Leeds City Council
  • A to Z
  • Newsroom
  • Contact us
  • Accessibility
  • A- A+

Admissions Appeals

School appeals and waiting lists:

If you have not been offered a place at the school you have requested you can appeal against the refusal.

Some schools arrange their own appeals and these are listed in the documents section. If the school is listed there, you will need to contact them directly to arrange an appeal. However, most appeals are arranged by Leeds City Council's Admissions team. If the school is not listed, please download the Admission appeal form from the documents section on this page and return it to the Admissions team at the address which is on the form. 

If you are appealing for a place in Reception, Year One or Year Two please use the Class Size Admission appeal form in the documents section

If you are appealing for a place in Year 3 and above please use the Admission Appeal form in the documents section. 

If you wish to appeal against a decision for a school in a different local authority, you should contact the relevant local authority for further details.

Appeals are heard by panels which are independent of the council, schools and governing bodies. The panel follows the School Admission Appeals Code drawn up by the Department for Education with advice from the Local Government Ombudsman.


Starting Secondary School Appeals

All appeals submitted by 27 March 2015 against a decision for a year 7 place will be heard within 40 school days. If you do not reply by this deadline, your appeal will be heard but we cannot guarantee to hear your appeal before the end of the term and appeals are not generally held in the school holidays. Your child will also be added to the waiting list for this school if you appeal before 13 March.


Starting Primary, Infant and Junior School Appeals

All appeals submitted by 18 May 2015 against a decision for a Reception place will be heard within 40 school days. If you do not reply by this deadline, your appeal will be heard but we cannot guarantee to hear your appeal before the end of the term and appeals are not generally held in the school holidays. Your child will also be added to the waiting list for this school if you appeal before 30 April.


School Transfer Appeals

Appeals against a decision for a transfer of school place outside of starting primary or secondary can be submitted any time during the academic year. Appeals will be heard within 30 school days of the appeal request being received.


General Appeal Information:

You will receive a written invitation to the appeal before the date. While waiting for an appeal, we advise that you accept the place you have been offered by contacting the school directly. This will ensure your child does not miss out on education and it will not affect your appeal. You will automatically be placed on the waiting list for any school you appeal for and can remain on the list if the appeal fails.

If you are considering an appeal, please download and read the Appeals Book, this will provide you with everything you need to know for your appeal including information on the Appeal Panel, class size legislation and how decisions are made.

The Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) is a national charity that provides free, independent advice on the admissions and appeals process. You can visit their website at www.ace-ed.org.uk.


Starting Secondary and Primary School Waiting Lists

You can put your child on a waiting list without going through the formal appeal process. The deadlines are:

  • 13 March 2015 for secondary places
  • 30 April 2015 for primary places

A waiting list and appeal form will be attached to your offer letter. If you would like your child to be on a waiting list, you should return this form as soon as possible.

Voluntary Aided and Foundation schools and academies manage their own waiting lists and appeals. These schools are listed in the Documents section. The Admissions team cannot advise of waiting lists positions for these schools, so you should contact the school directly.

For Community and Voluntary controlled schools Leeds City Council Admissions Team arrange appeals and manage waiting lists. We will match any names from the waiting list with any vacancies we are told about. Waiting lists will be held until the end of the academic year. Until then your child can be offered a place from the waiting list at any time automatically, so if you leave them on the waiting list, please make sure you are prepared to move their school immediately.


School Transfers Waiting Lists

You can put your child on a waiting list without going through the formal appeal process.

If you apply for a school transfer and the school cannot offer you a place, you will automatically be placed on a waiting list for that school. Waiting lists will be held until the end of the academic year. If a place becomes available and you qualify under the admissions policy, the school will contact you.

Voluntary Aided and Foundation schools and academies manage their own waiting lists and appeals. The Admissions team cannot advise of waiting lists positions for these schools.

​​​​

What will you do with my appeal form once you receive it?

