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Appealing school place allocation

The appeals process

You have a legal right to appeal against a decision not to offer your child a place at any or all of the schools that you've applied to. You can appeal for a place at your preferred school even though your child may have a place somewhere else.

The admissions authority for the school you're applying to must explain why your child hasn't been offered a place at that school. They must also explain how you can appeal against this decision.

Your appeal will be heard by a panel which is independent of the school and the admissions authority whose decision you’re appealing against. You’ve the right to attend the hearing to explain your case to the independent appeal panel.

There are strict rules around the appointment of the appeal panel members to ensure their impartiality and independence. The panel’s decision has to be accepted by the admissions authority and the school. Your appeal must be heard within 30 school days of the appeal being lodged. 

Appeal rules for infant classes (Reception, Year 1 and Year 2)

The law says that there can’t be more than 30 pupils in an infant class. If your child has been refused a place an appeal will only be successful in very limited circumstances.

The appeal panel must consider whether:

  • The child would have been offered a place if the admission arrangements had not been contrary to mandatory provisions in the School Admissions Code and the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (or, the admission arrangements are found to be unlawful);
  • The child would have been offered a place if the admissions arrangements had been followed properly;
  • The decision to refuse admission was not one which a ‘reasonable’ admission authority would have made in the circumstances of the case.

So that the panel can judge whether an admissions authority has acted unreasonably, they’ll have to be satisfied that the decision to admit the child was ‘perverse in the light of the admission arrangements’ - the decision taken was so outrageous in its defiance of logic or of accepted moral standards that no sensible person could ever have reached it.

Appeal rules for Year 3 to Year 11

When considering an appeal for any other year group, panels follow a two stage process in reaching decisions:

  • A factual stage - this considers whether the school’s published admission arrangements were correctly applied in the individual's case, and decides whether harm (or prejudice) would arise to the efficient provision of education and/or the efficient use of resources in the school if the child was admitted.
  • A balancing stage - the panel can use its discretion here, balancing between the degree of prejudice to the school (or harm) and the weight of the parent’s case, before coming to a decision. 

How to appeal

Appealing the decision made by a school that arranges their own appeals

The following schools arrange their own appeals. For more information, please visit the respective schools’ website or contact them directly:

  • Castle Hill Primary School
  • Chessington School
  • Christ Church New Malden C of E Primary School
  • Christ Church C of E Primary School
  • Coombe Boys’ School
  • Coombe Girls’ School
  • Corpus Christi Catholic Primary School
  • Fern Hill Primary School
  • The Hollyfield School and Sixth Form Centre
  • The Holy Cross School
  • The Kingston Academy
  • Knollmead Primary School
  • Latchmere School
  • Malden Parochial C of E Primary School
  • Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School
  • Richard Challoner School
  • Robin Hood Primary School
  • Southborough High School
  • St Agatha’s Catholic Primary School
  • St Andrew’s and St Mark’s C of E Junior School
  • St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School
  • St Mary’s C of E Primary School (Chessington)
  • St Matthew’s C of E Primary School
  • St Paul’s C of E Primary School (Chessington)
  • St Paul’s C of E Primary School, Kingston Hill
  • Tolworth Girls’ School and Sixth Form
  • The Tiffin Girls’ School
  • Tiffin School

The following schools arrange their own appeals. For more information, please visit the respective schools’ website or contact them directly:

  • Grey Court School
  • Richmond Park Academy
  • The Richmond upon Thames School
  • Sacred Heart Primary School
  • St Elizabeth’s Catholic Primary School
  • St John the Baptist C of E Junior School
  • St Mary’s and St Peter’s C of E Primary School
  • St Osmund’s Catholic Primary School
  • St Richard Reynolds Catholic High School
  • St Richard Reynolds Catholic Primary School
  • St Richard’s C of E Primary School

Appealing for a school that is arranged by the Independent Appeals Service

The following schools are arranged by the Richmond Independent Appeals Service. For more information, please visit the appeals service website.

  • Alexandra Primary School
  • Burlington Infant School
  • Burlington Junior School
  • Coombe Hill Infants’ School
  • Coombe Hill Junior School
  • Ellingham Primary School
  • Grand Avenue Primary School
  • Green Lane Primary School
  • King Athelstan Primary School
  • King’s Oak Primary School
  • Lime Tree Primary School
  • Lovelace Primary School
  • Malden Manor Primary School
  • Maple Infants School
  • Robin Hood Primary School
  • St Luke’s CE Primary School (Kingston)
  • Tolworth Infants School
  • Tolworth Junior School
  • Archdeacon Cambridge's CE Primary School
  • Barnes Primary School
  • Bishop Perrin CE Primary School
  • Buckingham Primary School
  • Carlisle Infant Primary School
  • Chase Bridge Primary School
  • Christ's C of E Secondary School
  • Collis Primary School
  • Darell Primary School
  • Deer Park School
  • East Sheen Primary School
  • Hampton High School
  • Hampton Hill Junior School
  • Hampton Infant School
  • Hampton Junior School
  • Hampton Wick Infant and Nursery School
  • Heathfield Junior School
  • Heathfield Nursery and Infant School
  • Holy Trinity C of E Primary School
  • Kew Riverside School
  • Lowther Primary School
  • Marshgate Primary School
  • Meadlands Primary School
  • Orleans Park Academy
  • Orleans Primary School
  • The King's C of E Primary School
  • Richmond-upon-Thames School
  • The Russell Primary School
  • Sheen Mount Primary School
  • St Edmund's Catholic Primary School
  • St James' Catholic Primary School
  • St John's C of E School
  • St Mary's C of E (Twickenham) Primary School
  • St Mary's Hampton C of E Primary School
  • St Mary Magdalen Catholic Primary School
  • St Stephen’s C of E Primary School
  • Stanley Primary School
  • Teddington School
  • Thompson House
  • Trafalgar Infant School
  • Trafalgar Junior School
  • Turing House School
  • Twickenham Primary Academy
  • Twickenham School
  • The Vineyard Primary School
  • Waldegrave School