Guidance for parents and guardians on school admission appeals

Last updated: 15 February 2023

How to make your appeal

You can:

  • appeal for any higher-preference school which you have applied for and been refused
  • make an appeal as soon as your application is refused

For each school you appeal for, you must complete a separate appeal form. There will be a separate hearing for each school appeal.

You cannot make two appeals for the same school in the same academic year.

You cannot appeal the outcome of a Selection Review of your child’s secondary Transfer Test result. You can make an admission appeal for a grammar school place for your child after 1 March.

Before you start

You should think carefully about making an appeal. The Department for Education offers this advice:

“You should be aware that an appeal can prolong the period of uncertainty for parents and children, so it’s important to be realistic about your reasons for appealing and the chances of being successful”

You should also:

  • read this guide as it has important information about your appeal
  • prepare any evidence you wish to upload in support of your application
  • prepare your reasons for your appeal 

Requesting an appeal

Make an appeal online:

If you want a paper form, contact the Admissions Team.

Before you submit any online or paper forms, check you have entered all the information correctly. This includes names, addresses and any Transfer Test results.

If you enter incorrect information, your appeal may be delayed.

After you have submitted your appeal form

The Admissions Team will check you are eligible to appeal. Once your appeal has been validated, the Appeals Team will send you an acknowledgement letter with your unique appeal reference number. Refer to this number if you contact the Appeals Team.

If you do not receive this letter within 10 working days, contact the Appeals Team.

You should:

  • keep copies of your appeal form and any other documents you send
  • tell the Appeals Team about any changes to your contact details or your appeal may be delayed
  • remember to check your emails, including your junk folder.

What happens next

Appeals are heard by unpaid, trained, independent volunteers. Your appeal will take place as soon as possible depending on the availability of the Appeal Panel members and number of appeals. The Appeals Team is unable to offer a choice of hearing date.

Your appeal will be heard by the Appeal Panel remotely by video conference.

At least 10 school days’ before the hearing, the Appeals Team will send you the date and time of your appeal hearing. The Appeals Team will also tell you the deadline date for sending any extra evidence.

Late evidence is unlikely to be seen by the Appeal Panel.

About 6 calendar days before the appeal hearing, the Appeals Team will send you copies of the appeal papers.

The Clerk to the Appeal Panel will email you the invitation to your appeal a few days before the day of your hearing. If you don’t receive an invitation, check you included the correct email address on your appeal form and check your junk folder.