Admission authorities must give anyone who wants to appeal at least 20 school days from the date of the notification that their application was unsuccessful to submit their appeal. Appeals against decisions made in the 'normal admissions round' must then be heard within 40 school days of the deadline for submitting appeals. For applications that were made by the closing date, admission authorities will usually try to ensure that appeals are heard before the end of the summer term, but there are sometimes exceptions to this. Admission authorities are required to publish their appeals timetables on their websites by 28 February each year.
Please see the timetable below, that sets out the timescales for 2017 main admissions round appeals for community and voluntary controlled schools. Foundation and voluntary aided schools, free schools and academies will make their own arrangements for appeals in line with statutory requirements.
At the appeal hearing, the panel will hear information from the admission authority about why the application was refused - and then need to make a decision as to whether or not the admissions arrangements were legal and correctly applied and whether or not the school would be 'prejudiced' (ie disadvantaged) by the admission of another child.
If the panel does decide that the arrangements were legal and applied correctly, and that the school would be prejudiced by the admission of another child, they then hear the case of the parents. They will ask questions of the parents to try to get all the information they need to make a decision as to who would suffer the greater prejudice - the school if the child were admitted, or the child and family if they were not. This is a balancing exercise - the panels look at a wide range of factors when making their decision. If they find that the disadvantage to the child and family would be greater than that of the school, then the appeal will be successful and the child will be admitted.
More information about appeals will be made available if you are not offered a place at your preferred school(s). You can also find information about school admission appeals at www.gov.uk/schools-admissions/appealing-a-schoolsdecision or by contacting the School Admissions and Appeals Team:
School Admissions and Appeals Team
Children and Families Services
Cumbria County Council
Telephone: 01228 221582