Lostock High School Appeals

How to appeal

If your request for a place at Lostock High School is refused, you have a right of appeal to an independent appeal panel. 

Complete the appeal form with as much relevant information as possible and submit it together with any evidence you want to be considered. Fill in all sections of the form including which school you are appealing for and the correct year group.

A separate appeal form is required for each child.

You should submit your appeal by the date shown on your appeal form or it may be delayed. Forms and evidence can be submitted to school.appeals@trafford.gov.uk 

Preparing your case

You are responsible for presenting your case. You will need to decide what verbal or written information you want to share with the panel and whether you want to bring any witnesses to the hearing. The appeal form is an important part of your case and should be completed carefully.

You may find it helpful to write down what you want to say at the appeal hearing and any questions you want to ask. Please remember to bring with you all the information sent to you prior to the appeal. This will contain details of why your child has been refused a place at Lostock High School. 

Delayed evidence

You may need to submit additional evidence which is not available at the time you submit your appeal for, for example a medical report. Please send any additional evidence to School Appeals by 20 May 2023. We will not request any information or make any enquiries on your behalf.

If you are unable to submit all your evidence by 20 May, please contact us and we will consider whether we can agree an extension. You must provide the following information:

  • a brief description of the evidence
  • the reasons for the delay
  • the date when the evidence will be available

If you submit additional evidence after the deadline or any agreed extension, the panel may decide not to consider it or to delay your hearing. This could mean your appeal will be heard after the end of other programmed appeals.

Written evidence

The documents you send to us will be photocopied in black ink. This means text which has been highlighted with a coloured highlighter pen will not be visible. If you wish to draw particular attention to information, please consider an alternative way such as underlining.

If any of the additional documents you submit contain your home address, it would be helpful if you could blank this out on the copy you send to us.

Witnesses

You may choose to bring witnesses to support your case. You are resonsible for making  arrangements for your witnesses to attend the appeal hearing. We cannot do this for you and the panel cannot do this for you. Please provide us with details of any witnesses prior to the hearing.

What happens next?

When we receive your completed appeal form, we will confirm this to you. We will then arrange a date for the appeal. You will usually be given 10 school days written notice of the appeal. Ifan appeal needs to be heard earlier, the notice

Parents will usually be given 10 school days written notice of the appeal. Where an appeal needs to be heard earlier, you can indicate on the appeal form if you happy to not have ths notice period.

Secondary appeals against decisions sent out on national offer day for entry to Year 7 in September, will be heard within 40 school days of the deadline date for submitting appeals.

Secondary appeals for late applications will, if possible, be heard with the on time appeals. If this is not possible, they will be heard within 30 school days of the appeal being submitted.

Appeals for applications for in-year admissions will be heard within 30 school days of the appeal being submitted.

The hearing

Do I have to attend the hearing?

Independent Appeal Panel hearings are confidential and each case is heard individually.

We strongly advise you to attend the appeal hearing as it is usually easier to explain your case to the panel in person. You may be accompanied or represented at the appeal hearing by a friend or other representative. Details of these people should be given to us prior to the hearing.

The School Admission Appeals Code states that an employee or governor of the school may not attend the hearing or make any written submissions in support of your appeal.

If you do not wish to attend the hearing or send a representative, then your appeal will be heard in your absence. It will be based on all written information submitted. 

If you do not attend your appeal hearing and have not informed us you want to have your appeal date changed, your appeal will be heard in your absence..

Who will hear the appeal?

The Independent Appeal Panel will be made up of three or four members. It will include Lay Members and Members with an Interest in Education, none of whom have any connection with Trafford Council, the local authority or Lostock High School.

There will also be a Clerk who makes sure the correct procedures are followed and the appeal hearing is carried out fairly. The Clerk remains with the panel members when the hearing is finished, but is not involved in the decision-making.

A representative from the local authority / school will also be present to explain why your child has been refused a place at the school. At the end of the hearing, this person will leave. They are not involved in the decision-making.

What happens at the appeal hearing?

All appeals are heard in private and are confidential.

The hearing will be as informal as possible and the Chair of the Panel will try to put you at ease. However, certain formal procedures have to be followed to make sure that everyone who appeals is given a fair hearing. The following is a summary of the procedure that will be followed:

Stage 1 - The case for Lostock High School

When all parents and the School Representative are present along with the Panel Members and Clerk:

  1. The representative from the Local Authority (LA) / school presents their case.
  2. You and/or your representative may ask questions about the Local Authority / school's case.
  3. The Panel may also ask questions.

