School admissions appeals rise

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Nearly 70,000 parents appealed unsuccessfully last year after being refused their first choice of school for their child, figures revealed yesterday.

Compared with the figures for 2008, last year's figures showed a rise in the number of appeals lodged – from 86,020 to 88,270; and a fall in the number of successful appeals – from 19,150 to 19,060.

The number of appeals against primary school admissions decisions has almost doubled since 2004, rising from 20,660 to 38,080 this year.

The numbers appealing against the allocation of secondary school places fell slightly from 53,430 in 2008 to 50,200 in 2009.

Ministers said the figures showed increasing numbers of parents were unhappy with the school choices available to them.

"The level of dissatisfaction underlines why it is so important we change the schools system so providers like teacher groups and charities can open new state schools wherever parents want them," said the Schools minister, Nick Gibb.

"By putting education in the hands of parents and professionals, rather than bureaucrats, we can raise standards in all our schools, particularly in the poorest areas, where problems are most acute."