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School Admission Appeals Statistics – 2015/2016

A Nottingham Evening Post article published on 18 April 2017, primary school admissions day, concluded with what would seem to be a pessimistic assessment of school admission appeals:

“Many children will again be placed in school that parents feel are unacceptable but it is important to remember that the chances of successfully appealing are incredibly slim and over-sized classes, bad Ofsted reports, siblings at other schools and distance from home are not considered grounds for an appeal.”

The commentator did not seem to be aware of the particular problem with Nottinghamshire admissions and a finding this year by the Office of the Schools Adjudicator that the Nottinghamshire selection criteria were unlawful.

Further, there did not seem to be any consideration of the most recent statistics relating to the success of parental appeals against non-admission of pupils.

The full Evening Post article can be found here.

School Admission Appeals Statistics

school admissions appealsIn 2016 there were 45 784 appeals that proceeded to a hearing.  Of those, 22.3% or 10 192 were successful.  It will be a question of interpretation for parents as to whether this success rate amounts to a ‘slim chance’ of success or not.

It is fair to say that appeals for Receptions and Years 1 and 2 are least likely to be successful, with only 12% of those heard being upheld.  Nearly a third of appeals for other primary years succeeded. Over a quarter of secondary school appeals were upheld.

Infant Class Size Appeals in the East Midlands

Locally, the chances of success varied.  Across the East Midlands, 14.2% of Infant Class Size appeals succeeded.  The chances of success, however, differed widely.

For example, in Derbyshire 37% of Infant Class Size Appeals for primary schools succeeded.  In Nottinghamshire that figure was only 5.3%.  This latter figure will reflect that fact that, at the time, the Independent Appeal Panels failed to acknowledge that the criteria were unlawful.

Leicestershire parents enjoyed a success rate of a little over a quarter, with Lincolnshire parents approaching that level of success.

Other School Admission Appeals

In Nottinghamshire, in appeals where Infant Class Size was not relevant, a little over a quarter of appeals were successful.  For secondary schools the success rate was nearly two fifths.

The full statistics can be found here.

What can I do to improve my prospects of success?

Each case will depend on its individual merits, whether the admission relates to infant, junior or secondary school.  It is likely that in any appeal you will be competing with other parents.  As a result you will need to take your time to make sure you undertake the research necessary into the ability of the school to accommodate your child and fully illustrate the prejudice to your child of a failure to gain a place at your preferred school.

Despite what the commentator in the local paper had to say, bad Ofsted reports for the offered school can be relevant to school admission appeals.  The School Adjudicator acknowledge the importance of a shared school experience so siblings at the preferred school will be relevant.  Distance and other logistical issues can all be relevant to your appeal, particularly where children are at different sites some distance away.  The conflict between school times are likely to result in conflict between the parents and each school.

All of these are likely to cause prejudice to your child if the appeal is not successful.

Contact an education law solicitor

school admission appeals
Education law solicitor Clare Roberts

If you wish to discuss an issue arising out of school admissions appeals then please contact education law solicitor Clare Roberts on 0115 959950.  She will be able to give you initial free advice about the merits of your appeal and how best to progress it.

Alternatively you can use the contact form below:

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