Primary school appeals template: Reception and KS1

School appeals template letter
If your child has missed out on a place at your preferred school, use this template as a basis for your appeal.
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Every year, thousands of children fail to secure a place at their chosen primary school. If your child has missed out, you have the right to appeal

Many authorities have forms that you need to fill out to appeal, but some require a letter instead or as well. This template will help you formulate your appeal letter.

In Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, class sizes are strictly limited to 30 pupils (or 30 pupils per teacher). You can still appeal, but bear in mind that your chances of success are limited.

You can appeal if you can show that the admission arrangements weren’t properly followed, or that the admission criteria are not legal according to the School Admissions Code, or the decision to refuse your child a place wasn’t ‘reasonable.’

Coronavirus update April 2020

The current situation with coronavirus and social distancing has led to some changes in the appeals pathway.

Parents will still need to submit their appeal request as usual, following the school's or local authority's normal process, which you'll find on their website.

The big difference is that because appeals hearings involve more than two people, they don't comply with social distancing rules and so can't be held face to face.

Instead, the hearing could be held by phone, video conferencing or by letter, with each party submitting a written report. The appeals clerk has to contact all parties to check they have what they need to participate in their hearing, e.g. access to video conferencing facilities.

Other changes mean that the appeal panel may consist of two instead of three members, if the third withdraws (e.g. due to illness). 

You'll also have at least 28 days' written notice of a new appeals deadline, and 14 days' notice of your appeal hearing. This gives more flexibility for appeals teams to adapt to the new way of working.

Once current lockdown and social distancing rules are relaxed, appeals may revert to taking place in person, but the possibility to conduct them remotely will remain until 31 January 2021. This gives admissions authorities sufficient time to deal with appeals in September, when children start school.

Reception and KS1 admission appeal template






I would like to appeal against the decision of the admission authority not to offer CHILD’S NAME a place at SCHOOL NAME.

I am aware that the grounds for the appeal is limited by the provisions of the Infant Class Size legislation. In support of my appeal, my grounds of appeal area as follows:

The admission arrangements were not correctly and impartially applied in my case.

I believe that the admission arrangements were not correctly and impartially applied in my case and that this has effectively denied CHILD’S NAME a place at SCHOOL NAME.

Here, you can explain what error you believe has been made.

Generally, an error will result from the admission authority not taking into due consideration the information provided with the application form.

Most appeals involve a distance factor not being applied correctly, either as a main criterion or in a tiebreak situation.

You will need to provide written evidence to substantiate this. For example, if the distance criterion was incorrectly applied, you might use mapping software to prove your distance from the school.

The decision to refuse admission was not one which a reasonable admission authority would have made in the circumstances of the case.

I believe that the decision not to offer CHILD’S NAME a place at SCHOOL NAME is unreasonable for the following reasons:

Here, you can list the reasons why.

These usually relate to the admission authority not taking into consideration information that was provided with your original application: for example, if the admission authority gives priority to children with medical issues, but these were overlooked.

Additional considerations.

In addition to the above points, I would like the appeal panel to take into consideration the following points:

Here, you can include any additional points that you would like the appeal panel to consider that are not covered by the points made above.

This may include personal circumstances and any logistical difficulties that would be caused by your child attending the allocated school.

Note that the threshold for successful appeals is very high. For an appeal to be successful, the appeal panel will need to be satisfied that the decision to refuse admission was ‘perverse in the light of the admission arrangements,’ i.e. it was ‘beyond the range of responses open to a reasonable decision maker’ or ‘a decision 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.’

In support of this appeal please find attached the following documents:

These could include a letter from your child’s doctor or consultant, social worker or any other professional who supports your child’s application.

I look forward to hearing from you with the details of when the appeal will be heard.

Yours truly,


With thanks to John Chard of School Appeals.

Free primary school admissions appeals letter template to download

Download TheSchoolRun's free sample appeals letter for primary schools and use it as a template to write your own.