​Receipt of your appeal form will be acknowledged within seven working days. A statement setting out our case for not offering your child a place at the school concerned is sent to you and the appeals panel at least one week before the appeal date.

Most appeal hearings take place during May, June and July, before children start in September. However, appeals for other year groups are heard throughout the rest of the year but must be heard within 40 school days of receipt of the appeal form.

What sort of information should I provide with my appeal?

​Whatever your reason for appealing, you should provide in advance as much information in support of your appeal as you can. This might include particular personal circumstances including, for example, medical advice. Please note that the late introduction of evidence on the day of the appeal may cause a delay as all parties need to read the new evidence.

Who will hear my schools admissions appeal?

The appeal will be heard by a panel made up of three people, which includes parents, governors of other schools, teachers, other persons with experience of education and “lay” members (people who have no experience of education). The panel hearing the appeal will introduce themselves to you immediately before the hearing starts. At the hearing the panel will have copies of both the written submission prepared by us and the information which you have provided. A panel member should not normally hear your appeal if he or she knows you directly, is a governor of your preferred school or has been involved in your case previously.

Where and when will my school admissions appeal be heard?

The section that arranges appeals and sends you an invite letter is called Governance Services, which is independent from Children’s Services. Appeals are held in the Civic Hall in Leeds.

You are told the date and time of your appeal in advance. You will be sent a written statement seven days before your appeal is heard. Any information which you have provided in advance will also be sent to the panel members.

Who will be present at the school admissions appeal hearing?

It is important that, wherever possible, you attend the hearing – it is very helpful for the panel hearing your appeal to hear why you want your child to attend a particular school. You can also bring someone to help you make your case, such as a friend, relative or other adviser. You are encouraged to attend appeal hearings although it is possible for an appeal to be heard in your absence if you do not attend.

A representative of the local authority will attend to explain the position. The headteacher of the school might attend to clarify any factual matters about the circumstances at the school.

A clerk is present at all times during the hearing. Their job is to make sure that the correct procedures are followed and that the appeal hearings are carried out fairly. They take notes of the hearing for the use of the panel only, and advise on matters of procedure. They play no part in deciding your appeal and will remain with the panel when they make their decision. At no time will either you or our representative be left alone with the panel.

What happens at a school admissions appeals hearing?

Your appeal will be heard in private and the proceedings are confidential. The appeal hearing is a formal meeting and follows a set procedure. The chairperson will be strict about who can speak and when questions can be asked. However, the chairperson will always try to hold the hearing in a friendly way and guide you through the whole meeting.

Is the school admissions appeal decision final?

The decision of the appeals panel is final and we and the school must keep to it.

If you feel that the appeals panel or Education Leeds has not followed proper procedures in the appeal hearing, you can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman.

What is the School Admission Appeals Panel?

The panel is independent of the council, schools or governing bodies. It hears appeals against decisions made to refuse admission to school. In dealing with appeals the panel follows guidance in a Code of Practice drawn up by the Department for Education and advice from the Local Government Ombudsman.

You can appeal when the school that you would prefer is considered to be full. Our view is that to admit any further children would in the words of the legislation 'prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources'. The panel may not accept this view.

When will I know the decision of the schools admissions appeals panel?

​The clerk will write to you as soon as possible. You will only be given a decision in writing.​

What is Infant Class Size?

Infant Class Size Legislation relates to Reception, Yr1 and Yr2 and states that there can be only 30 children in an infant class with one qualified teacher.

The School Admission Appeals Code tells us that an appeal for classes covered by Infant Class Size legislation can only be granted if you can show one of the following conditions apply:

a) it finds that the admission of additional children would not breach the infant class size limit;

b) it finds that the admission arrangements did not comply with admissions law

or

were not correctly and impartially applied and your child would have been offered a place if the arrangements had complied or had been correctly and impartially applied; or

c) it decides that the decision to refuse admission was not one which a reasonable admission authority would have made in the circumstances of the case. [i.e. the decision to refuse to admit the child was “perverse in the light of the admissions arrangements.”]

Close