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Secondary school admission appeals

Coronavirus (COVID-19): school admission appeals update

In light of the current situation, there will be some changes to the school appeals process.

You should read all the guidance on this page before submitting your appeal. Alternatively, you can download the appeals guidance and procedure as a pdf. Appeals guidance and procedure for 2021–2022 (787kb pdf)

On this page:

Why hasn't my child been allocated a place at my preferred school?​

If your child hasn't been allocated a space at your preferred school, it's because the school received more applications than there are places available at the school.

The number of places available for secondary schools is based on each school's physical size, number of classrooms and what they're used for.

This determines the number of students that can properly be accommodated within the constraints of the school buildings. Exceeding this number would damage the quality of education received by all students and could be unsafe.

How many school places were left on 1 March 2021?

The numbers and places listed here are for 2021-2022 secondary school admissions.

The table shows the number of places offered and the number of places remaining at the national secondary school offer date of 1 March 2021.

School name
​Maximum number of students ​Number of places offered ​Number of places remaining
​Cardinal Langley RC High School​210​2100
Falinge Park High School​270​2700
Hollingworth Academy​270​2700
Holy Family RC and CE College​150​1500
Kingsway Park High School​270​232 ​38
Matthew Moss High School​240​2400
Middleton Technology School​270​2700
​Newhouse Academy​210​2100
Oulder Hill Community School and Language College​300​26238
St Anne's Church of England Academy​180​180 ​0
St Cuthbert's RC High School​240​16872
Wardle Academy​290​2900

What can I do if my child didn't get a place at my preferred school?

If your child hasn't been given a place at the school you wanted in Rochdale borough:

  1. Your child will automatically be added to the waiting list for the schools in Rochdale borough you applied to but didn't get a place for. If you applied for a school out of the borough, you'll need to contact the local authority in that area to be added to their waiting list. See how waiting lists work in Rochdale borough
  2. You can consider appealing the decision. You can submit an appeal for any reason you may have.
  3. You can submit your appeal using the form below. Your appeal must be submitted by the deadline below. 

What's the deadline for school admission appeals?

The deadline for lodging your secondary school admission appeal is midnight, Thursday, 1 April 2021.

If you submit your appeal:

  • Before the deadline, your appeal will be heard by Wednesday, 21 July 2021.
  • After the deadline, your appeal will be heard as soon as is practicable and you will receive 14 days’ notice of the date and time of your appeal.

Late applications: if you applied late, your appeal must be submitted within 28 days of the date you were notified your application was unsuccessful.

How can I submit a school admission appeal?

The appeal form should only be used when appealing the decision to refuse admission to your preferred school in the Rochdale borough.​ You'll need to complete a separate form for each child.​ If you’re appealing decisions for more than one school, you must complete one form per school per child.​

What you'll need to apply:

  • Details about you and your child, including the name of the school you're appealing a decision for.
  • Your reason for appealing.
  • If you'd like to provide any evidence to support your appeal, have it ready to upload to the form. Evidence can be anything you think supports your case, such as a doctor's note or a letter from your social worker.
School admission appeal form (opens in a new wind​ow)​

What happens after I submit an appeal?

Once you've submitted the form:

  1. We'll arrange an appeal hearing and send you a letter telling you when and where your appeal hearing will take place. We'll give you at least 10 working days’ notice.
  2. The hearing will take place at the specified time. You don't have to attend but if you do, you'll be able to elaborate and clarify any questions the appeals panel may have.
  3. We'll send you a letter telling you the result of your appeal within 5 working days of the hearing. We're not able to tell you over the phone. 
  4. If your appeal is unsuccessful, you can't appeal again unless you've a significant change in your circumstances, such as a change of address. If you want to make a complaint about our decision, you can lodge a complaint with the Education Funding Agency. Complain about your appeal

What happens at my appeal hearing?

There are 2 types of school appeal hearings. In most cases, you'd have an individual appeal hearing. When there are a large number of appeals for the same school, we may arrange a group appeal.

Your letter which tells you the date and time of your hearing will also tell you which type of hearing you're attending.

Individual appeal hearing procedure:

  1. The Chair of the appeal panel will introduce you to the other panel members, the clerk and the representative of the Admission Authority (either the local authority or the school's governing body) who are present in the room.
  2. The representative of the Admission Authority will present the case, explaining the procedure followed and the reason why it hasn't been possible to offer your child a place at the school of your preference.
  3. You may then ask questions about why your child wasn't offered a place at your preferred school and the appeal panel members may also ask questions. 
  4. You'll be asked to present your case to the Appeals Panel.
  5. The representative of the Admission Authority may ask you questions and the appeal panel members may also ask you questions about your case.
  6. The representative of the Admission Authority will sum up their case.
  7. You will sum up your case.
  8. You and the Admission Authority representative will then be asked to leave so the appeal panel can discuss your case and reach a decision whether to uphold or reject the appeal.

Group appeal hearing procedure:

  1. The clerk and a member of our legal and democratic services will be present at the group hearing to meet you and ask you to sign in.
  2. Once everyone has arrived, the panel will be brought in and the procedure will be explained.
  3. The representative from the Admission Authority will explain how admissions to the school were undertaken.
  4. The meeting will then be open to questions from the floor. This is your chance to ask any questions you may have about what the Admission Authority representative has said.
  5. The panel will then have the opportunity to ask questions. 
  6. The panel will then move to a separate room to begin the individual appeal hearings.
  7. The clerk and the representative from the Admission Authority will be present at your individual appeal hearings.
  8. The panel won't make any decisions until they've heard the final individual appeal.

Who makes up the appeal panel?

The appeals panel usually consists of 3 trained volunteers who are all completely independent of both us and the school you're appealing for.

Appeals panels have to consist of at least one person who has no experience providing education in any school and one person with experience in education. For voluntary aided schools, the panel may also include a diocesan representative.

A clerk who's legally trained will advise the panel and ensure the correct procedure is followed. The clerk will take notes of the relevant points discussed at the hearings and they'll remain with the panel when they make their decision so they can record the reasons why.

Only the members of the appeal panel make the decision on whether to allow your appeal or not. The clerk and representative of the Admission Authority aren't involved in the decision making.