Appealing an offer

You can appeal a school named on your application that has not been able to offer your child a place.

You will need to complete an appeal request form and return it to the school you wish to appeal for.

The form and details of where to return it to for each school will be published in the next steps guide on offer day.

The deadline for submitting an appeal is Tuesday 31 March 2020.

When you appeal you:

  • can only appeal for schools named on your application
  • can appeal for more than one school at the same time
  • must complete a request form for each school you're appealing for

Schools will not know you have appealed for another school unless you tell them. The appeals for each school are completely independent of each other.

Medway Council is not involved in the appeal process for any secondary school or academy.

Next steps after you appeal

Once you’ve appealed, you’ll be invited to a hearing. You must be given at least 10 school days’ notice.

You should be given a deadline for providing any further evidence. Any evidence provided after the deadline will not be considered at the hearing.

Your child’s current school may also provide evidence (such as a letter from the head teacher to support your case) but they do not have to. You can speak to them about this.

The appeal hearing

Your appeal will be heard by an independent panel with no connection to the school.

The panel will decide whether to grant your child a place or not.

You will be invited to the hearing to explain why your child should be given a place and the school will explain why a place cannot be offered.

There will be a clerk who will make sure correct procedure is followed and will keep a full record of the hearing.

You can bring a friend or family member to the hearing to support or represent you. This person cannot have a connection with the school you’re appealing for (such as a member of staff from the school).

At the appeal:

  • the panel will decide whether to grant your child a place or not
  • the admission authority will explain why they’ve turned down your application
  • you can give your own reasons why your child should be given a place
  • the panel will decide if the school’s admission arrangements were properly followed and are legal according to the school admissions appeals code
  • if the arrangements are legal, the panel will decide if they were followed
  • if the arrangements were not properly followed or are illegal, your appeal may be upheld
  • if your appeal has not already been upheld, the panel will decide if your reasons for your child getting a place outweigh the school’s reasons for not admitting another child
  • the panel will send you and the admission authority their decision within 5 working days

The decision can only be overturned by a court.

The appeal decision

The independent panel will make their decision after all appeals have been heard.

You’ll be told in writing, usually within 5 working days of the last appeal.

Read the full details of the appeal process and regulations in the School Admissions Appeals Code.

Other types of appeal

Grouped appeals

If there are a large number of appeals for a school, the school can choose to hold a grouped appeal for all of the children. This involves looking at the school’s case that they’re full and cannot give places to any more children.

Only the school can decide on holding a grouped appeal. You cannot ask them to have one.

Everyone who has appealed will be invited to a joint meeting.

Joint meeting process

At the joint meeting, an independent panel will listen to the school’s case and the responses to questions asked by the panel, parents and their representatives. Individual cases are not discussed.

Appeals are not heard unless the school has admitted that children up to its published admission number (or if appeals are for children who have not been assessed as suitable for a grammar school place). An appeal panel can decide to give more places to children and place the school over its published admission number.

The panel will also make sure the school’s admission arrangements meet the legal requirements and have been correctly applied in your child’s case.

The decision

If the panel decides that all the children can be given a school place without impacting the school it must uphold all of the appeals.

If the panel accepts that the school has proved it would be impacted, the panel will begin to hear individual appeals. Parents will be given a date for their appeal.

The panel must not make decisions on individual appeals until all cases have been heard.

Assessment appeals

An assessment appeal is for children who have taken the Medway Test (11 plus) and been assessed as not suitable for a grammar school. If you believe your child is suitable for grammar school but did not perform their best in the test, you can appeal.

If your child's test has not been reviewed

If your child has not had their test reviewed, the panel must only uphold the appeal if they accept that:

  • there’s evidence that the child meets the academic standards. This could be school reports giving year 5 or 6 SATs results or a letter of support from the child’s school explaining why the child is considered suitable for grammar school
  • the parent's case outweighs the school’s case that giving more school places would impact the school

If your child's test has been reviewed

If a local review has taken place, the panel must only consider if the child’s review was carried out fairly.

If there's evidence that it was not, the panel must follow the process above.

Allocation appeals

Allocation appeals are for children who have not been offered a place because there were more applications than places available. This means if your child did not rank highly enough they were not able to be offered a place.

This includes children who are assessed as suitable for grammar school but are not offered a grammar school place.