Skip to content
  1. Do it online
  2. Login
  3. Have your say
  4. My Durham

Appeal against the offer of a school place


If your child does not get a place at any of the primary or secondary schools you applied for, you can appeal against this decision.

Your appeal will be decided by a panel which is independent of both the school and the council and the decision is binding on all parties.

Appeal for a school place

Step one

To appeal for a place at the school you want your child to attend, contact us to speak to an appeals officer.

Step two

If you decide to appeal you can complete our online form to Appeal a school place decision.

Appeals for Reception and Year 7 pupils starting school in September 2022 will be held between May and July 2022.

Please note - this form must only be completed if you want to appeal against the school place you have been offered.

If you want to apply for a school place and are not appealing against an offer, please go to our School places and admissions page where you can choose to apply for a primary or secondary place. 

You will need to refer to the Icon for pdf school admission appeals process and rules (PDF, 311.7kb)  to complete the form. Please provide proof of your child's address with your appeal documentation.

Providing address information

Unfortunately, children lose places every year due to parents giving false information on their child's application and appeal forms.

We therefore reserve the right to seek proof of address, and will do so if your appeal is successful at an oversubscribed school. We will withdraw an offer of a place if it was obtained through a fraudulent or intentionally misleading application. You will be asked to sign a declaration to state that you: 

  • have read, understood and agree to abide by the conditions in the  Icon for pdf Primary and Secondary School Admission Guide 2022/2023 (PDF, 4.1mb) .
  • confirm that you have parental responsibility for the child (or have care and control of the child), and have no knowledge of any opposition to this school place application from any other person who has parental responsibility for the child. (If applicable, you will inform us of the individual who opposes the appeal and supply their contact details).
  • will immediately contact us in writing or by email with any change of address details after the submission of your child's application
  • understand that your child's school place can be withdrawn (even if they have started at the school) if the place was fraudulently obtained

Signing the declaration

By signing the declaration you:

  • agree and consent to us checking the details you have provided on this application against council tax, electoral registration, other council records and neighbouring councils to confirm that the child is resident at the address in Section A
  • understand that we will check your data with other agencies, where it is necessary to do so and where the law allow, in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 (see our Data Protection & Freedom of Information page)
  • understand that if you have provided information that is incorrect or incomplete, you may be investigated and action may be taken against you (including court action)

When we process your personal information, it will be handled in accordance with data protection and our  Icon for pdf Privacy notice - education support (PDF, 141.8kb) .

Infant class size appeals (Reception, Year 1 and Year 2)

By law, infant classes must not have more than 30 children except for very limited exceptions. This means it is very difficult to win an appeal and personal circumstances such as home to school distance, childcare arrangements, transport issues or having children at other schools are not reasons in themselves to make an appeal successful.

An appeal can only be successful if one or more of the following circumstances apply:

  • if the admission of the child would not increase the class size to over 30
  • if the admission arrangements do not comply with the law
  • if the admission arrangements were incorrectly applied
  • If the decision to refuse admission was unreasonable (completely perverse and outrageous) in light of the admission arrangements

If you are considering an appeal for these year groups you are advised to contact us as we will be able to explain in more detail about the law relating to infant class sizes. 

Voluntary aided (faith) school appeals

Contact the school directly for information about their appeals procedure.

Contact us
School places and admissions
03000 265 896
Our address is:
  • School Places and Admissions
  • Children and Young People's Services
  • Green Lane
  • Spennymoor
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DL16 6JQ