Admission appeals

How to appeal for a school place?

Your right to appeal

You have a right to appeal to an independent appeal panel if we do not offer your child a place at your preferred school named on your application form.  

An appeal is not against the school your child has been given (allocated). Instead, you must show that there are exceptional (special) reasons why your child should be offered a place at your preferred school which is full. You also need to show why your case outweighs the problems another child would cause the school. You need to submit as much evidence as possible in support of your appeal. Everyone has the right to appeal, and every case is heard with by an Independent Panel on a case by case basis. However you should note that it is only in exceptional (special) circumstances that an appeal will be successful. Click here to see 2023 Admission Appeal results (Word).

Important notes:

  • Last year, 278 appeals for children moving to secondary school were heard between April and July, and 5 appeals were successful.  64 Primary Reception appeals were heard between June and July, and no appeals were successful. 
  • Before you submit an appeal, you should read the school’s admission arrangements carefully. The schools you are appealing for are full.  Those schools do not keep extra places for successful appeals. Children who win their appeal are in addition to the other children who already have a place there. You need to be clear about your reasons for wanting your child to attend the school and show your exceptional (special) circumstances for the school you are appealing for. 
  • Your appeal form with your reasons will be given to the Panel. Any extra information you want to submit should be sent to the Appeal Clerk at  at least three days before your hearing date. Anything submitted after this date may not be admitted or your hearing may be moved to a different date.  Please do not submit supporting letters from the school that you are appealing for as this is not allowed under Government Guidance.
  • The appeal will be heard by an independent appeal panel of three people, who have no connection with the school or the School Admissions team.
  • The appeal panel’s decision is final and everyone must accept it (school, local authority and parents). MPs, councillors, Head teachers or local authorities cannot overturn the decision of the panel. Only the Courts can review and overturn an appeal panel’s decision. If you think that the appeal process had not been followed correctly you may complain to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman or the Department for Education.  However, they cannot overturn the decision.
  • You cannot appeal for a school you have not made an application for.
  • You can only appeal for the same school once in each academic year.
  • Some email providers may treat the email we send you as spam (electronic junk mail). If this happens you will need to check your ‘spam’ or ‘junk mail’ box for our email, and then follow the instructions to add us to your safe senders list. We use, or email addresses when we send you information. 

How to appeal for a Newham school?

To appeal for a place at one of our schools you will need to fill-in one of the online appeal forms below. Before deciding whether to appeal, parents/carers should read each school’s published policy for admitting pupils, think about their reasons for wanting their child to attend the school and the strength of their case. For example is saying a child likes the school, their friends attend or the school has a good reputation an exceptional (special) circumstance for a successful appeal?

Appeals forms for all Newham Schools (except Harris Academy Chobham) 

Email or call the Council on 020 8430 2000 if you cannot fill-in and submit your online form.

Harris Academy Chobham appeal form


  • Call the school for a form 020 3747 6060

Appeal forms for schools outside Newham

For all schools outside of Newham, please contact the school direct to make your appeal. Use the link available on the relevant school or local authority website.

Can I get advice on what to say in my appeal?

The local authority or the school you are appealing for cannot tell you what information should be in your appeal because they made the decision to refuse to offer your child a place there.  At the appeal hearing, the local authority or the school’s case to the appeal panel will be to defend why they cannot give your child a place at the school you have asked for.

To help prepare your written and spoken case we strongly recommend you speak to members of your family and friends who you trust to give good advice. If the family has a social worker or other professional support worker, they should be able to help you.

We strongly recommend that you take time to think about the reasons for wanting a place at the school and make a list of the information you want to present.  Only exceptional (special) cases will be successful so it is important you highlight the key points and provide evidence to support your reason for wanting the school.  Just saying you like the school or it is close to home is not an exceptional reason and most families will have the same reason.