What you can appeal and how to make an appeal.
Right to appeal
You've a right to appeal to an independent appeal panel against the decision to refuse your child a place at your preferred school.
Appeals for the academic year 2023/2024 must be made by 6 June 2024.
Appeals are heard from the end of June.
How to appeal
The last date to appeal is 6 June 2024 for schools where we present the appeal on behalf of the school. The deadline for other schools may be different.
The preferred method of sending written grounds of appeal to school admissions for community and voluntary controlled schools in Bristol is in the Parent Portal Go to https://parent.bristol.gov.uk/web/portal/pages/parents/admissions (opens new window) . You can upload your grounds of appeal for your preferred school with other supporting information or email grounds of appeal to firstname.lastname@example.org
School appeal template letters for Bristol academy and voluntary aided schools will be attached to the allocation statement for each school. We cannot return or forward written grounds of appeals received by post that were sent to school admissions by mistake. Keep a copy of your grounds of appeal and ensure you send them to the correct school or local authority by the requested date.
Appeals in previous years
See information about appeals heard and outcome for September 2023.
Read the primary school new reception admissions appeal procedure below for information on presenting your case to the appeals panel.
Infant class size appeals
To make an infant class size appeal for a Bristol community school read:
- pdf infant class size appeal guidance notes (87 KB)
- pdf infant class size quick reference guide (110 KB)
- document Infant class size appeal template letter (30 KB)
To find out if your preferred school is a community school see reception places and admissions policies.
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.
You're 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:
- a sibling has been offered a place or started at the preferred school since the original appeal and this information was not known at the time of the original hearing
- you have moved house so that the home address is significantly closer to the preferred school
- new evidence which couldn't 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.
What happens if places become available in the year group at your preferred school
If places become available after the start of the appeal hearings but before the decisions are made, they will be allocated in accordance with the published criteria to children whose parents have lodged a formal appeal or have decided to remain on the waiting list together with any late applications received.
If places become available after meetings of the independent appeal panel but before the start of the academic year, they'll be allocated in accordance with the published criteria to children whose parents have an outstanding application for a place at the school.