School admission appeals

When an appeal is for a Milton Keynes Community or Voluntary Controlled school, the council is the admission authority. For Foundation and Voluntary-Aided schools, the schools governing body is the admissions authority and for Academies, the academy trust is the admissions authority.

Appeals for Milton Keynes Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools are administered by Business Services Plus at Buckinghamshire County Council. Appeals for Foundation and Voluntary Aided schools and Academies are arranged by the schools themselves.

Business Services Plus will arrange for an Independent Appeal Panel to consider your appeal. Both the Appeals Team and the panel are independent of the admission authority. Please note that the Appeals Team at Business Services Plus is completely separate to the Education Access Team at Milton Keynes Council. The Appeals Team will not be able to provide you with information relating to school allocations or waiting lists and any evidence that you submit for your appeal, including change of address information, will not be automatically shared with the Education Access Team ahead of an appeal.

You are able to appeal against each decision refusing you a place at a school. A separate appeal form should be submitted for each school you wish to appeal for.

Please note: Appeals must be lodged 20 school days from the date you received notification that your application was unsuccessful (the notification date is the date on the letter advising you that a place was not available at your preferred school). 

The panel will be made up of 3 people:

One eligible to be a lay member; that is someone without personal experience in the management or provision of education in any school (excluding experience as a school governor, or in any other voluntary capacity) and;

One who is eligible to be a non-lay member; that is someone with experience in education, who is acquainted with educational conditions in the area of the authority or, who is a parent of a registered school pupil.

The third person will be from either of the above two categories.

Types of appeal

  1. Infant Class Size (ICS) appeal
  2. Primary Admission appeal
  3. Secondary Admission appeal

Appeal for your preferred school (Admission Appeal)

If it was not possible to offer your child a place at your preferred primary or secondary school, you can ask for an appeal. The panel will decide whether your child should be offered a place at your preferred school (despite it being full). The admission authority for that school must comply with the panel's decision. During a primary or secondary appeal, the panel must consider whether the individual circumstances of your case outweigh any 'prejudice' to the school, which might be caused by admitting any further child or children.

Please note foundation and voluntary-aided schools, as well as academies, manage their own appeals and you will need to contact them direct for an appeal information pack. If the school you wish to appeal for is in another area, you should contact the local council.

Details of schools that administer their own appeals and contact details for neighbouring councils:

How to request an admission appeal information pack (PDF, 208KB)

1.  Infant class size appeal (ICS)

Most appeals for admission into Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 are infant class size appeals.

Statutory limits on class sizes means that apart from some very limited exceptions, infant classes of 5, 6 and 7 year olds may not contain more than 30 pupils with a single teacher.

Where the published admission number of a school allows for classes of 30 pupils, the admission authority will have refused admission on the grounds that to admit one more child would breach the infant class size limit.

Although you have a legal right to appeal under these criteria, there are very limited circumstances in which a panel can direct a child to be admitted to a school.

The panel can uphold an appeal on "class size prejudice" grounds only if they are satisfied that one of the following very limited grounds applies:

  1. the admission of additional children would not breach the infant class size limit or;
  2. your child would have been offered a place if the admission arrangements had complied with the mandatory requirements in the School Admissions code and the School Standards & Framework Act 1998 ("SSFA") and/or;
  3. the decision to refuse admission was not one which a reasonable admission authority would have made in the circumstances of the case*

*The courts have defined an unreasonable decision in this context as being one which is "perverse in the light of the admission arrangements". The word 'perverse' has a stronger meaning in its legal sense. It means "beyond the range of responses open to a reasonable decision maker".

As the grounds for upholding an appeal of this type are very limited, the percentage success rate is minimal. Please be aware that your personal reasons for wanting the school, however strongly you feel, cannot be taken into account, unless any of the above circumstances apply.

Please note that a decision by the admission authority to refuse admission to your child, which subsequently makes it impossible for you to transport all your children to school on time or even impossible for you to continue working, is very unlikely to be confirmed as an unreasonable decision. The courts have confirmed this position.

Of the Infant Class Size appeals heard for admission in September 2018, none were successful. Parents are often distressed that their personal reasons were not considered due to the very limited criteria therefore please think carefully before submitting an appeal.

For more information please read our guide on ICS appeal guide (PDF, 418KB) and a recent fact sheet published by the Local Government Ombudsman.

2. Primary Admission Appeal

These are appeals for entry into junior or primary schools in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 and also for entrance into Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 where the appeal is not governed by Infant Class Size Legislation (see above).

For all primary appeals, you must provide your reasons for expressing a preference for that specific school and why you believe your case outweighs the admission authority's case that admission of any additional child would cause prejudice to the school.

For more information, please read this Milton Keynes School Admissions Appeal Guide 2018 (PDF, 474KB)

3. Secondary Admission Appeal

If it was not possible to offer your child a place at your preferred secondary school, you can ask for an appeal. The panel will decide whether your child should be offered a place at your preferred school (despite it being full). The admission authority for that school must comply with the panel's decision. You must provide your reasons for expressing a preference for that specific school and why you believe your case outweighs the admission authority's case, that admission of an additional child would cause prejudice to the school. The panel will then consider your evidence and decide whether your case does outweigh that of the admission authority or not.

Please note all of the secondary schools in Milton Keynes manage their own appeals and you will need to contact them direct for an appeal information pack. If the school you wish to appeal for is in another area, you should contact that local council.

Appeal statistics for Milton Keynes community and voluntary controlled schools for admission in September 2018

Type of appeal Appeals heard

Appeals upheld
(a place offered as a result of the appeal)

% of successful appeals 
Primary school appeals (including Infant Class Size appeals) 18 8 44%
Infant Class Size appeals only 2 0 0%

Timetable for appeals 

The timetable for appeals for admission in September 2019 for Milton Keynes community and voluntary controlled schools will be available here in April 2019. 

For more information call the Appeals Team on 01296 383384 or email appeals@buckscc.gov.uk.

If you have a query about the primary admissions procedure: email Primaryadmissions@milton-keynes.gov.uk or telephone 01908 253338 and select option 1.

If you have a query about the secondary admissions procedure:

Email secondaryadmissions@milton-keynes.gov.uk or telephone 01908 253338 and select option 1.

 

 

Last Updated: 16 January 2019