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  1. ITV Report

School places: What to do if your child is refused

WHAT DO I DO IF I GET A REFUSAL?

If your child has been refused a place at your preferred school in England, the local authority is obliged to let you know in writing and give you the right to appeal.

The appeal must be made in writing using a special form. You'll be told how to get hold of this form when your local authority gets in touch.

Check the form for the appeal deadline. If you miss the deadline, it will be very difficult to pursue the case.

You'll need to explain the following:

  • Why you disagree with the decision
  • Why your child deserves a place at the school
  • Why authorities haven't, in your opinion, followed the correct processes
  • Any change of circumstance since your original application

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I'VE SENT THE APPEAL?

The local authority will examine the form and compare it with your original application. They'll look out, in particular, for:

  • Any new exceptional circumstances (e.g. moving house, medical)
  • Any mistakes which may have been made with the original application

WHO HEARS THE APPEAL?

If the case is pursued, appeal members will be chosen who haven't played any part in the original decision and will be independent of the admission authority.

  • You can go along to the hearing yourself to give your case in person
  • You will face three or more panel members
  • There is usually a decision the same day, and you'll be told shortly after in writing

IF I'M UNSUCCESSFUL CAN I TRY ANOTHER APPEAL?

You can't appeal again in the same academic year, unless there is a big change in personal circumstances.

WHAT ABOUT A WAITING LIST?

The local authority will add your child's name to a list.

CAN I DO ANYTHING ELSE?

If you still feel your case hasn't been dealt with properly, you can take it to the Local Government Ombudsman.