Primary school admissions Bristol 2022: how to appeal school place after National Offer Day decision

Today is National Offer Day - a day when parents receive offers from primary schools for their children.

On Tuesday 19 April,  parents in Bristol found out which primary school has offered their child a place for the 2022/2023 academic year.

Applications first opened in September 2021 and parents have been anxiously awaiting the decision since the application deadline in January this year.

Sadly for some families, prefered places may be rejected, leaving you wondering what to do next.

Here is everything you need to know about how  to appeal the decision you were issued on National Offer Day.

When were offers sent out?

Primary school applications were open between September 12 2021 and January 15 2022.

In each application, parents couldstate a preference for up to three different primary schools (ranked in order of preference from one to three).

Official decisions were sent out on  National Offer Day on Tuesday 19 April.

Can I appeal a decision?

Pupils from Rossett Acre Primary School created their own handmade Easter bonnets to show to staff and residents at Vida Grange care home

If your child has not been allocated a place at a preferred primary school, or if you are unhappy with the selection of schools offered, you have a right to officially appeal the decision.

In order to do so, you should issue the appeal to the schools admissions board at Bristol City Council.

If you are appealing multiple different decisions, you must appeal each rejection separately.

How long do I have to appeal?

After receiving the final decisions on or around National Offer Day on Tuesday 19 April, the admissions authority is required to give you enough time to appeal any decision you are unhappy with.

You will have at least 20 days from when you received the decision letter to issue an official appeal.

You must be given a notice of at least 10 school days before you are invited to an appeals hearing in front of an independent panel.

The panel must take place within the 40-day period of the deadline for making an appeal.

You should receive a final decision on your application within five school days.

What should you expect from an appeals hearing?

Every family that issues an official appeals form is entitled to an appeals hearing, where a panel of three independent individuals will consider your case and make a final decision.

According to The School Run, this is what you can expect:

  • The admissions authority will explain why they turned down your application
  • You will be able to give your own reasons why your child should be accepted by the school
  • The panel will decide if the school’s admission criteria is legal
  • If it was, the panel must decide if the criteria was followed fairly and thoroughly
  • If the panel decides that the criteria was either not legal or not followed properly, they must uphold your appeal
  • If not, the panel must decide whether your reasons for your child to be admitted to the school are stronger than the authority’s reasons for not admitting them

Please note, you are entitled to present your own case at an appeals hearing, or you can have another individual present it on your behalf, such as a legal representative, a friend or family member.

How can I contact the school admissions team?

When appealing a decision, it must be sent in writing to the Bristol City Council school admissions office.

It is recommended that you do so via email to [email protected].

You can also reach the team through telephone by phoning 0117 903 7694 - operating hours are 9 am to 5 pm (Monday to Thursday) and 9 am to 4:30 pm (Friday).

You can also submit a school admissions contact form on the Bristol City Council website.