Primary school admissions appeals

When parents are unable to obtain a place for their child at the school they want, they can appeal against the decision to an appeal panel independent of the council and the school.


Appeals in the primary and junior transfer will normally be heard by 19 July 2018 and for in-year admissions will be held within 30 school days of the appeal being lodged.

You can get more information and make your appeal online or email: admissions.transport@derbyshire.gov.uk tel: 01629 537499.

For appeals in respect of places at schools not in Derbyshire, parents are advised to contact the council which maintains the school in the first instance. Find out about neighbouring councils (opens in a new window).

The decision reached by the independent panel will be binding on the council and the parents. A further application in respect of the same school will not be entertained in the same academic year unless significant and material changes in circumstances arise.

Infant (Key Stage 1 and Foundation) appeals

By law, subject to certain limited exceptions, no infant class may contain more than 30 pupils. Infant classes are those in which the majority of pupils will reach the age of five, six or seven during the school year.

Admissions authorities can refuse to admit a child if to do so would require the school to take action such as employ an extra teacher or build an extra classroom to keep infant classes at 30 or less.

Parents can appeal in this situation but the appeal panel can only uphold an appeal in limited circumstances.

The panel must dismiss the appeal where:

a) it finds that the admission arrangements complied with admissions law and were correctly and impartially applied, or

b) it finds that the admission arrangements did not comply with admissions law or were not correctly and impartially applied but that, if they had complied and had been correctly and impartially applied, the child would not have been offered a place.

and it finds that the decision to refuse admission was not one which a reasonable admission authority could have made.

The threshold for finding that an admission authority's decision to refuse admission was not one that a reasonable authority would have made is high. The panel will need to be satisfied that the decision to refuse to admit the child was 'perverse in the light of the admission arrangements' that is 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'.