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School appeals

If you have not been offered a place at the school you wanted you are entitled to appeal. 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.

How do I appeal?

Most appeals are arranged by our Admissions team but some schools arrange their own appeals. You can find out which school arrange their own appeals by using the following documents: Primary schools who arrange own appeals (PDF 143KB)  and Secondary schools who arrange own appeals (PDF 43KB).

If the school you would like your child to attend appears in List B please contact the school directly. If the school is in List A, this means their appeals are arranged by the Admissions Team and you will need to complete the appropriate appeals form. Please read the section below to find out which form you need to complete.

Which appeal form should I use?

If the offer of a place you are dissatisfied with is Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 please use the Class Size Admission Appeal form (PDF 149KB).

If the offer of a place you're dissatisfied with is Year 3 and above please use the Admission Appeal form (PDF 146KB).

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.

Academy, Trust, Voluntary Aided, and Free Schools Appeals

Appeals to these schools should be made to the school directly. They will have their own deadlines for appeals.

School transfer appeals

Appeals against a decision for a transfer of school place, outside of starting primary or secondary school, 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 and this will be 10 days before your appeal is heard. 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.

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. The late introduction of evidence on the day of the appeal may cause a delay as all parties need to read the new evidence.

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

School waiting lists

If you are not happy with the place you have been offered you can put your child on a waiting list for a different school without going through the formal appeal process.


Click to expandWhat will you do with my appeal form once you receive it?

You will receive a letter with the date of the appeal. A statement setting out our case for not offering your child a place at the school concerned is sent to you and the appeal panel at least one week before the appeal date.    

Click to expandWhat happens during an appeal?

The appeal will be heard by a panel made up of three people in Leeds Civic Hall. 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.​

It is important, wherever possible, that you attend the hearing. You can also bring someone to help you make your case, such as a friend, relative or other adviser. 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.​

Your appeal will be heard in private and the proceedings are confidential. The appeal hearing is a formal meeting and follows a set procedure but you will be guided through it.

Click to expandWhat happens after the appeal?

The clerk will write to you as soon as possible to notify you of the result. 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 Leeds City Council has not followed proper procedures in the appeal hearing, you can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman.​​​​

Click to expandWhat is Infant Class Size?

Infant Class Size Legislation relates to Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 and states that there can be only 30 children in an infant class with one qualified teacher.

An appeal for a year group covered by Infant Class Size legislation can only be granted if you can show one of the following conditions apply:

a) the admission of additional children would not breach the infant class size limit

b) the admission arrangements did not comply with admissions law


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


c) 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.”​

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