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I have just moved into a new borough and my school of choice is refusing to admit my child, what action can I take?

I have just moved into a new borough and my school of choice is refusing to admit my child, what action can I take?

If your school of choice is refusing to admit your child and you feel that the school's decision has not been reached fairly, then it is your legal right to challenge that decision.

Every UK school has a formal admissions policy that must be applied to every application. Government guidelines in this area (collectively known as the School Admissions Code) decree that every school's admissions policy must be written in clear and easy to understand language. It must also be fair to every parent and child, meaning that it must be wholly impartial, and it must also take parental preference into account, although this is not guaranteed.

If you're not happy with the admissions policy

If you believe that the admissions policy of the school to which you have applied does not adhere to these guidelines, then you may decide to make an official submission to Schools Adjudicator. If you decide to do this, you must do so by May 15th of the year preceding the year in which you have made an application - so if you wish to complain about the admissions policy for September 2018, you must have approached the Adjudicator by May 15th, 2017.

Acceptable and unacceptable reasons for refusal

Most schools receive more applications than they have places to offer, and when this is the case, the school may consider several factors when deciding how places will be allocated. For example, they might consider:

  • if your child has brothers or sisters already attending the school
  • how far you live from the school
  • whether or not a 'pupil premium' will be awarded
  • other reasons you may have for choosing that particular school - such as existing social or medical reasons

What options do you have if your child is denied admission?

If you feel that the reasons given by a school or Local Authority for refusing your child do not fall under the legal requirements for such decision-making, you have the right to appeal to an independent panel, who will decide whether or not the school in question has acted within the law.

If you feel you have a case to answer but are not exactly sure how to proceed, or you feel you would benefit from assistance or guidance in preparing for your appeal, please contact one of our specialist education lawyers at Match Solicitors today.

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