11plus Appeals – Grammar & Independent Schools Guideline

This time of the year, parents become desperate and emotional as they find their child has not been awarded a place in the school of their choice in the 11plus selective schools exams. Every year there is a proportion of very able children who due to extenuating circumstances marginally fail to perform to the best of their abilities or strangely enough a very small group of children who do qualify for entry, but really are interested in a different school which is oversubscribed.

in this situation, parents for varying different may consider an lodging an Appeal. A very daunting task, especially at a time when one is emotional about the outcome and perhaps conscious of those that have succeeded among the child’s peer group at school or in friend circles.

The 2012 Appeals Code states that admission authorities must allow appellants at least 20 school days from the date of notification that their application was unsuccessful to prepare and lodge their written appeal.

When preparing the Appeal form, the parents is advised to very closely look at the Grounds of Appeal. For this is the area where most will fail. It is important that the issue(s) are addressed and then stick to it, backing it up with very clear and concise evidence.

Reasons could be:

o Over subscription?
o Non-qualification?
o Maladministration (i.e. did the admission authority make a mistake in the admissions
process and deprive a child that they would otherwise have been entitled)?
o Score Admission Criteria – not reached a score high enough to gain a place?

On whatever grounds you are appealing, you will want to try and compile supporting evidence and present your case coherently in the time allocated.

This whole process can be extremely stressful and is recommended that whatever the reason chosen that the Appeal is filled in properly and emotions kept locked up or out of the way or focus will be lost.

The Appeal form itself is simple but the evidence prepared to enable the panel understand your ground for appeal is crucially important. The panel are operating under pressure as the child did not qualify in the initial round(s) and if everything was proper than your child did not qualify. It is upto the parent to provide conclusive evidence that in their child’s case that things were not proper. The evidence can be in many forms: Hospital and GP records; School report from Headteacher; Distance from School; Flaw in the administration process, etc.

This must be documented clearly and then presented in structured manner so that the child’s reason for appeal is made clear and presented clearly. Some parents hire solicitors who specialise in this but there is no conclusive evidence if this is helpful.

Disclaimer: the information and advice given here is only a guideline and represent only the authors’ view. We acknowledge others might think differently, and parents must undertake their own checks, seeking legal or other independent help where necessary, and satisfy themselves before acting on any such information and advice. Appeal arrangements should be similar throughout the country, but parents must check carefully for any local variations. All procedures should comply with the law and the Department for Education (DfE) Code of Practice on Appeals.

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