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Shortage of places leads to more primary school appeals

5 October 2012

The number of appeals by parents challenging decisions not to award their child a place at their primary school of choice has risen for the fifth year running. A total of 46,905 appeals were made against primary school admissions, compared with 42,070 the previous year.

A new School Admissions Code was published by the Department for Education this year. Parents can appeal to an Independent Appeal Panel against a decision not to award their child a place at their preferred school. However, parents need to overcome a high hurdle to be awarded a place in infant class size appeals, as they must show the admission authority acted unreasonably. Although the number of appeals rose, under one in five parents were successful.

The problem is exacerbated by a severe shortage of primary places in some parts of England, especially London. Academies and schools who are their own admission authorities will no doubt be considering increasing their published admission number to admit more pupils to their schools.

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