Guidance for parents and guardians on school admission appeals

Last updated: 15 February 2023

Your chance of success

13% of appeals were successful last year. 87% were unsuccessful.

Most appeals fail because the schools are already full. They do not have the resources to admit extra children, without harming the existing pupils' education. 

Or, in grammar school appeals for unqualified children, there is not enough evidence that the child is of the required academic standards.

Think carefully about making an appeal. Appeals are time-consuming, stressful for parents and expensive for schools.

Reasons your appeal could fail

Your appeal is likely to fail where you:

  • are appealing for a place in reception, years 1 or 2. This is due to the law that applies to these appeals
  • do not live in the school’s catchment area
  • do not have strong medical, social or educational reasons for your appeal which are supported by evidence
  • want the school place to make it easier for you to get to work, or to transport your children to school
  • do not submit strong academic evidence to support your appeal for your unqualified child for a grammar school place
  • live outside the county
  • have been allocated a place at another grammar school
  • have been allocated a place at another primary or upper or all-ability school at a reasonable distance from your home, even if it isn’t one of your preferred schools

Results of school admission appeals 2023

Over 1,100 appeals were made in 2023. The overall success rate of school admission appeals heard was 13%.

Appeal type Number heard Number successful Percentage success rate
Primary school reception to year 2 54 2 4
Primary school years 3 to 6 26 7 27
Upper school year 7 107 33 31
Qualified grammar school year 7 163 5 3
Unqualified grammar school year 7 after selection review 96 6 6
Unqualified grammar school year 7 with no selection review 48 3 6
Upper school years 8 to 10 15 8 53
Qualified grammar school years 8 to 10 35 7 20
Unqualified grammar school years 8 to 10 30 1 3
Total admission appeals 574 72 13