Government figures show more than 50,000 appeals over school places

The Press Association (via the Mail) is reporting that tens of thousands of appeals were lodged by mothers and fathers last year after their children were refused places at a chosen school in England…

More than a fifth of cases heard by a panel were decided in favour of parents…

The new government statistics show that 50,555 appeals were submitted over entry to England’s state schools last autumn.

Of these, 30,315 were appeals over infant and primary school places, and the rest (20,235) related to secondary schools.

Almost 37,000 cases were heard by a panel, with 22.7% – nearly 8,400 in total – found in favour of parents.

The data, published by the Department for Education, covers both local council-run schools and academies.

Matt Richards, of, said he has seen a rise in inquiries from parents over primary school places.

“What we are seeing is more people who are being expected to travel further distances, to put their four-and-a-half year old in a cab to go to school,” he said.

Mr Richards said it was becoming increasingly common for parents to put down three nearest primary schools and not get a place at one…

All parents have the right to appeal if any school they applied to refuses their child a place.

The system allows parents to argue that schools broke official admissions rules or that there are ”compelling” extra reasons why their child deserves a place.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “More parents have the choice of a good school place thanks to our reforms and the vast majority of parents have been offered a place at one of their preferred schools this academic year.

“This government has more than doubled to £5 billion the funding available to councils to create new school places, and we are allowing good schools to expand without the restrictions and bureaucracy they faced in the past…


Another way of looking at the figures is that only 16% of all the lodged appeals are successful. This suggests quite a lot of wasted time for the schools involved in defending their decision – is that right? And if so, is having an appeals process an essential safeguard in the system and is it currently too easy for people to content a school’s decision? Please let us know what you think in the comments or via Twitter…

Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin every morning (around 7 am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link!

Top universities told: make 'faster change' to achieve more socially-balanced intake
Teacher who jokingly threatened pupil with a knife banned for two years
Categories: Parenting and Policy.


  1. MandShef

    SchoolsImprove and many more (like us) who don’t appeal ‘cos know the outcome is refusal – all 5 of our local schools oversubscribed!

Let us know what you think...