Education news

Appeals against school decisions to reject pupils up by a third

There have been 400 appeals lodged over secondary schools' decision to refuse admission

APPEALS against schools' decisions to refuse admission to children are up by a third.

A total of 400 appeals were lodged ahead of the deadline earlier this month, up from 297 last year.

There are almost 1,300 more pupils transferring from P7 to post-primary this year compared to last.

Close to 24,000 children were informed on June 1 which schools they will attend - and just 73 remain unplaced.

Parents have the right to appeal against a school's decision in an Independent Appeal Tribunal.

They can do this if they believe the school did not apply or correctly apply its published admissions criteria.

The tribunal consists of three members appointed by the Education Authority (EA) but who operate independently.

Parents of some of the unplaced pupils and others who received a school other than their first choice are among those who have appealed.

"An appeal can only be upheld if a tribunal finds that the admissions criteria were not applied or not correctly applied and that if the admissions criteria had been correctly applied the child would have been admitted to the school," an EA spokeswoman said.

"The clerk to the tribunal will endeavour to accommodate parents and schools in arranging a tribunal to hear appeals. However, it may not always be possible to facilitate everyone."

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