Admission appeals

What happens if an appellant is unhappy with the outcome of their appeal?

The decision of the Independent Appeal Panel is legally binding on the admission authority and the appellant. However, if an appellant feels that correct procedures were not followed they may complain to:

For maintained local authority schools

Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO):

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The Ombudsman is not able to overturn the appeal panel’s decision however if they agree with your complaint and determine a failure in the process, they may make recommendations for a suitable remedy. For example, that an appeal is reheard by a different panel and with a different clerk.

For academies including free schools, university technical colleges and studio schools.

Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA):

A complaint to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) must be lodged within six months of the date of the appeal hearing.

The ESFA will investigate the complaint on behalf of the Secretary of State if it considers there are sufficient grounds to do so.

Academy appeal panel complaint form

Alternatively you can call the Department for Education for a paper form.

Department for Education helpline
Telephone: 0370 000 2288
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Can anyone overturn the decision of the independent panel?

Neither the Local Government Ombudsman nor the Secretary of State for education can review or overturn the decision of an appeals panel.

Only the courts can review and overturn an appeals panel decision where the appellant or admission authority is successful in applying for a judicial review of that decision.