For those parents whose children are due to start school in September the wait is almost over with the outcomes of admission applications being available on Monday 18 April.

Completed applications received by 15 January 2016 will find out on Monday whether their applications have been successful. And for the majority they can start to plan for September including purchasing school uniforms.

However, for the remainder the anxiety and uncertainty will continue while the appeal process kicks in and it may be several more weeks before the final outcome is known.

There is plenty of advice about what can be done to win an appeal but the vast majority of schools operate under the infant class size legislation which does limit the chances of a successful appeal. Sadly, unless you are able to demonstrate that the admission authority made a mistake in dealing with your application or that the decision made was unreasonable then the appeal is unlikely to be successful.

Many parents are confused by the definition of unreasonable. For the purpose of the appeal, the definition used by the independent appeal panel is not the usual dictionary definition but the much stricter legal definition which means that the decision is totally irrational based on the information provided with the application. The focus of the appeal is on the decision made by the admission authority. Therefore any information that was not made available to the admission authority is therefore not relevant to the original decision.

Whilst you may think that the decision to allocate either a lower preference school or one that was not sought is unreasonable, that is not relevant to the decision to not offer a place at your preferred school; it is as a consequence of not being offered a place at your preferred school.

For an appeal to be successful your appeal needs to be well researched and evidenced to show that a mistake was made or that the decision was unreasonable.

Good luck and if you need any help please contact School Appeals.