School appeals

If your child did not get into the school you wanted, you can appeal to an independent panel.

Appeal deadlines

For places starting in September 2024, the deadline to submit an appeal for:

  • Year 7 is 28 March 2024
  • Reception is 14 May 2024

You can appeal after the deadline but we may not hear your appeal before school starts in September.

If you are not appealing for a Reception or Year 7 place starting in September, we will hold your hearing as soon as possible and no more than 30 school days after the date your appeal was submitted.

Before you appeal

Before you appeal you:

If you don't want to appeal you can find out about waiting lists.

Appeals data for 2023 to 2024

Not all appeals are successful. In the last school year, there were:

  • 137 reception infant class size appeals heard and 12 were successful (8.8%)
  • 576 year 7 appeals heard and 95 were successful (16.5%)

Will your appeal be successful

Your appeal is more likely to be successful if the school:

  • have made a mistake when applying their admissions policy
  • have an admissions policy that does not follow the school admissions code

A school might have made a mistake if someone got a place who:

  • qualified under a lower priority than you
  • qualified under the same priority as you but lives further from the school

We measure how far you live from the school using a straight line.     

We use a mapping system that measures the distance from a point on the main school building to a point on your home address in a straight line. The point we use at your home address is provided by the Local Land and Property Gazetteer.    


To see if the school have made a mistake, compare your details against the last child offered a place at the school. You can find this in our Check a school's admissions details tool.

Appeals for Reception, Year 1 and Year 2

Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 classes are limited to 30 pupils per teacher by law. This means that appeals for these places are less likely to be successful.

If a school refuses your child a place because of this limit and you want to appeal, you will need to make an infant class size appeal.

You can see if your reasons are likely to be successful by reading the Department for Education's information about infant class size appeals.


Sam and Charlie both appeal because Big Town Primary refused their children a place in Reception. The school refused the places because there would be more than 30 pupils in the class and other children qualified under higher admissions criteria.    

Successful appeal

Sam appeals because their family had to move home as they are in witness protection. If Sam's child does not go to Big Town Primary School it might put the family at risk. The appeal is successful.

Unsuccessful appeal

Charlie appeals because a family member is going to pick their child up after school. Charlie has to work and Big Town Primary is closer to the family member's home. The appeal is not successful.

Other appeals

You can appeal because you want your child to attend a particular school. These are successful if the panel agree that the reasons for your appeal outweigh the school's decision not to admit any more children.

Wanting your child to go to a school because you think it is the best one in the area is not likely to convince the panel that your child should get a place there.

How to appeal

Appeals happen in two parts. First you appeal in writing and then an appeal hearing takes place.

You need to clearly set out the reasons why your child should have a place at your preferred school in your appeal form. Please do not add your child's waiting list position, as we are not allowed to share this with the panel. We will amend any appeal forms or additional information where this is shared so that this information is not available to the panel.

If you have shared bullying or medical issues, please send in copies of GP letters, etc. as evidence of this. This is called additional information.

The appeal form asks how you will attend the hearing. Please think carefully about how you would like to do this. If you then change your mind, we will need to rearrange your appeal hearing.

You can appeal for most Leeds schools using our online form but some schools you will need to contact directly.

If you are appealing for one of these schools, you need to contact them directly:    

Secondary schools

  • Abbey Grange C of E Academy
  • Bishop Young C of E Academy

Primary schools

  • Calverley C of E Primary School
  • Christ Church Upper Armley C of E Primary School
  • Holy Trinity C of E Academy
  • Manston St James Primary Academy
  • St Chad's C of E Primary School

If the school you want to appeal for is not in Leeds, you need to contact their local council.

Complete the appeal form External link

Notice of the appeal date

After you appeal in writing we will send you a letter inviting you to a hearing. We will contact you at least 10 school days before your hearing to let you know the date and time of the appeal.

Your appeal may take place at any time between 9am to 5pm.

Before the appeal, you will be sent the appeal papers. These include all documents you submitted and the school's statement of case where they set out why they refused the appeal. You must read these before the appeal.

If you need to change your appeal hearing date

You can request an alternative appeal date by emailing us before your appeal date. This is called deferring an appeal.

If you do this, there will be a delay before your appeal can be re-heard and it could be after the next school holidays.

We cannot guarantee a specific date or time as we must have all panel members and school representatives available to hold an appeal.

What happens at the appeal hearing

Appeals are heard by a panel of 3 people and follow the School Admission Appeals Code.

Face to face appeals are held at a Leeds City Council building. You can participate in the appeal by attending in person, by joining via a video link or you can choose not to attend at all and have your appeal heard based on the information you have put on your appeal form.

If you need us to make any reasonable adjustments to the way your appeal is heard, please tell us on the appeal form.

Who will be there


You should be there to give the reasons for your appeal and so the panel can ask you questions. You can also bring a family member, friend or someone else to support you.    

You can attend in person or via video call. If you don't attend the hearing, the panel will make a decision based on your written appeal.    

The school

Someone from the school will be there. This could be the headteacher or another member of staff. They can attend in person or via video call.    

The panel

An independent panel of three people. They decide whether the appeal is successful or not.    


A clerk will be there to make sure that everything is carried out fairly, legally and stays confidential.    

How it works

Appeal hearings take around 30 minutes. If a school has a lot of appeals you might need to attend on more than one day.

They usually happen like this:    

  1. The school explain why they did not offer your child a place. If there are other parents appealing to the same school they may be there for this part.
  2. The panel check if the school applied its admission policy correctly and if the policy follows the admissions code.
  3. If the school have done everything correctly, you will explain to the panel why they should give your child a place at your preferred school.
  4. The panel will decide in private if your reasons for appeal outweigh the schools decision to not offer any more places.

After the hearing

We will write to you with the panel’s decision within 5 school days of the hearing. If the panel is hearing multiple appeals for the same school, the decision will be sent within 5 school days of the last appeal hearing for that school. The decision of the panel is final.

If you think that the council or the panel have not followed proper procedures in the appeal hearing, you can complain to the Local Government Ombudsman. They can't overturn the decision but they can ask us to hear your appeal again.

If you appealed for a place at an academy you can complain to DfE.

Contact us



0113 222 4414
Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm, except Wednesdays when we open at 10am.

Use this form to give us your comments. Do not use it to give us personal information - please contact us if you need to get in touch.