Appeals involving infant class sizes (Reception, year 1 and year 2 classes)
There are separate and different rules for appeals which involve limiting infant class sizes to a maximum of 30 pupils. Apart from some very limited exceptions, no infant class may contain more than 30 pupils being taught by one teacher. Any admissions which would increase a class to more than 30 pupils would require what are called 'qualifying measures', such as organising an extra class, appointing an additional teacher, providing an additional classroom or introducing or extending mixed age group teaching.
The excepted pupils are:
- children admitted outside the normal admissions round with an Education, Health and Care Plan specifying a school;
- looked after children and previously looked after children admitted outside the normal admissions round;
- children admitted, after initial allocation of places, because of a procedural error made by the admission authority or local authority in the original application process;
- children admitted after an independent appeals panel upholds an appeal;
- children who move into the area outside the normal admissions round for whom there is no other available school within reasonable distance;
- children of UK service personnel admitted outside the normal admissions round;
- children whose twin or sibling from a multiple birth is admitted otherwise than as an excepted pupil;
- children with special educational needs who are normally taught in a special educational needs unit attached to the school, or registered at a special school, who attend some infant classes within the mainstream school
When the Admission Authority can show to an Appeals Panel that any further admissions would require qualifying measures your appeal could be upheld only if the appeals Panel decided either that:
- A mistake had been made in the allocation of places according to the admissions criteria which had deprived your child of a place and if the criteria had been applied correctly your child would have received that place, or
- The child would have been offered a place if the arrangements had not been contrary to mandatory provisions in the School Admissions Code and the School Standards and Framework Act 1998, or
- That the decision to refuse admission was 'unreasonable' in the circumstances of the case. 'Unreasonable' as defined by the Courts is construed as being perverse or irrational and is a very high threshold for an appeal to be successful.
Further information is published by the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) about infant class size appeals and complaints which parents may find useful