How to make an appeal for a school place

Your appeal should be lodged as soon as possible after receiving a refusal letter but please see the timescales table on this page.

You may also wish to consider whether there are any other suitable schools you can apply for or visit the school you have been allocated to assess its suitability. Applying for an alternative school will not affect your right to appeal for the schools you have been refused.

Who can appeal?

If you have been refused a place at one or more of your preferred schools, you are entitled to appeal against that decision. If you had not applied for the school or have not received a letter refusing admission, you are not entitled to appeal.

You cannot appeal for a lower preference school if you have been offered a higher preference school.

If your circumstances have changed and you now prefer a lower preference school, you should contact us to explain your changed circumstances and find out whether you need to make a new application.

Infant class appeals (reception to year 2)

There are very limited exceptional circumstances which allows a school to go above 30 children with a single teacher in infant classes. A successful appeal, under one of the following circumstances, is one of them.

An infant class prejudice appeal can only succeed if the Independent Appeal Panel finds that:

  1. the admission of additional children would not breach the infant class size limit of 30 children to 1 qualified teacher; or
  2. the child would have been offered a place if the admission arrangements had complied with admissions law or were correctly and impartially applied; or
  3. the admission authority’s decision to refuse a place was not one which a *reasonable admission authority would have made in the circumstances of the case.

*the threshold of reasonableness is high. The panel must consider whether the decision was: ‘perverse in the light of the admission arrangements’ or ‘beyond the range of responses open to a reasonable decision maker’ or ‘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’.

How do I appeal?

You can make an appeal by completing the online form. Please ensure you have:

  • read the information relevant to you below.
  • prepared any documents you may wish to upload in support of your application
  • prepared a statement outlining your reasons you wish your child to attend your preferred school and the grounds for your appeal

Make an appeal

How many appeals are successful?

You can view the breakdown of successful and unsuccessful appeals from all Northamptonshire schools below.

Due to the very limited circumstances for a successful infant class appeal, only a small number succeed. In the last 3 academic years the success rate was as follows:

  • 2014 to 2015: 231 appeals were heard, of which 3 were successful
  • 2013 to 2014: 230 appeals were heard, of which 10 were successful
  • 2012 to 2013: 304 appeals were heard, of which 12 were successful

School appeal timelines

​Action ​Deadline
Appeals need to be submitted ​Primary school: no later than 5.00pm on Friday 13 May 2016
Secondary school: no later than 5.00pm on Wednesday 13 April 2016
In-year transfers: no deadline
Sixth form: within 20 school days from the date when refused a place. Where offers of places are conditional upon GCSE examination results, appeals for admission to 6th forms cannot be heard until after GCSE results are known.
Late appeals: no deadline
Parents' additional evidence must be submitted​Within 10 days of submitting their appeal by email to:

or by post to:

LGSS-Democratic Services,
Northamptonshire County Council,
County Hall,

​Hearings take place ​Primary school: appeals will be heard within 40 school days from 13 May 2016 up to 15 July 2016

Secondary school: appeals will be heard within 40 school days from 13 April up to 16 June 2016
In-year transfers: appeals lodged outside the normal admission round will be convened within 30 school days, following receipt of your appeal form
Sixth form: appeals will be heard within 30 school days following the confirmation of examination results, where applicable, or otherwise within 40 school days from the deadline for lodging an appeal
Late appeals: Late co-ordinated appeals will be heard alongside on-time appeals wherever possible. Otherwise, they will be convened at the earliest possible time, which might be during the new school year. Appeals are not convened during school holidays so may need to be convened in September of that year.

Parents will receive written notification of appeal date​At least 10 school days before the appeal hearing. (You may waive your right to this notice period if it will help to speed up your appeal, but a quicker appeal cannot be guaranteed.) Appeals for the same school and year group must be heard together and by the same panel.
The clerk (the person organising the appeal) sends appeal papers to parents, the panel and the school

​7 working days before the appeal hearing.

No further documents will be circulated after this date.

You may submit a single page document at your appeal, providing you bring 5 extra copies to the appeal and give to the clerk for distribution.

Appeal hearing decision

​Decisions will be made after all appeals have been heard for the particular school.

Decision letters will be sent within 5 clear working days following decisions. In the case of multiple appeals or in busy times, within 10 clear working days.

What happens next?

Find out what happens after you've submitted an appeal