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Infant class appeals parents guide

If you are unhappy with the infant or primary school place your child has been allocated, you may be considering lodging an appeal.

However, there are very specific reasons for appealing an infant or primary school allocation and these often come under what is known as an ‘infant class size appeal’.

Infant class admission appeals

Parents guide

If I am really unhappy with the school allocated but don’t want to appeal, what else can I do?

There may be other schools with vacancies and you may want to apply for one of those schools instead. The School Admissions Team can tell you which schools have vacancies. Any change to your preference must be in writing.

If you need help or advice on infant class appeals, please contact the School Admissions Team on 01752 307469.

What is an infant class size appeal?

Infant classes cover the Reception Year,Year 1 and Year 2 of an infant or primary school.

The law does not allow an infant class (where the majority of children will reach the age of five, six or seven during the school year) to exceed 30 pupils with a single school teacher.

The majority of infant classes in Plymouth are based on multiples of 30 children per class with a single school teacher in charge of each class.

If your child has been refused admission to a school because it already has 30 children allocated to the class, your appeal will, in all probability, be an infant class size appeal and the appeal panel will only be able to take certain aspects of your case into account.

How do I know if the school I want to appeal for will be an infant class appeal?

You can get an idea by looking at the published admission number for the school which can be found in the ‘Parent’s Guide to School Admissions’ available online at

Otherwise, please ask the School Admissions Team or the school itself.

Is an appeal your only chance of getting a place at the school you want?

No. Your child can be placed on a waiting list for each school that was ranked higher on your application form than the one you were allocated. Waiting lists are held for at least a term in the year of admission. If a space becomes available at a school, perhaps because someone has left the area or no longer wants the place, it will be offered to the child at the top of the waiting list. If a space becomes available at a school, perhaps because someone has left the area or no longer wants the place, it will be offered to the child at the top of the waiting list. The waiting list is kept in admission priority order.

If I appeal, what can the appeal panel take into account?

The appeal panel can only look at the following aspects of a case:

  1. Does the class have less than 30 children on roll and would it be prejudiced by taking your child?
  2. Did the admission arrangements meet the requirements of the law? If not, did your child lose a place at the school because of this? If the answer is yes, then your appeal can succeed.
  3. Did the admission authority refuse the place in error? If the panel decide this is the case and that because of the error, you lost the place at the school, then your appeal can succeed.
  4. Was the admission authority’s decision to refuse your application one which a reasonable admission authority would have made in the circumstances of the case? If the panel decides it was not, then your appeal can succeed. Bear in mind that the admission authority must abide by the law and will argue that the decision to refuse the application was reasonable if the class had already reached 30.

The appeal panel will review the authority’s decision in the light of the information available at the time the decision was made.

What about personal factors?

You are free to talk about personal factors during the appeal but the appeal panel cannot take them into account unless they are relevant to one or more of the four areas they are able to look at.

What are my chances of success in an infant class appeal?

Because of the class size restriction in law, infant class size appeals are difficult to win. The decision on whether to appeal must rest with the person making it. You can read last year’s appeal success statistics in the ‘Parent’s Guide to School Admissions’ available online at