Applications for places opened in September 2021 and parents have been anxiously awaiting a final decision ever since.
Sadly for some families, applications for school places can be rejected, which may leave you worrying about what to do next.
Here is everything you need to know about how to appeal a primary school decision after National Offer Day.
When were offers sent out?
Applications for primary school places opened on September 12 2021 and closed on January 15 2022.
The applications allowed parents to state a preference for up to three different primary schools (ranked in order of preference from one to three).
Parents received school place offers on Tuesday, April 19 2022.
Can I appeal a decision?
If your child has not been allocated a place at a preferred primary school, or you are for whatever reason unhappy with the selection of schools offered to your child, you have the right to officially appeal the decision.
In order to do so, you should issue the appeal to the schools admissions board at Liverpool City Council.
If you are appealing multiple different decisions, you must appeal each rejection separately.
Liverpool Local Authority (LLA) already has an agreement with Liverpool schools, the Liverpool Schools’ Admission Forum, Diocese, Archdiocese and neighbouring local authorities to use a co-ordinated admission arrangements and equal preference scheme to allocate places in Liverpool primary schools.
If your child does not receive an offer from any of your preferred primary schools listed in the application, the LLA will work towards finding a place at an alternative school which closely matches the preferred schools included in your application.
How long do I have to appeal?
After receiving the final decisions on or around National Offer Day on Tuesday, April 19, the admissions authority is required to give you the right to appeal any decision you are unhappy with.
You will have at least 20 days from when you received the decision letter to issue an official appeal to the authority.
You must be given a notice of at least 10 school days before you are invited to an appeals hearing in front of an independent panel.
The panel is required to take place within the 40 day period of the deadline for making an appeal.
It is expected that you will receive a final decision on your application within five school days.
What should you expect from an appeals hearing?
Every family that issues an official appeals form is entitled to an appeals hearing.
An appeals hearing is where a panel of three independent individuals will consider your case and make a final decision.
According to The School Run, this is what you can expect:
- The admissions authority will explain why they turned down your application
- You will be able to give your own reasons why your child should be accepted by the school
- The panel will decide if the school’s admission criteria is legal
- If it was, the panel must decide if the criteria was followed fairly and thoroughly
- If the panel decides that the criteria was either not legal or not followed properly, they must uphold your appeal
- If not, the panel must decide whether your reasons for your child to be admitted to the school are stronger than the authority’s reasons for not admitting them
Please note, you are entitled to present your own case at an appeals hearing, or you can have another individual present it on your behalf, such as a legal representative, a friend or family member.
How can I contact the school admissions team?
When appealing a decision, it must be issued through the Liverpool City Council website.
On the school admissions page, you will be able to submit a notice of appeal form, but the council advise those intending to send an appeal to first read the admissions appeals guide which includes details on:
- how to prepare your case
- documents you can use to support an appeal
- what to expect from the appeals panel
- how final decisions are made