Types of appeal

Understanding the different types of appeal hearing

There are two different types of appeal hearing. Both types of appeal have a different success rate. Your refusal letter will explain on which grounds your child has been refused a place.

Infant class size appeals 

This is where an application is refused because the child’s admission would breach the infant class size (ICS) limit. Appeals heard under infant class size (ICS) legislation have a very low success rate. This is because appeal panels are limited in the circumstances in which they can uphold an appeal.

An ICS appeal can only be upheld if:

  • it finds that the admission of additional children would not breach the infant class size limit; or
  • it finds that the admission arrangements did not comply with admissions law and that the child would have otherwise been offered a place; or
  • it finds that the admission arrangements were not correctly and impartially applied, and that the child would have otherwise been offered a place; or
  • it decides that the decision to refuse admission was not one which a reasonable admission authority would have made.

The threshold for finding that the Admission Authority’s decision was not reasonable is very 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".

This means that 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".

Standard prejudice appeals

This is where an application is refused because the child’s admission would prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources.

Appeal outcomes

The following table shows the outcomes of all appeals lodged for September 2017 entry:

Infant Class Size (Year R) Standard Prejudice (Y3 & Y7)
Appeals lodged: 202 311
Appeals heard: 118 196
Unsuccessful appeals: 111 128
Successful appeals: 7 68
Success rate: 5.9% 34.7%

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