John French

John French


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This is a time of the year that a lot of parents dread. Desperate for their child to go to the primary or secondary school of their choice, many are left disappointed and distraught when the letter from the local authority arrives and an alternative school is offered.

Parents often wonder what they can do under such circumstances – and the answer is that they can appeal.

Once the offer letter is received from the local authority, parents can write to that local authority and ask to appeal the decision (normally within 21 days from the date of the decision). They will then be given an appeal hearing date at least 10 days in advance of the hearing. At the hearing, an appeal panel (usually 3 members) will then decide if the decision to reject the child was made correctly. They can uphold the appeal if:

  1. The admissions arrangements have not been properly followed; and/or
  2. The admission criteria are not lawful; and/or
  3. The decision to reject was simply unreasonable.

John French, Partner in the Litigation Department, strongly advises disappointed parents to receive independent legal advice before taking an appeal forward and has conducted successful appeals in the past. John is available to advise on each situation and can be contacted on 02476 493124 or via