Recent reports in the press tell us that the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, wants there to be no difference between private and state funded education.  For those of us who choose State funded education – whether that decision be financial or otherwise – the first real difference facing us is admissions.

It’s a choice that every responsible parent takes very seriously and carefully, and then the nominations are made. In reality that ‘choice’ is actually a preference, and sadly for many that preference will often not succeed.  Like many parents at this time of year I am eagerly, albeit anxiously, waiting to hear which school my son will be starting in September.  It’s a new era, a big step and therefore vital that it’s the right school.

So when the big news arrives, if it isn’t the news you were hoping for is there anything you can do? Whether it is primary or secondary school once the school allocation is known you can consider an appeal.

Primary school admissions are notoriously difficult to win, but far from impossible and inevitably decided on the individual and unique facts in the case.  Preparation is crucial, particularly as the issue is often class size.  Primary schools are entitled to limit class numbers to 30, for children aged 5 to 7 and only in very exceptional circumstances will this number be increased.

For secondary schools there are more avenues of argument open to the parent, leaving the Panel with a lot of considerations – prejudice to the school versus prejudice to the child and their education.

There are also some admissions that take place out of the ‘traditional’ period, for example when a family moves home – what if the new school is already full? In those cases the parent will have the right to lodge an ‘in year appeal’.

If you have any issue with your child’s admission to school Beecham Peacock Solicitors in Newcastle are ready to help.  For more information or to book an appointment call us today on 0191 2323048 or email


Sara Clasper

Solicitor Advocate

Beecham Peacock Solicitors

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