Appeal a decision about your child's school place


If you aren't happy with the school place your child has been given, you have the right to appeal the decision.

You can attend an appeal for more than one school. The result of one appeal does not affect the result of another appeal.

Appeals will start from June 2023.

Who is at the appeal

  • The panel - these are the people who make the decision about your appeal
  • Clerk to the panel - this person gives advice to the panel
  • Presenting officer - this person presents the case on behalf of the council's admissions team
  • You and your representative

There may also be a staff member from the school at the appeal.

Who the panel are

There are a minimum of 3 people on the appeal panel.

At least one panel member will:

  • have worked in education
  • be an independant member of the public, also known as a 'lay member'

Panel members will have no connection to the people or schools involved in the appeal.

They will not have been involved in making the decision you are appealing against.

Who you can bring with you

You can bring a friend, adviser, family member or representative with you.

This person can speak for you or just give you support.

This can be a locally elected politician or a Council employee as long as this doesn't lead to a conflict of interest. 

You cannot bring:

  • a member of staff from the school
  • a member of the admissions team

Your child does not have to attend.

If you need an interpreter or signer, the council can give you one.

Attending the appeal

We will let you know the date, time and place of your appeal at least 10 days before it happens.

Most appeals are held virtually, but they can be held in person if needed.

If we don't hear from you, we will assume that you can attend on the date and time given to you.

If you can't attend at that time, please contact us on 0191 424 7706 / 7767 as soon as possible.

There is no guarantee that we will be able to change the date of your appeal.

What happens on the day of your appeal

Appeals are heard in private, and all papers and discussions are confidential.

A representative of the Council on Tribunals can attend to observe.

To make sure everyone has their say, we follow an order of speaking. This will be sent to you with your papers before the appeal.

If you cannot come to the appeal, the panel will make a decision based on the written papers you have sent them.

If you tell us that you will attend but don't turn up, the panel can hear the appeal in your absence.

Preparing for the appeal

Before your appeal, you will be sent a copy of the papers that were sent to the appeal panel.

If you have another document such as a letter or medical report that you want to show the appeal panel, you should send it as soon as possible before the appeal to:

Democratic Support Officer
Town Hall
Westoe Road
NE33 2RL

These documents must reach us at least 5 days before the appeal.

If these documents are late, the panel will decide whether or not to accept them.

If there are too many late documents, the panel might need to postpone the appeal.

If you are still unhappy with the decision

The panel's decision is final. There is no further right to appeal.

If you think there has been an administration mistake by the appeals panel, you can write to the Local Government Ombudsman.

You can only write to the Ombudsman if the panel has:

  • not followed the correct procedures
  • not acted independently

You cannot appeal again until the next academic year.