Admissions appeals 2017: Secondary up, primary down, academies most involved

The Department for Education has this morning put out figures on the number of admissions appeals for the 2016-17 academic year.

The overall proportion of upheld appeals has barely changed, but more parents are successfully appealing primary places while fewer are succeeding at secondary level.


What are the main findings for this year?

1. Appeal rates dropped slightly overall…

…but only a by little bit. Last year, 21.8 per cent of heard appeals were upheld, a slight drop on 22.3 per cent the previous year.

Overall 60,886 appeals were lodged, which is about four per cent of all new admissions. In 2015-16, 62,301 appeals were made.


2. The percentage of successful appeals only rose at primary school

Primary classes had the highest proportion of appeals upheld, at 35.8 per cent for 2016-17.

This was a rise from 32.5 per cent last year, making primary years the only phase to see any increase in successful appeals, though this does not include infant years.

READ MORE: Admissions appeals: key points 2015-16

For infant classes, the percentage of upheld appeals remains about the same, at 11.7 per cent, compared with 12 per cent last year.

At secondary level, the proportion of appeals upheld dropped to 24.6 per cent, from 26.3 per cent last year.


3. The highest percentage of appeals were made at secondary school

This is a change on last year, when the highest proportion of appeals was for primary admissions.

At primary, 3.5 per cent of admissions were appealed; that figure was 3.8 per cent for secondary.


 4. Appeals success was highest in foundation schools…

Appeals for admission to a foundation school were the most successful, with 29.4 per cent of appeals upheld.

Meanwhile 26.5 per cent of appeals against voluntary-aided schools were successful, and 23 per cent for academies. Appeals against community and voluntary-controlled schools had a 17.9 per cent success rate.


5. …but parents were most likely to appeal for an academy place

Foundation schools had the highest proportion of successful appeals, but these were the least likely to be heard, at just 1.9 per cent of admissions.

Appeals were most likely for a place at an academy, with 3.2 per cent of places appealed, followed by community and voluntary-controlled schools at 2.7 per cent.

6. The hardest councils to appeal against are still in London

Here are the top 10 councils where the highest proportion of appeals were decided in parents’ favour.

Top 10 councils for successful appeals at primary level

Top 10 councils for successful appeals at secondary level

Of the 10 bottom councils, the majority are in London, continuing trends from previous years in which admissions have been hardest to challenge in the capital.

Bottom 10 councils for appeals at primary level

Bottom 10 councils for appeals at secondary level


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