What is an appeal?
If you applied for a place and were not offered one, you have the right to appeal against this decision. Please note however that appeals can only be upheld in very specific circumstances.
Why was my child not offered a place?
If we could not offer your child a place, this means that the children who were offered a place had greater priority, as set out in the oversubscription criteria in our Admissions Policy. For example, they may have a sibling at the school, or live closer.
If you have made an in-year application and this has been refused, it will be because the year group to which you have applied is full, therefore no spaces are available.
Find out more
It is the local authority’s responsibility to ensure that every child has a school place and we strongly advise you to contact your local authority to enquire about vacancies at other schools.
If you would like any further advice on how the school’s waiting list operates, or admissions generally, please contact the school admissions officer.
How appeals work
Appeals for children refused admission will be heard according to the regulations in the School Admission Appeals Code (October 2022).
Your appeal will be heard by an independent panel of three people who will consider two main questions:
- Was the school’s decision made properly and in accordance with admissions law and its own policy?
- Are your child’s individual circumstances so exceptional that it would be worse for them not to have a place at a specific school than it would for that school to accept an additional child? This is called the balance of prejudice test.
Your appeal is made to Ark Schools via an online form; an independent clerk will then manage the case. Once the appeal deadline date has passed, all appeals have been checked for eligibility and panel dates have been confirmed, the clerk will write to you with further information. You will therefore not hear from the clerk until after the appeals deadline and once hearing dates have been confirmed.
The clerk will outline to you how the process will work. Appeals will take place via video conferencing. appeals will be heard remotely via video conference
|Offer Date||Deadline for submitting appeal|
|Secondary||1st March 2023||30th March 2023|
|Primary||17th April 2023||17th May 2023|
Appeal panel hearings will take place within 40 school days of the deadline date for submitting an appeal.
Appeals for children refused admission to year groups other than Reception, Year 7 and Year 12 will be heard within 30 school days of receipt of the appeal.
On what grounds can I appeal?
You are not limited on the grounds on which you base an appeal, however, please be aware that the panel will only uphold an appeal in very specific circumstances. You would need to demonstrate that:
- the admission arrangements have not been properly followed
- the admission criteria do not comply with the school admissions code
- the school is the only school in the area that would be suitable for your child
Below are some common reasons that parents give for appealing, but which are unlikely to persuade a panel to override the school’s decision.
- The school is the best in the area. The panel will understand your disappointment at not being offered a place, but the appeals process is not an opportunity to make a second application.
- My child is very able and will be a credit to the school. Ark schools are not academically selective, so do not consider academic ability when offering places.
- This is the closest school to me. For popular schools it is often the case that the school cannot offer places to families who live relatively close by. Places are allocated using information on distance provided by the local authority.
- Children who live further away were offered a place. This will be because those children have a higher priority in the published oversubscription criteria. For example, they might be a sibling of someone already at the school.
- My child’s cousins or friends go to the school. According to our admission policy, the only connection to other children that schools can consider are siblings. We recognise that it would be easier for a child to attend the same school as their friends and wider family members, but it would not be lawful to consider this information when allocating places.
Infant class sizes
The law states reception, Year 1 and Year 2 classes may not normally contain more than 30 pupils with a single teacher. As such, there are limited grounds in which an appeal for an infant class will be successful.
There are only three grounds on which infant class size appeals can be upheld.
- If the panel finds that the admission of additional children would not breach the infant class size limit.
- The panel finds that the admission arrangements for the school did not comply with admissions law or were not correctly and impartially applied and the child would have been offered a place if the arrangements had complied or had been correctly and impartially applied. Here, the panel must be satisfied not only did the arrangements not comply with admissions law or were not correctly and impartially applied but also the child would have been offered a place if the arrangements had complied or had been correctly and impartially applied.
- The panel decides that the decision to refuse admission was not one which a reasonable admission authority would make in the circumstances of the case. Please note that the law defines ‟unreasonable‟ very narrowly in these cases and it means a decision which was “perverse in the light of the admission arrangements”, i.e. it was “beyond the range of responses open to a reasonable decision maker” or a decision which is “so outrageous in its defiance of logic or of accepted moral standards that no sensible person who had applied his mind could have arrived at it.”. The panel must use the legal definition of unreasonable‟, and not their own personal definitions.
If the panel decides that the answer to any of the above categories is yes then your appeal may be allowed. Otherwise your appeal will be refused. Please note that the panel may also take into account the practical consequences for the school and the children in relevant infant classes if any or all the appeals were to be successful.
Making an appeal
If you wish to submit an appeal, please use this form:
Please contact the academy if you need a paper form.