School Admissions Appeals
The following information will support you in lodging an appeal following the refusal of an application for a school place.
Please read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below and if you feel there is still some information you require that is not displayed on this page, please contact the relevant teams whose contact details are also below:
Will I lose the place offered to me if I appeal for another of my preferences?
Any places offered are not affected by the appeals process. We strongly advise you accept the place offered to you whilst appealing to ensure you are not left without a school place in the event of an unsuccessful appeal.
Will an appeal affect my position on the waiting list?
Appeals do not affect positions on the waiting list. Your position on the waiting list is determined entirely by the school's admission criteria only. Equally, waiting lists are not something that appeals panels can take into consideration and so your position will not influence the panel’s decision when hearing an appeal.
When will I be made aware of the decision of my appeal?
The decision of the Panel will be communicated to you in writing within 5 working days of the appeal. This could be by email or by post.
Can I appeal again?
You can only appeal once per refusal of a school. If you have had a decision and appealed already in the same academic year for the same school, you will not be able to submit another appeal. The only exception is if your application has been reconsidered and a new right of appeal has been issued, for example after a substantial change of circumstances.
What is the next step if I am not happy with the outcome of the appeal?
The outcome of the appeal cannot be revisited. If the appeal was not administered correctly then you can take your case to the Local Government Ombudsman if it is a community school, or the Regional Schools Commissioner if it is an academy. These organisations will only look at the process to ensure you had a fair hearing, you will need to outline reasons why the appeal did not meet the guidelines set out in the School Appeals Code. They do not have the power to amend the decision by the panel.
What are the exceptions to the Infant Class Size legislation?
Children admitted outside the normal admissions round with statements of special educational needs or Education, Health and Care Plans specifying a school;
Looked after children and previously looked after children admitted outside the normal admissions round;
Children admitted, after the initial allocation of places, because of a procedural error made by the admission authority or local authority in the original application process;
Children admitted after an independent appeals panel upholds an appeal;
Children who move into the area outside the normal admissions round for whom there is no other available school within a reasonable distance;
Children of UK service personnel admitted outside the normal admissions round;
Children whose twin or sibling from multiple births is admitted otherwise than as an excepted pupil;
Children with special educational needs who are normally taught in a special educational needs unit attached to the school, or registered at a special school, who attend some infant classes within the mainstream school.
How long do I have to lodge my appeal?
The decision letter you receive refusing your application will give a deadline for lodging the appeal. This is usually 20 school days. If you have passed this deadline, your appeal could still be accepted if it is deemed to be reasonable and that there is a good reason for not appealing on time.
Your decision letter will give you further details about how to appeal.
For academies, church and trust schools, and schools outside Nottingham City, your decision letter will advise you of how to appeal and who will deal with this.
For community or voluntary controlled schools and any academy that has requested this service, the appeals process is dealt with by the School Appeals Team in the Constitutional Services Department of the City Council, who are independent of Children and Adults.
Here is a list of Nottingham City Schools and what type of school they are.
A decision letter sent from the School Admissions Team will include details of why you have been refused and how to appeal against that refusal.
The deadline for you to return your completed appeal form will be at least 20 school days from the date of the decision letter. The exact deadline date will be set out in that letter.
To access information about school appeals in more detail or for information about the appeal procedure, please see the School Appeals Team page below.
If your child has been refused due to the infant class size legal limit of 30 (Infant class size)
The law states that no infant child (Reception through to Year 2) should be in a class above 30 pupils in an ordinary teaching session.
The grounds for allowing an infant class size appeal are extremely restricted and panels can only allow these appeals on the limited grounds, for example, either the admission authority has not processed the application correctly (maladministration) or the decision to refuse was completely perverse.
Independent appeal panels hearing an infant class size appeal have no power to consider reasons such as:
- Childcare arrangements;
- Children attending different schools;
- Travel or work arrangements;
- Academic performance
- Health and medical grounds (except where this need can only be met by the appealed school and this claim is supported by professional evidence)
Panels must dismiss cases that are based on these reasons alone.
If your child has been refused due to more applications than places and in line with the oversubscription criteria (Normal prejudice appeal)
The Panel will consider how the school would be affected by admitting one more pupil. They will also consider how your child will be affected by not going to this particular school.
The Panel will weigh up whether the school (and the pupils already on the roll) would be more disadvantaged by your child attending, or whether your child would be more disadvantaged by not going to this school.
In deciding as to who would be more disadvantaged, the Panel will consider evidence from the Admissions Authority, such as communal space, size of classrooms, levels of special education needs or English as an additional language etc.
They will also consider your circumstances, such as if there are no other schools nearby with places available and any particular difficulties that may result from your child not attending this particular school.
This section is only relevant if you are appealing because your child has a medical condition that can only be managed at the school you are appealing for.
The Appeal Panel must be made aware of your child’s medical condition, how it affects your child, and why the appealed school is the only school that can support your child’s condition.
If you are relying on information relating to a medical condition to support your appeal, documents should be submitted with this your appeal, from a medical professional, outlining full details of the condition and how it affects your child.
Make an Admissions Appeal
Completing this service should take around 10 minutes.Make an appeal online
Please ensure that the appeals for the school you wish to appeal for are being administered by The School Appeals Team. You can check this by looking at the appeal information on your decision letter and the contact details section.
School admission appeals are administered independently through the School Appeals Team, part of Constitutional Services at Nottingham City Council.
Following on from updated legislation released by the government on 24.04.2020, the timetable for lodging appeals has been amended.
The deadline for lodging appeals is now 28 days from the date of the decision to refuse a place (the date on your formal refusal), or 28 days following the publication of this notice (published 24.04.2020) for any applicant who has been refused at any point from the 28th February 2020 onwards (but has not yet lodged an appeal).
Appeals lodged outside the updated deadline will be treated in accordance with the existing published time scales.
Please note the above statement takes precedent over the below document which is the timetable for lodging appeals prior to the updated legislation The School Admissions (England) (Coronavirus) (Appeals Arrangements) (Amendment) Regulations 2020