What you can appeal and how to make an appeal.

Right to appeal

In year applications are when you want to move your child from the primary, infant, junior or secondary school they go to now to a different one.

If the year group is full you may appeal to an independent appeal panel for a place.

Types of appeal

There are two types of appeal:

Ordinary Prejudice appeal (Year 3 upwards)

Read the  pdf appeals procedure (21 KB)  for information on presenting your case to the appeals panel.

This is a two stage process:

First stage

The panel must have regard to the reasons for the decision to refuse admission and an explanation as to how an additional child would cause prejudice to efficient education or efficient use of resources.

Second stage

The panel will balance the prejudice against the weight of the factors of your case. 

The panel will consider the reasons you have given for your preference.  If they feel that the reasons you have put forward outweigh the admission authorities case they will uphold your appeal and offer you a place at your preferred school.

Complete and send the  document Ordinary prejudice appeal form (26 KB)

Infant class size appeals

Government legislation means that infant classes (reception, year 1 and year 2) with one teacher can't contain more than 30 pupils.

At the appeal the independent appeal panel can only look at whether:

  • the admission arrangements were lawful
  • the admission arrangements were incorrectly applied and your child should have been offered a place.
  • it was unreasonable or perverse (in law) to refuse your preference.  The appeal panel would need to be satisfied that the decision was so completely absurd or outrageous that no reasonable person, with the same facts would have made that decision 

It is unlikely that a decision that makes it impossible for you to transport all your family to school on time or even impossible for you to continue working would be considered perverse.

If the admissions authority refused a place to a child who had to move house under a witness protection scheme, a panel might decide that the decision is perverse. This decision is up to the panel.

'Unreasonable' here means that an admission authority's decision is not rational in light of the admission arrangements in terms of its legal responsibilities or is outrageous in its defiance of logic.  It is extremely difficult to win an infant class size appeal on this ground.

To make an infant class size appeal read:

Fill in and return the  document infant class size appeals form (26 KB)

For Bristol community and voluntary controlled schools you should send your appeal to School Admissions (City Hall), PO Box 3399, Bristol, BS1 9NE.

Appeal hearing

You are encouraged to come and speak at the appeal hearing.

If an appeal is dismissed

When an appeal is dismissed there is no automatic right to a second appeal.

A second appeal can only be granted if a relevant and significant change in circumstances has occurred since the original appeal was heard. A significant change in circumstances would include where:

  • a sibling has started at the preferred school since the original appeal hearing took place
  • you have moved house so that the home address is significantly closer to the preferred school
  • new evidence which could not have been introduced at the time of the original appeal hearing is introduced and supported by, for example, a letter from a doctor, psychologist or social worker

Contact information

School admissions

Bristol City Council
PO Box 3399
Bristol BS1 9NE

To contact us, fill in our school admissions contact form.

Tel: 0117 903 7694

Opening Hours

Telephones: 9am - 5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am - 4.30pm Friday.