Appeal a school offer

If you are unhappy with the school place you've been offered, you can appeal for any of the schools you named in your application.

We recommend you still accept the place your child has been offered. This will not affect your appeal and will guarantee your child has a school place if your appeal is unsuccessful. If your appeal is successful you must remember to tell the school you were originally offered that you no longer want the place.

If you weren't offered your chosen school, this is usually because the school is full and there were other children who more closely met the school’s oversubscription criteria.

Appeals during the coronavirus pandemic

The Department for Education has provided schools and local authorities with updated guidance about how school appeals can be heard in light of current coronavirus restrictions. Independent panel members will be responsible for deciding on an individual school basis how appeals are heard.

Please submit your appeals as outlined and the panel clerk will contact you after the deadline to inform you of any changes that may be necessary.

If your child is due to start Secondary School in September 2021, you can appeal if you are refused a place at one of your preferred schools on National Offer Day (16 April 2021).

You must submit your appeal between before 17 May 2021 for it to be considered by 16 July 2021. Any appeals received after this time will be heard within 40 school days from the deadline, or where reasonably possible in line with updated guidance from the Department for Education.

For any appeals being lodged read the full copy of our privacy notice outlining your rights in relation to your personal data.

For community schools and voluntary controlled schools you can appeal online.

For foundation schools, voluntary aided schools, free schools and academies: you must write to the school directly care of Clerk to the Independent Appeal Panel using the appeal by post form (PDF, 29.2 KB).

If you are unsure of a school status check our guide on how to apply for a primary school place (PDF, 1.8 MB).

Appeal hearing

The hearing lets you explain to an independent appeal panel why you think your child should be given a place at the school and lets the school explain why it could not offer your child a place.

Due to the current social distancing coronavirus restrictions, the appeals process will require adjustments which will vary from school to school. The panel clerk will contact those who have appealed directly to inform them how the appeal will be heard.

You will be informed of the date of your appeal at least 14 calendar days before it is heard and a complete copy of the appeals paperwork will be sent to you at least 7 calendar days before the hearing.

Decision

The Clerk will normally provide you with the panel’s decision within 7 calendar days of your appeal. If the panel is hearing a large number of appeals, this will be 7 calendar days after the last appeal is considered.

If your appeal is unsuccessful, you can't lodge another appeal to the same school for the same school year, unless you can show your circumstances have changed since the first appeal.

Get advice

Call 03000 41 42 22 or email appeals@kent.gov.uk for support.

Make a complaint

Make a complaint about the appeals process

Make an appeal

You cannot appeal the decision of the Kent Test result.

If your child is due to start Secondary School in September 2021, you can appeal if you are refused a place at one of your preferred schools on National Offer Day (1 March 2021). You will also be able to appeal if your child was turned down for a place at a Kent grammar school because they were not assessed as suitable following the Kent Test.

You must submit your appeal between before 26 March 2021 for it to be considered by 16 June 2021. Any appeals received after this time will be heard within 40 school days from the deadline, or where reasonably possible in line with updated guidance from the Department for Education.

Read our guidance for parents for further information about appeals (PDF, 423.0 KB).

For any appeals being lodged, read the full copy of our privacy notice outlining your rights in relation to your personal data.

Appeal online

Your appeals clerk will contact you directly to let you know when your appeal will be heard.

Appeal process

An independent appeal panel will decide whether your appeal is successful. The panel is usually made up of 3 people, with at least one person who has experience in education and at least one layperson. They are independent of the school, trust and local authority.

There will also be a clerk in attendance who is independent of the school and will deal with administration for the appeal, keep the official note of what is discussed and give independent and impartial advice on the appeals process and admissions law to the panel members.

You will be informed of the date of your appeal at least 14 calendar days before it is heard and a complete copy of the appeals paperwork will be sent to you at least 7 calendar days before the hearing.

Decision

We will write to tell you the panel's decision as soon as possible. We cannot tell you the decision by telephone.

If your appeal is successful, the school must offer your child a place. If not, then the school will not offer your child a place, and you can't lodge another appeal to the same school for the same school year, unless you can show your circumstances have changed since the first appeal.

There is a legal maximum class size for reception, year 1 and year 2. This is 30 children per teacher. Your appeal can be turned down if all the classes have already reached their legal limit, unless:

  • the admission arrangements were unlawful
  • the admission arrangements weren't correctly and impartially applied
  • the decision to refuse admission wasn't reasonable.

Get advice

Call 03000 41 42 22 or email appeals@kent.gov.uk for support.

Make a complaint

Make a complaint about the appeals process

Make an appeal

If you applied to move your child to a different school but were not offered a place you have the right to make an appeal.

For foundation schools, voluntary aided schools, free schools and academies, you must write to the school directly care of Clerk to the Independent Appeal Panel.

For community or voluntary controlled schools:

Read our guidance for parents for further information about appeals (PDF, 165.0 KB).

For any appeals being lodged read the full copy of our privacy notice, outlining your rights in relation to your personal data.

For community schools and voluntary controlled schools:

Call 03000 41 42 22 or email appeals@kent.gov.uk for further advice.

Appeal hearing

The Department for Education has provided schools and local authorities with updated guidance about how school appeals can be heard in light of current coronavirus restrictions. Independent panel members will be responsible for deciding on an individual school basis how appeals are heard.

As face-to-face appeals are not currently an option, we will contact you to go through the options for your appeal to be considered.

Get advice

Call 0300 041 4222 or email appeals@kent.gov.uk for support.

Make a complaint

Make a complaint about the appeals process