Stage 2 - Your case

When individual parents and the School Representative are present along with the Panel Members and Clerk:

  1. You and/or your representative will present your case.
  2. The the LA / school representative may ask you questions.
  3. The Panel may also ask you questions.

The representative from Lostock High School will sum up the case for the school and you or your representative may sum up your case.

The representative from Lostock High School, you and/or your representative will leave the hearing at the same time, and will take no further part in the Appeal.

The Panel will then make a decision.

Where there is more than one appeal for the school, the Panel will hear all the appeals before making any decisions.

You will be notified in writing of the decision. There is no other way to find out the decision.

How does the appeal panel reach its decision?

The legal guidance says that the Local Authority must comply with parents’ preference except in certain circumstances, which include:

  1. If compliance with the preference would prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of the Authority's resources;
  2. If the preferred school is wholly selective by reference to high ability or aptitude and the admission of the pupil would be incompatible with such selection under the admission arrangements.

The Appeals Panel must apply the following procedure in reaching their decision.

Stage 1: Establishing the facts

The Appeals Panel must consider whether:-

  1. the published admission arrangements comply with the mandatory provisions of the School Admissions Code and the School Standards & Framework Act 1998, and
  2. whether the admission arrangements were correctly applied to your child, and
  3. whether the admission authority have proved that admitting another child to the school would prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources at the school.

If the Panel consider that the published admission arrangements are not lawful or were not correctly applied to your child, they must then consider whether your child would have been offered a place if the admission arrangements had been lawful or properly applied.

If the Panel are satisfied that your child would have been offered a place, your appeal must be allowed unless a significant number of children have been affected and admitting all of them would cause significant prejudice.

If the Panel consider that the published admission arrangements are lawful and were correctly applied they must then consider whether, as a matter of fact, prejudice would arise if your child were admitted to the school.

If the Appeals Panel is satisfied that there would be prejudice it will move to Stage 2 of the decision-making process.

If the Appeals Panel is satisfied that all the appellant’s children could be admitted to the school before prejudice is established, all the appeals will be allowed.

If the Appeals Panel is not satisfied that all the appellant’s children could be admitted to the school before prejudice is established, it must go on to Stage 2.

Stage 2: Balancing the arguments

The Appeals Panel will consider the reasons you have given for requesting a place at the school and balance them against the prejudice that would be caused if your child were admitted to Lostock High School.

If they decide that the reasons you have put forward in support of your appeal outweigh the prejudice, they will allow your appeal.

If they decide that the reasons you have put forward in support of your appeal do not outweigh the prejudice, they will refuse your appeal.

Is the decision of the appeal panel final?

Yes, the decision is binding on both you and the local authority / Lostock High School.

If my appeal is unsuccessful can I appeal again?

You only have one right of appeal in each academic school year for a particular school unless, in exceptional circumstances, the Local Authority / School has accepted a second application because of a significant and material change in the circumstances of the parent, child or school, and refused admission.

An appeal for your child’s admission to a particular school in September can be held before the end of the previous school year so that the admission can commence at the start of the new school year.  However, such an appeal will be classed as relating to the school year commencing in the September.

You may, however, submit an appeal for more than one school during the same academic year.

Frequently asked questions

Can the Appeals Section give me advice regarding the information I present to the Appeal Panel?

No, you must decide what information you wish to present to the Appeal Panel and submit it

Will the Appeals Section/Appeals Panel obtain copies of medical reports/other information/make telephone calls in relation to my appeal?

No, if you wish the Appeals Panel to consider medical information etc. you must obtain that information and send it to us by the deadline.

Will the Appeals Section/Appeals Panel arrange for witnesses to attend the appeal hearing in support of my appeal?

No, if you wish anyone to attend the appeal hearing in support of your appeal, you must make the necessary arrangements and give details to the Appeals Section before the hearing.

Can I bring a legal representative, friend or other representative with me to the hearing?

Yes, but please inform the Appeals Section at least 3 working days before the hearing.

Can I request an interpreter?

Yes, however, if you are able to bring a relative or a friend this may be more beneficial to you as this person will usually already have knowledge of your circumstances and can help explain your case to the Appeal Panel.

If you do not know anyone who can interpret for you then you must give the Appeals Section as much notice as possible and indicate what language is required.

More help

Trafford School Admissions

We can help with questions relating to school admissions.

Trafford School Appeals

We can help with questions relating to your appeal and the appeal procedures.

For more information on the appeals process, see School Admissions Appeals Code 2022.