Disclaimer: All opinions are my own. These do not constitute legal advice. Please consult qualified legal professional for legal advice.

From https://www.gov.uk/schools-admissions/appealing-a-schools-decision
Appeals for infant classes

You need to go through the same process if you’re appealing a decision about an infant class. In reception, year 1 and year 2, the class size is limited to 30. Your application can be turned down if all the classes already have 30 children.

Your appeal could be successful if:

So right off the bat, we know that the School placement appeal for Primary school placement, going from Nursery to Reception, is going to be much more difficult than other appeals. This is because the class size is limited to 30 children, unlike other appeals like going from Primary to Secondary where other places can be made available..

1.Supplementary form 1B:
I would first advise that if your SEN Child has has a diagnosis and any evidence of additional support in Nursery then do please fill out the Supplementary Priority From 1B. This will ensure that due to your child’s additional needs there is higher chance of them getting into the school as per parents choice. If your child was in receipt of EYFFI funding then you can find out the Band from the FFI department by calling 0113 3785449

In addition to your appeal, I’ll highly recommend that you start the EHCP process for your child. This helps for school placement in the following ways.

  1. It will give you a right to give parental choice for an EHCP, which must be met and is the only time the 30 child school limit rule is superseded.
  2. It will make sure that the school you are choosing for your child has the right level of support for your child
  3. As part of your appeal, you can say that as an EHCP process is underway you are going to get this school any way due to parental preference, and thus why make your child go to another school first and then back to parental choice, this can put considerable undue mental pressure on children with or without SEN needs.

3. Waiting list:
Make sure you join the waiting list for the preferred school. The information is present in your “online school application outcome” email. or you can find it here https://www.leeds.gov.uk/schools-and-education/school-admissions/school-waiting-lists

4. Appeal:
If you have forgotten to include Supplementary form 1B while applying for the school place , or were confused about if it is needed or not (like me) or you were just thinking that because your child goes to the same school nursery, that you’ll automatically get the same school (also like me) then unfortunately you have a fight at your hands and you’ll need to appeal to the LA to allow you that placement.
The appeal process is also in your “online school application outcome” email. Please make sure you mark the dates in your calendar.
An important date is the evidence deadline. The appeal is an evidence based appeal.

  1. Did the LA make a mistake: This means that you need to prove to the LA if they made a mistake in their decision, if for example they did not use the right address to determine your location, or did not apply the right priority etc. We did argue that the online admission form suggested the child should have an EHCP if we are going to us Supplementary form 1B. This was miss leading during the application process and an EHCP is not required for this. Thus our recently submitted 1B form should be accepted and a priority given.
  2. Impact on class size: Along side that you also need to show that adding your child to the class will not have an impact on the class. This is more difficult to do for non SEND kids. However for SEND kids especially who have a 1:1 TA assigned you can argue that the child will come with their own TA and thus not impact the teacher resources

5. Parent Letter:
You will have to submit an appeal letter with your appeal. Ours was 4 page long, yours can be a shorter or longer however it is advised for it to be not too long as to loose the interest of the reader.
There are the main headings in our appeal letter
Section 1: Introduction
Section 2: Description of Special Needs
Section 3: One to one support
Section 4: The Nursery
4a. Transition support
4b. Distance
4c. EHCP
4d. Transport costs
Section 5. Why child should be admitted to school
Annex: List of evidence attached

6. Evidence:
Each child has individual needs and circumstance. Thus your evidence and appeal will look vastly different from that of ours. Here is our list
1. GP letter detailing impact on child if school is not right one
2. Letter of support form speech and language therapist, OT or EP that had seen child in the setting and knows about challenges with transitions
3. Diagnosis letter/report
4. Letter of support from head of local Autism support group
5. Map showing distances between the preferred school, home, aunts home and that of the assigned school

7. Speech
When the appeal hearing begins (in person or online), after the introduction and rules have been explained the parents will get a chance to speak/read out a statement. It would be advised to have a written speech with you that is between 3 to 7 minutes long (in my personal opinion). Explain about your child, their difficulties, the nursery, school, why the school is so important and how it can meet the needs of your child better than the school that has been assigned. Explain any issues with staffing, Ofsted ratings, also emphasise the impact on class size as your child will have additional support in the class. Also explain how you have an on going EHCP and the child will end up in this school anyway but now child will have to do two transitions. What is the impact on child not getting the right school. It is OK to be emotional. You’ll be asked questions on your evidence provided so be clear. One point I mentioned in both the appeals I attended was to point the panel to the evidence and say, look I am just a parent but the expert professionals are saying my child needs to be in this school so how can we argue with that.

8. Best of luck
The time between the hearing and the result is very nerve wreaking. I’d advise that you take care of your self and your mental health. Hope that you get the best outcome.


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