Admission Appeals

If you are refused a place at any one of our schools or sixth forms you have the right to appeal to an independent review panel.


How to appeal

  1. Download the Admissions Appeal form or contact your preferred school and ask for a copy of the form.
  2. Complete and return the form, with any additional supporting information, within 20 school days from the date of notification that your application was unsuccessful. 


When the appeal hearing will take place

Appeal hearings will be organised by the Local Authority on behalf of the Inspiration Trust. 

For transfers to secondary school and first admissions, the appeal hearing will take place within 40 school days after the final date for lodging appeals.

If you applied to change schools during the school year and the application was refused, the appeal hearing will take place within 30 school days of the date you lodged your appeal.

Sixth forms:

Where the offer of a place would have been conditional upon exam results, the panel must hear appeals within 30 school days of confirmation of those results. 

Where the offer of a place would not have been conditional upon exam results, appeals must be heard within 40 school days of the deadline for lodging appeals. 


Before the appeal hearing

You will receive a written summary of the case for refusing your child a place before the hearing.

The Local Authority will tell you when and where the appeal will be heard 14 days before the hearing.

Your appeal will be heard in private. You can bring a friend, relative or representative if you would like to. You can also decide whether to bring your child to the hearing or not.

You should try to come to the hearing in person, but the panel will consider a written appeal case if you decide not to attend.


The appeal hearing

At the moment, hearings can be in person, by telephone, video conference or in writing.

At the hearing there are usually three panel members who make the decision. The panel members are volunteers and are independent of the school and the local authority.

There will also be a clerk who will record the proceedings and advise on law and procedure.

The school will be represented by a presenting officer who will give the reasons for refusing your child a place.

The panel will firstly decide whether the admission authority (Inspiration Trust) has shown why it cannot admit more children. If they agree that the case has been made, they will then consider all the points you have made. You will be given the opportunity to explain to the panel why you want your child to go to the school.

The panel’s decision is based on balancing the needs of your child against the effect of admitting another child to the school.


After the hearing

Wherever possible you will be informed of the decision by email by the next working day. You will also be sent a letter within seven days explaining the decision and reasons for it.

Decisions of the appeal panel are binding on both the parents and the school.

You have no further right of appeal in the same academic year unless there is a significant change in circumstances. This would include a new medical problem, or a house move, where this was not known about and considered at the original appeal hearing.

If your appeal is unsuccessful, you may decide you want to complain to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Read more about how to complain to the Local Government Ombudsman.


Further Information 

Full guidance on the GOV.UK website

DfE School admissions appeal code

NCC admission appeals