COVID-19 emergency.
If you wish to appeal for South Gloucestershire Council managed schools you should email AdmissionsAndTransport@southglos.gov.uk with your appeal statement. For all other admission authorities e.g. academies, voluntary aided church schools and other local authority schools refer to the next section.
You need to include:
- the child’s name
- the child’s date of birth
- home address
- parent/carers name
- a contact telephone number
Any additional or supporting documentation should be scanned or photographed and included as attachments with your email where appropriate.
Do not send documents to us by post at this time as we have very limited access to postal services
Admission arrangements will vary between the different admission authorities e.g. academies, voluntary aided church schools and schools in other local authorities. For further information on the reallocation of places, how applications are dealt with and the appeals process for your preferred school(s), contact the appropriate admission authority for the school(s) directly.
Make sure that you keep us (or the relevant local authority) informed of any change of address or contact details. If a change of home address is to be considered in the re-allocation of school places, the relevant admission authority may ask for documentary evidence in support of a move (a copy of a tenancy agreement, for example, or a solicitor’s letter confirming exchange of contracts and completion on a property).
Allocation statements are available to show how school places were allocated where the school was oversubscribed and where it was not possible to offer places to all children who applied. Schools located in South Gloucestershire are shown in the link below.
If you have been refused a place at a school in another local authority, you will need to contact that local authority directly.