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Primary school appeals timetable

Appeal for a School Place – September 2020



You have the right to appeal for any school named on your application that hasn't been able to offer your child a place.

You will need to complete an appeal request form. The form and details of where to return it for each school will be published in the Next Steps Guide on offer day.


If your child is due to start primary, infant or junior school in 2020 you can appeal between 16 April and 15 May 2020 . For applications made in the normal admission round, appeals must be heard within 40 school days of the deadline for lodging appeals. For late applications, appeals should be heard within 40 schools days from the deadline for lodging appeals where possible, or within 30 schools days of the appeals being lodged.


  • Primary school applications open: 9am on Monday 9 September 2019
  • Primary school applications close (national closing date): 5pm on Wednesday 15 January 2020
  • Offers sent to parents and carers (national offer date): 16 April 2020
  • Places must be accepted or refused by Friday 15 May 2020
  • Requests to go on a waiting list and appeals must be submitted by Friday 15 May 2020
  • Re-allocation of empty places begins on Monday 1 June 2020
  • Re-allocation of empty places ends on Thursday 31 December 2020





  • you can only appeal for schools named on your application
  • you can appeal for more than one school at the same time
  • you must complete a separate request form for each school you're appealing for
  • each school won't know you have appealed for another school unless you tell them. The appeals for each school are completely independent of each other.

Appeals for infant classes

In reception, year 1 and year 2, the class size is limited by law to 30. Your application can be turned down if all the classes already have 30 children. This is known as 'infant class size legislation'.

You can still appeal and your appeal could be upheld if you're able to prove that:

  • the admission arrangements haven’t been properly followed
  • the admission arrangements aren’t legal according to the School Admissions Appeals Code
  • the decision to refuse your child a place was unreasonable.

Appeal panels can only uphold infant class size appeals on one of these grounds.

After you submit your appeal

After you submit your appeal, a hearing will be set up and you will be invited to attend. You must be given at least 10 school days' notice.

You should be given a deadline to submit any further evidence you wish to provide.

Any evidence submitted after the deadline may not be considered at the hearing.

The hearing

Your appeal will be heard by an independent panel which has no connection to the school.

The panel will decide on whether or not to uphold your appeal and grant your child a place.

You will be invited to the hearing to explain why you think your child should be given a place and the school will be invited to explain why a place can't be offered.

There will be a clerk present who makes sure correct procedure is followed throughout and keeps a full record of proceedings.

You have the right to bring a friend or family member to the hearing to support or represent you. However, this person must not have a connection with the school being appealed for (e.g. a member of staff from the school).

What happens at an appeal hearing

  1. The panel will decide on whether or not to uphold your appeal and grant your child a place.
  2. The admission authority will explain why they turned down your application.
  3. You’ll be able to give your own reasons why your child should be given a place.
  4. The appeals panel must decide if the school’s admission arrangements were properly followed and are legal according to the school admissions appeals code.
  5. If the arrangements are legal and were properly followed, the panel must decide if they were followed fairly and thoroughly.
  6. If the arrangements weren’t properly followed or are illegal, your appeal must be upheld.
  7. If your appeal has not already been upheld, the panel will decide if your reasons for your child receiving a place outweigh the school’s reasons for not admitting another child.
  8. The panel will send you and the admission authority their decision within 5 working days.

The decision

The panel will make their decision in private after all appeals have been heard.

The decision is final and can only be overturned by a court. If there’s a change in your circumstances which could affect the decision, you may be able to appeal again.

Full details of the appeals process and regulations are available in the School Admissions Appeals Code