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Appealing for a school place

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

Impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on appeals

This summer’s appeal hearings will be heard remotely and we will be emailing parents in due course with dates of when these will be arranged.

We will do our best to ensure that as many appeals as possible are heard by the standard deadlines but regret that some appeals may be heard later than we would have expected.

Your right to appeal

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 to appeal.

Guide to appeals

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

Schools we handle appeals for

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 School Appeals Team.

Community schools

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.

Voluntary aided schools

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

Who makes the decision?

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.

Timetable of admissions appeals

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

Primary school appeals

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 or academy 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).

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

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 the legal meaning of the word 'reasonable'.

Appeal online

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