If you are refused a place at one of your preferred schools, the admitting authority for the school will give you details of your right to appeal.
- The Council is the admitting authority for community and voluntary controlled schools in Wigan and the School Places Team at Progress House deal with applications and appeals.
- The Governing Body is the admitting authority for voluntary aided (church) schools and Foundation schools.
If you are refused a place at a school the School Places Team will:
- write and tell you the reason your application was refused;
- advise you of your right to appeal to an independent appeal panel;
- tell you how to lodge an appeal.
Before you decide if you want to appeal, you will probably want to think about:
- the school’s published admission criteria for admitting pupils;
- your reasons for wanting your child to go to the school
- your child’s view on which school he or she should go to; and
- how strong a case you have.
You may also want to visit the school which your child has been offered.
Before the hearing
Two weeks before the appeal hearing you will be informed of the date, time and place.
Seven days before the hearing you will get a document called the ‘Statement of Case’. This sets out the reasons why your child was not offered a place. The independent appeal panel will also get a copy of this. The independent appeal panel also has a copy of your appeal and any information you sent in to support it.
The appeal panel
The independent appeal panel will have three or five people on it. They are completely independent of the Local Authority and/or the school you are appealing for.
At the appeal hearing
We strongly advise you to go to the appeal hearing if you can. You will not usually need legal representation but you do have the right to bring a legal adviser of a friend along for support.
There will be a Local Authority or school representative at the hearing to give their reasons for refusing your child a place and you can ask them questions about this. You will be able to put your case for your child to the panel. You will probably want to refer back to your original reasons for applying for that school.
If you cannot go to the appeal hearing, the panel will consider all the information you have sent in writing, in your absence.
At the end of the hearing the clerk should be able to tell you when you can expect to receive the panel’s decision by letter.
Admission authorities must keep to the decisions of admissions appeals panels. The decisions can only be overturned by the courts.
If your appeal is not sucessful, you will be advised of the options you may wish to consider.
We only allow parents to have one appeal to a particular school in any school year.
We will only consider an application for the same school in the same school year in very rare situations, such as a significant change in your circumstances or those of your child. A significant change is something substantial, such as moving to a different area which would place your application in a higher criterion. The fact that a pupil is distressed at not being offered a place at the school they wanted is not a significant change in circumstances.