Appealing for a school place

Schools will admit pupils until they have filled all the places they have available in the year group (until they have reached their admission number). These places are allocated in accordance with the admission policy (oversubscription criteria) of the school. Further places are then refused because to admit children over the admission number would prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources in the school.
 
Parents/carers might decide to appeal against a refusal if they feel that, despite the school policy, there are exceptional and unique circumstances why their child should be offered a place in a particular school or, if they feel the admission authority has not applied their policy correctly and their child has been disadvantaged as a result of this.
 
The appeal panel can either turn down your appeal or they can agree to make an extra place available for your child. The panel who make the decision are independent; they have no direct involvement with the school or with the process of allocating places. However, all panel members are trained in national admission legislation and at least one panel member will have experience in education delivery. The appeal hearing process is supported by a neutral Clerk who ensures the appeal hearing is conducted correctly and can provide clarity about national admission appeal legislation.
 
If you wish to lodge an appeal against the refusal of a Knowsley school, the following procedures apply: 

  • Knowsley Community Primary Schools: email schooladmissions@knowsley.gov.uk to request an appeal form stating your child’s name and which school your appeal is for.
  • Knowsley Academies and Church of England Schools: contact the individual academy/school directly by email or telephone to request an appeal form.
  • Knowsley Catholic schools: contact the Liverpool Archdiocese on (0151) 522 1071 or visit www.liverpoolcatholic.org.uk

Applicants can submit an appeal for more than one school they have been refused a place at if they wish.

General arrangements

  • Parents/carers will have a minimum of 20 school days from the date of refusal of a place to lodge their written appeal
  • For the annual reception class and year 7 allocation, appeals will be heard within 40 days of the deadline for lodging appeals. For late applications where the appeal cannot be heard in the first group, or in-year admission refusals, appeals will be heard within 30 days of an appeal be lodged.
  • Parents/carers will receive 10 days notice of the date, time and venue/format of their appeal hearing and all parties will receive a copy of the written case for the school and the appellant in advance of the hearing.

See the annual appeal timetable

Social distancing continues to be operated and Admission Authorities and appeal panels will follow government guidance to ensure appeal hearings are managed within appropriate guidelines. Appeal hearings may have to be undertaken via video/telephone conference or in written format.

Prejudice appeals

Typically, the appeal panel members will check that the admission authority applied its policy correctly (oversubscription criteria). They will consider the reasons given by the school as to why there is no more room in the year group and the difficulties that will occur if another child/ren were to be given a place. They will also consider the reasons parent/carers give for wanting their child to attend that particular school and the difficulties if the child had to attend elsewhere. The panel will consider the balance of prejudice for both the school case and the parent case when deciding whether or not to allow any exceptional places.

Infant class size appeals

By law, teachers of infant age pupils (reception to year 2) should be responsible for a maximum of 30 children. This means that infant classes are often taught in groups of a maximum of 30 pupils. If the published admission number of the school is 30 (or a multiple of 30 that results in infant classes being organised into groups of 30) and a 31st child were admitted, the school would normally have to employ a second teacher and/or create another teaching group during the infant years - this is known as “taking qualifying measures”. Infant class size legislation restricts the grounds on which a typical prejudice appeal can be allowed because, if it is proven that qualifying measures would be necessary, the balance of prejudice will be strongly towards the school. The panel consider whether the admission authority applied its admission policy (oversubscription criteria) correctly and whether the decision to refuse was unreasonable.
 
If you are refused a place at a Knowsley primary school the admission authority of the school can clarify the type of appeal it will be (prejudice or class size).

Contact:

Email: schooladmissions@knowsley.gov.uk
 
Telephone:     
Secondary & Primary school admissions – (0151) 443 5142/5143
In Year Admissions – (0151) 443 3372/3373
 
Write to:
 
Knowsley Council
School Admissions
Education Improvement Team
PO Box 21
Municipal Buildings
Archway Road
Huyton
Knowsley
L36 9YU
 
For independent advice on the appeal process, you may wish to visit the Advisory Centre for Education website www.ace-ed.org.uk or Coram Children's Legal Centre offer free legal advice on English law and policy affecting children and families www.childrenslegalcentre.com