Appealing for a school place

You may appeal for a place at the school you want if you have not been offered a place.

For voluntary aided schools in Oxfordshire, the responsibility for appeal arrangements rests with the school, and you should contact the school directly for details.

For community schools, the responsibility for appeals rests with us. You will be sent an appeal form if when you applied for a school place you were not offered a school place in the school of your choice.

Appeals are heard by an independent panel. A decision by an appeal panel whether or not to offer a school place is binding on the admissions authority. If your appeal for an Oxfordshire community school is unsuccessful, you may not appeal for the same school within one academic year unless there has been a material change in your circumstances.

Acceptance of a place at a school does not affect your right to appeal for a place at another school. However, if you decide to appeal for any of your preferences, it is wise to secure a place for your child at an alternative school in case your appeal is unsuccessful. This is because secondary transfer appeals are normally heard during the second half of the summer term. We are always willing to discuss alternative schools with vacancies at any stage in the process.

The acceptance of a place at an alternative school does not affect your right of appeal.

Timetable of admissions appeals

The appeals timetable (below) includes deadlines, a calendar of when appeals will be heard and other key dates of the appeal process.

Academies, voluntary aided and foundation schools

We administer appeals for all state-funded schools in Oxfordshire with the exception of those listed (pdf format, 66Kb). These are mostly voluntary aided, academies and foundation schools. If you would like to appeal for places at any of the schools on this list, please contact the school directly.

As more schools convert to academy status, the situation may change. We shall try to keep this list up to date but, if you have any queries contact the Appeals Team.

Primary school appeals

In 2012-2013 only 3 per cent of those types of cases were successful.

If you are applying for a place in an infant class (usually F1, Years 1 and 2) read these notes before you complete the appeal form.

Infant Class Size (ICS) Legislation - This refers to Government legislation that states that no child attending a maintained school and who is in an infant class can be taught in a class of over 30 pupils (except where certain specific and exceptional circumstances apply).

Where the ICS limit of 30 applies, the powers of the Independent Panel are limited and an appeal is, in law, a review (see question 3 on page 22 of the guide to admission appeals document (pdf format, 203 Kb)). In ICS reviews your case can only succeed where it can be shown that:

(i) Admission would not breach the ICS limit

(ii) your child would have been offered a place if the admission arrangements had not been contrary to the mandatory requirements of Part 3 of the SSFA 1998 or the School Admissions Code and/or your child would have been offered a place if the admission arrangements had been applied correctly

(iii) the decision to refuse admission was not one which a reasonable* admission authority would have made in the circumstances of the case.

*In legal meaning of the word reasonable.

Guide to appeals

Full details of the appeals process are explained in document below.

Appealing online

Submit your appeal online to Oxfordshire County Council. Please note: you will need Adobe Reader version 7 or above to complete the form. You can download latest version of Adobe Reader.

If you would like to appeal online, please use the online appeals form below. It will take around 20 minutes to complete, depending on the reasons and complexity of your appeal.

Appeal for preferred school

Pupil details

Note: You may be required to provide proof of you child's main residence

Refused admission to school year group


Parent/guardian/carer details

Address (if different from above)

If you are moving house

If you are in the process of moving house and this forms part of the reason for your appeal, you should forward the proof of exchange of contracts or tenancy agreement for the new address to the Clerk to the Panel as soon as possible.

If you are having problems uploading the form contact us.

Reasons for appeal information

You can complete the reasons for appeal document (pdf format, 89Kb) separately enabling you to spend more time providing these answers. Then complete the online appeals form above leaving the reasons section blank and attach the document as a supporting file at the end of the submission.

Printable appeal form

You can download, print and complete this appeal for preferred school form (pdf format, 460 Kb) and send it to the School Appeals Team, Democratic Services, County Hall, New Road, Oxford OX1 1ND

Last reviewed
16 April 2014
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