Primary school admissions London 2022: how to appeal school place after National Offer Day decision

Parents have been anxiously awaiting their child’s school placement offer

Parents in London with children starting primary school in the 2022/23 academic year received school place offers on 19 April.

While most children will receive a place at one of their chosen schools, some may be left disappointed.

So what can parents do if they do not receive a suitable placement, and how can they appeal the decision on their child’s school place?

Here’s everything you need to know about the appeals process.

When is National Offer Day?

National Offer Day is 19 April 2022.

Children across England received decisions on their school placements for the upcoming academic year.

Where can I find out about my offer?

For parents who applied online, you will receive an email informing you of your offer, or a text telling you where to look online on 19 April.

If you applied via post then a letter will be sent out to you on National Offer Day.

How can I appeal my child’s offer?

To appeal a decision you should contact the school directly as soon as possible. They will then provide the specific appeal process they follow.

If you receive your offer via post there will be information on the letter about how you can appeal.

London City Council advises you to still accept an offer, so that if your appeal is unsuccessful, your child will still have a placement.

Accepting an offer will not affect your appeal outcome.

You can find out more about how to appeal in the primary school guide provided by London City Council.

How long do I have to appeal the decision?

You legally have 20 days from the offer date to appeal the decision of your child’s placement.

When will the appeal hearing be?

Appeals must be heard within 40 school days of the deadline for making an appeal.

The admission authority must give you at least 10 school days’ notice of the hearing.

What can I expect from the appeal hearing?

In the appeal hearing there will be a panel of three or more people. The panel will be independent and will judge your appeal based on the school admission appeals code.

According to the School Admissions page on the government website, standard appeal hearings will go through the following steps:

  • The admission authority will explain why they turned down your application.
  • You’ll be able to give your own reasons why your child should be admitted.
  • The appeals panel must decide if the school’s admission criteria were properly followed and comply with the school admissions code.
  • If the criteria were not properly followed or do not comply with the school admissions code your appeal must be upheld.
  • If your reasons for your child to be admitted outweigh the school’s reasons for not admitting any more children at all, your appeal will be upheld.

After the appeal hearing, the clerk will usually write to you within five school days to notify you of the panel’s decision.

The Government website states that: “the decision of the appeal panel is binding and only the courts, by way of a judicial review, can overturn a decision.”