Infant Class Size Appeal
Class Size Rules
Infant class sizes are limited to a maximum of 30 pupils per teacher.
Additional children (‘excepted pupils’) are only permitted under exceptional circumstances, such as:
- Children admitted after an independent appeals Panel upholds an appeal;
- Children with statements of Special Educational Needs or Education, Health and Care Plans which specify a particular school;
- Children who are or have been in care; and
- Children who were initially refused due to a procedural error made by the admission authority in the original application process.
Infant School Class Size Appeals
An education authority may refuse admission where an additional child would breach the size limit of 30 children and there are no measures the authority could take to avoid breaching size limit without prejudicing the efficient provisions of education or efficient use of resources.
For practical information on the appeals process, please see our factsheet on admissions appeals here. The remainder of this factsheet will explain the decision-making process of the independent Panel who will make a decision on your infant school class size appeal.
The Panel must use a two-stage process to decide these appeals:
1st Stage: examining the refusal to grant admission
The Panel must consider:
- Whether admitting an additional child would breach the size limit;
- Whether the admission arrangements complied with the school admissions laws;
- Whether the admission arrangements were correctly and impartially applied; and
- Whether the decision to refuse admission was reasonable.
Note: It is difficult to prove a decision is unreasonable. An unreasonable decision is one which is ‘perverse’; one which no reasonable authority could have made.
The Panel may uphold the appeal at this stage if:
- Admission of additional children would not breach the infant class size limit;
- The admission arrangements:
- Did not comply with admissions laws; or
- The admission arrangements were not correctly and impartially applied; and
- The child would have been offered a place if the arrangements complied with the law or had been correctly and impartially applied; or
3. The decision to refuse admission was not one which a reasonable admission authority would have made in the circumstances of the case.
The Panel must dismiss the appeal at this stage where:
- Admission arrangements did comply with admissions law and were correctly and impartially applied; or
- The admission arrangements did not comply with admissions law or were not correctly and impartially applied but that, if they had complied and had been correctly and impartially applied, the child would not have been offered a place; and
- The decision to refuse admission was one which a reasonable admission authority could have made.
The Panel must proceed to the second stage of the process in cases where:
- There are multiple admission appeals; and
- More than one of the children would have been offered a place; but
- To admit that number of children would seriously prejudice the efficient provision of education or efficient use of resources.
2nd Stage: comparing cases
In this second stage, the Panel compares each case for admission and decides which appeal, if any, it will uphold.
The Panel must uphold the appeals if:
- The school could admit the children without breaching the limit of 30 children; or
- It could admit them without needing to take measures which would prejudice the efficient provision of education or efficient use of resources in order to avoid breaching the 30 child limit.
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