School appeals

Service information

If your child is not offered a place at your preferred school, then you have the right to appeal against that decision to an independent appeal panel.

A form to lodge an appeal can be obtained from the school admissions team, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council (01254) 666605 if the school that you wish to appeal for is a community or voluntary controlled school, or for Tauheedul Islam Girls’ and Tauheedul Islam Boys’ High Schools and The Olive School, Blackburn. 

If the school is a voluntary aided, foundation, free school or an academy then you must contact the individual school office to obtain an appeal form. 

Once you have completed your form, you should return it back to the organisation that issued it.

If you submit your appeal in the normal admission round before 31st March 2017 for secondary schools or before 17th May 2017 for primary schools, your appeal will be heard within 40 school days.  At other times of the year, your appeal will be heard within 30 school days of the admissions team or school receiving your completed appeal form.

A copy of the information relating to your appeal and details of the hearing will be sent to you 10 school days prior to your appeal being heard. You will be invited to attend the appeal hearing to inform the independent appeal panel as to why you feel your child should have a place at your preferred school. Appeals are usually held in Blackburn Town Hall.

The members of the appeal panel need to make their decision on the information they have been given, so you need to make sure that you tell them everything you feel is relevant and important about your case. The panel members will have read all the paperwork which you have submitted, so it is preferable to expand on that (if you need to).

If your case is based on medical or social grounds or either your child or anyone else in the family, you should, wherever possible, provide written evidence from your doctor/social worker or any other professional you feel appropriate to support this.

If your case is based on a house move, you should look to provide supporting documentation such as a tenancy/mortgage certificate or any other relevant documents.

You are invited to put forward any letters, documentation or any other relevant information that you feel is appropriate in support of your case in advance of the hearings. A date for submitting additional evidence will be included within your notice of hearing information.

You can submit additional information, documents or evidence regarding your case to the school appeals team before the appeal hearing, however, it is important that all parties have sufficient time to consider and respond to all the evidence that is presented.  If the information is complex and submitted close to the hearing then the appeal panel may need to adjourn your hearing to a new date in order to give all parties time to deal with the new information.

Please note that you are responsible for providing the appeal panel with evidence and information around your case. The panel members cannot make contact with anyone (such as your doctor) themselves.

At the appeal, three independent appeal panel members will listen to information from the school and from yourself and come to a decision after considering all the aspects of your circumstances as well as the difficulties the school would experience in taking further pupils.  This decision is binding on both parents and the school.  You cannot re-appeal for the same school within the same academic year unless you can provide evidence that there has been a relevant, significant and material change in circumstances.  This means you cannot have a second appeal for the same school in the same school year, unless the relevant admissions authority has agreed that the change in circumstances is significant or exceptional. 

Appeals are normally scheduled for between 20 and 30 minutes. You are advised to arrive at least 10 minutes before your hearing is scheduled to start to allow you to settle and to enable you to speak to the clerk if you have any last minute questions.

There is no limit to the number of different schools that you can appeal for in a school year.

If you wish to discuss if places are available at a school, please contact the admissions team, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council (01254) 666605.

If you require any further information relating to school admission appeals, please contact the school appeals team on (01254) 585109 or schoolappeals@blackburn.gov.uk.

Contact details

Mail Admissions, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, Children's Services Department, 10 Duke Street, Blackburn. BB2 1DH
Phone Number(s) 01254 666605
Fax Number(s) 01254 666884
E-mail Admissions@blackburn.gov.uk
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