Catchment Area


  • Please find our Admissions Policy for the entry year 2021-2022 here.
  • Please find our Admissions Policy for the entry year 2022-2023 here.
  • Please find our Admissions Policy for the entry year 2023-2024 here.
  • Please find our Admissions Policy for the entry year 2024-2025 here.
  • In-Year application form is available here.

Ark Schools Appeals Timetable

Appeals for children refused admission at a preferred school for entry into Reception, Year 7 or Year 12 in September 2023 will be heard according to the regulations in the School Admission Appeals Code (October 2022).  

Offer date Deadline for lodging an appeal
Wednesday 1st March 2023 Thursday 30th March 2023

Appeal panel hearings will take place within 40 school days of the deadline date for submitting an appeal.  

The independent appeal panel clerk will notify parents/carers of the date of their appeal; appeal hearings will take place during May/June/July 2023. 

In-Year Admissions

Appeals for children refused admission to year groups other than Reception, Year 7 and Year 12 will be heard within 30 school days of receipt of the appeal. Parents/carers will be notified of their appeal hearing date by an independent appeal panel clerk.

For all year groups, please click here for the appeal form.

Why was my child not offered a place? 

The reason that your child was not offered a place was set out in the letter you received on national offer day. The children who were offered a place had greater priority, as set out in our Admissions Policy oversubscription criteria. For example, they may have a sibling at the school, or live closer to the school. 

Ark schools’ main round admissions are co-ordinated by the Local Authority, who use advanced software to measure distances. 

If you have made an in-year application and this has been refused, it will be because the year group to which you have applied is full, therefore no spaces are available. 

What is an appeal? 

If you applied for a place and were not offered one, you have the right to appeal against this decision.  Please note however that appeals can only be upheld in very specific circumstances.  It is not a second chance to apply.

Your appeal will be heard by an independent panel of three people who will consider two main questions: 

  • Was the school’s decision made properly and in accordance with admissions law and its own policy? 
  • Are your child’s individual circumstances so exceptional that it would be worse for them not to have a place at a specific school than it would for that school to accept an additional child? This is called the balance of prejudice test. 

Appeals will be heard within 40 school days of the deadline for lodging an appeal. 

What does an appeal cost? 

You will not be charged for appealing against the decision not to offer your child a place.  Each appeal costs the school an average of between £150 to £200, which comes out of the resource budget for its pupils. 

On what grounds can I appeal? 

You are not limited on the grounds on which you base an appeal, however, please be aware that the panel will only uphold an appeal in very specific circumstances.  You would need to demonstrate that:

  • the admission arrangements have not been properly followed
  • the admission criteria do not comply with the school admissions code

Below are some common reasons that parents give for appealing, but which are unlikely to persuade a panel to override the school’s decision.

  • The school is the best in the area. The panel will understand your disappointment at not being offered a place, but the appeals process is not an opportunity to make a second application. 
  • My child is very able and will be a credit to the school. Our schools are not academically selective, so do not consider academic ability when offering places. 
  • This is the closest school to me. For popular schools it is often the case that the school cannot offer places to families who live relatively close by. Places are allocated using information on distance provided by the local authority. 
  • Children who live further away were offered a place. This will be because those children have a higher priority in the published oversubscription criteria. For example, they might be a sibling of someone already at the school. 
  • My child’s cousins or friends go to the school. According to our admission policy, the only connection to other children that schools are allowed to consider are siblings. We recognise that it would be easier for a child to attend the same school as their friends and wider family members, but it would not be lawful to consider this information when allocating places. 

My child does not have another school place. What happens now? 

It is the local authority’s responsibility to ensure that every child has a school place and we strongly advise you to contact your local authority to enquire about vacancies at other schools. 

The appeals process 

Your appeal is made to Ark Schools via an online form; an independent clerk will then manage the case. Once the appeal deadline date has passed, all appeals have been checked for eligibility and panel dates have been confirmed, the clerk will write to you with further information.    You will therefore not hear from the clerk until after the appeals deadline and once hearing dates have been confirmed.

The hearing has two stages:

  • At Stage 1, the school’s presenting officer will set out why it was not possible to offer more places than they did. You will have the opportunity to ask questions, as will the independent panel. 
  • At Stage 2, you will be asked to set out why your child’s exceptional circumstances mean that the independent panel should overturn the school’s decision. The panel will ask you questions about this and the school may also do so.  

The clerk will write to you with the outcome no later than 5 school days after the last appeal has been heard.

How to make an appeal

Appeals will only be successful if you can demonstrate that either the school’s admissions process was not properly applied, or that your child has exceptional circumstances that would warrant admission.

If you wish to appeal for a place, please click here for the secondary appeal form.

Please contact the academy if you need a paper form.

If you have any questions regarding admissions, please contact us at or call reception on 01424 439888.