Appealing for a school place
You have the right to appeal when the school you have chosen for your child to attend is full and your application for a place has been refused by the admission authority.
Lewisham Council is the admission authority for all Lewisham community schools. You can find an A-Z of all schools in Lewisham here.
If your child has been refused admission to a voluntary aided school, an academy, or a school in another borough you are entitled to appeal against the governors’ decision or against the admission authority within which the school is located (where the school is not a Lewisham School).
In 2012-13, 151 appeals were heard but only 0.6 per cent of primary school appeals were successful.
Timetable of appeals
|1 March 2013
||Secondary transfer (Sep 2013 entry to Year 7) offers made|
|29 March 2013
||Deadline for lodging secondary transfer appeal|
|17 April 2013
||Primary intake (Sep 2013 entry to reception class) offers made|
|14 May 2013
||Deadline for lodging a primary intake appeal|
||Appeal hearings for both secondary transfer and primary intake|
Primary school appeals
If you are applying for a place in an infant class of 4, 5, 6 and 7 year olds, please read these notes before you complete the appeal form.
Appeals only arise when schools are oversubscribed in a particular age group. Therefore an appeal is more likely to be rejected than upheld.
Due to special legislation that restricts classes to a maximum of 30 pupils with a single teacher (known as Infant Class Size legislation), it is highly unlikely that appeals for infant classes of 5, 6 and 7 year olds will be successful.
Where the admission authority has refused admission on the grounds that to admit the child would breach the infant class size limit, the circumstances in which an appeal panel can uphold an appeal are severely limited. In these circumstances the appeal panel can only uphold an appeal where:
it finds that the admission of an additional child would not breach the infant class size limit; or
it finds that the authority’s admission arrangements did not comply with the mandatory requirements of the School Admissions Code, and part 3 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998;
it finds that to refuse admission was one which a reasonable admission authority would not have made in the circumstances of the case.
In considering whether the decision was not one which a reasonable admission authority would have made in the circumstances of the case, the Appeal Panel will need to be satisfied that the decision was ‘perverse in the light of the admission arrangements’ ie. it was ‘beyond the range of responses open to a reasonable decision maker‘ or ‘a decision which is so outrageous in its defiance of logic or of accepted moral standards that no sensible person who had applied his mind to the question could have arrived at it’ (School Admission Appeals Code para 4.10).
Given the limited nature of the possible grounds on which an appeal may be upheld, infant class size appeals are rarely successful and your personal reasons for wanting the school, however strong, cannot be taken into account unless any of the above circumstances apply.
Parents often find it frustrating when they realise how very limited the powers of the appeal panel are. This information is not in any way intended to discourage you from appealing as this is your legal right, however it is being drawn to your attention now in case it affects your wish to go ahead with your appeal.
Guide to appeals
Full details of the appeals process are explained in the school appeals guidance document. We strongly advise that you read this guidance before lodging an appeal.
Please note that the deadline for secondary school appeals closed on the 29 March 2013.
If you would like to appeal online, please use the button below. You will need to login to our website and if you do not have an account you will need to register first. The form usually takes about 20 minutes to complete depending on the nature of your appeal.
Printable appeal form
You can also download, complete and print an appeal form at the end of this page and email it to email@example.com or send it to us at the following address:
Independent Appeals Clerk, c/o Olga Cole, Governance, 2nd Floor Civic Suite, Lewisham Town Hall, 1 Catford Road, SE6 4RU by Tuesday 14 May 2013 for primary appeals.
If you would like a hard copy of the form, please contact the Independent Appeals Clerk on 020 8314 8577.