Admission appeals

Your appeal hearing

At your appeal hearing you can bring other people to support you. Please let the Appeals Clerk know who will be attending the hearing with you.

You can bring a friend, family, a legal representative or other advocates like a social worker or other professional support worker.

Please attend your hearing so you can give the panel your reasons and evidence in person for wanting the school. If you or your representative do not want to attend or do not attend on the day and have not asked for the case to be heard on different date, the case can be heard without you.

Independent clerk

The clerk’s role is to provide an independent service. The Clerk knows the School Appeals Code, the School Admissions Code, other relevant laws about school admissions. The Clerk will provide independent advice on the legal process, keep an accurate record of the hearing by taking detailed notes and provide the parties (parent/carer and school/local authority) with the panel’s decision in writing. 

The Independent Panel

There are three people on the panel, one from each group below. The third member can be from either group.

  • Group 1 - A Lay person.  This means someone without personal experience in the management or knowledge of any school or provision of education in any school (except as a school governor or in another voluntary role);
  • Group 2 - People who have experience in education, and know about educational matters in the local authority area.

One of the panel will be Chair, who will lead the meeting and have a deciding vote if a decision is split.

Members of the panel will have no link to your child’s current school or the school you are appealing for or any other school that forms part of your case.

Admission Authority Presenting Officer

The Presenting Officer’s role is to present the admission authority’s decision not to admit the child and to provide detailed answers to any questions about the case and about the school.

Local authority special educational needs advisor

Where a child has special education needs (SEN) but does not have an Education Health and Care plan, the admission authority may sometimes ask an SEN advisor (not linked to the school) to provide specialist information to the panel.

School representative

This person isn’t normally at a hearing. However, if the presenting officer is not from the school, the school may send a someone to represent the school and support the presenting officer. Their only role is to answer set questions about the school and provide important information.


An observer is someone at the hearing to watch/hear how the appeals process works. This person would only attend a hearing so they can learn how to carry out one of the roles above. You will be asked if they can join your hearing for training purposes and they will not speak in the hearing.

What are the different types of hearings?

Your appeal maybe heard as part of a ‘multiple group appeal’ or as an ‘individual hearing’.

The panel members can ask questions at any time at any type of hearing.

Multiple group appeals

Multiple appeals are arranged when a number of appeals have been received for the same school.

Admission authorities must take all reasonable steps to make sure that the same panel hears each of these hearings. Where this is not possible and more than one panel has to consider appeals for the same school, each panel must make its own decision independently. A panel hearing multiple appeals must not make decisions on any of hearings until all the appeals for that school have been heard.

Individual hearing

An individual appeal is where the hearing is only with one family for stage 1 and stage 2.

Order of the hearings

Stage 1

1. Introductions.

2. Last time for everyone in the hearing to say if they know of each other.

3. The chair of the appeal panel explains the appeals process and the order of the hearing to all parties.

4. The admission authorities presenting officer explains why the child was not offered a place at that school. This is known as the Admission Authority’s verbal statement.

5. The appellant (person appealing) and the panel ask the presenting officer questions about their case.

Stage 2

(After stage 1, appeal hearings only move to stage 2 if the case is not upheld)

6. The appellant or their friend or formal representative explains why they think the child should get a place at the school and give any supporting documents that may help their case.

7.The presenting officer and the panel ask the appellant questions about their case.

8. The presenting officer from the admission authority gives the main points of their case. 

9. The appellant gives the main points of their case in their own words.

10. If the chair is happy that everyone has stated their case, the appellant and the presenting officer will be asked to leave.

For multiple group appeals, the order of the hearing is the same but at stage 1 the presenting officer will state their case to a group of parents/carers who are all appealing for the same school, in the same year group. Each group can then question the presenting officer as a group. This means all parties will hear the questions and the answers.

After stage 1 of the group section of the appeal has finished, the hearing will move to Stage 2. At Stage 2 each appellant will be given an individual time to have a private hearing where they present their own case.