Education: More parents appeal against school choice decisions

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The Independent Online
A dramatic rise in the number of parents lodging complaints over the handling of schools admissions appeals has prompted local government watchdogs to call on ministers to review the appeals system.

The English local government ombudsmen's annual report, published today, reveals a 50 per cent increase in complaints by parents in the North of England dissatisfied with the way their appeal had been dealt with.

Appeals committees often did not understand the two-stage procedure open to parents appealing against the refusal of a place at the school of their choice, the three ombudsmen in England revealed.

Appeals committees considering whether to overturn a school's decision to refuse a child a place must decide whether admitting the child would prejudice the education of other pupils by stretching resources unacceptably.