Thousands of children in London have missed out on their first choice primary school this year, as the capital's recent baby boom put unprecedented pressure on the admissions system.
But if your child is one of those affected, you do have the right to appeal.
Here's what you have to do:
Step One - Check your offer letter or email
If your child has been offered a place at an alternative school, the offer letter or email from your local authority will include details of how to make an appeal.
It will also specify the deadline for lodging your appeal.
The deadline differs depending on your local authority or London borough but depending on each school, if in doubt contact your local authority by selecting the link at the bottom of this page.
If your child has not been allocated a place at all, you should contact the admissions team. They will tell you which schools have places available.
Step Two - Lodge an appeal
Appeals are conducted before an independent panel, which will weigh up your case against that of the school.
You can only make one appeal for each schoolthat does not offer a place.
If more than one school declines to admit your child, you can make separate appeals.
Once the appeal has been lodged it must be heard within 40 school days or before the end of the summer term, whichever is sooner.
If you applied through the PAN London admissions system you must log on to your eAdmissions account to accept or decline the school place by 2nd May. Receiving an email does not count as accepting the place.
If you applied online but have not been offered your first preference school, you will also have been sent a letter by first class post on 18th April, which will give more information regarding the decision and what they might do next.
The admission authority for the school will then write or email you at least 10 school days before the hearing to confirm the date.
Step Three - The appeal hearing
At the hearing the admissions authority's representative will explain why they turned down your application. The panel will then consider if they correctly applied the school admissions code.
If the panel decides there was good reason for turning down the application, you will still get the chance to state why you don't agree and explain why your child should go to this school.
This could be for a social, medical need or a disability the school may have not known about. You can't just argue thatyou want the school just because it’s a better school.
The panel then decides whose case is strongerand their decision is final.
It's important to be realistic, everyone wants their child to go to the best school possible but not everyone whoapplies will be offered a place.
The reality is better schools will get more applications than places available.
For further information on your local authority please select the appropriate link below:
- Barking and Dagenham
- City of London
- Hammersmith & Fulham
- Kensington & Chelsea
- Kingston upon Thames
- Richmond upon Thames
- Tower Hamlets
- Waltham Forest
You should contact your local county council.
There is no county council in Berkshire so parents should contact the relevant unitary authority.
- Berkshire (Reading)
- Berkshire (Bracknell Forest)
- Berkshire (Slough)
- Berkshire (West)
- Berkshire (Windsor & Maidenhead)
- Berkshire (Wokingham)
All the links above are for external sites. London Tonight cannot be responsible for the accuracy of the information provided by each of the authorities listed.