Every school has a Published Admission Number (PAN). The PAN is the maximum number of pupils that they will admit to each year group. The majority of appeals for admission into Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 at an infant or primary school will be heard as ’Infant Class Size Appeals’.
Statutory limits on class size mean that, apart from some very limited exceptions, infant classes of 5-, 6- and 7-year old’s may not contain more than 30 pupils with a single teacher.
Where the published admissions number of a school allows for classes of 30 pupils, then the Admission Authority will have refused admission on the grounds that to admit one more child would breach the infant class size limit. Although some Reception classes may be below 30, if classes in Years 1 & 2 are combined making 30, then this is known as future breach.
Although you have a legal right to appeal under this criteria, there are very limited circumstances in which a Panel can direct a child to be admitted to a school.
The Panel has first to consider if the Infant Class Size legislation applies to your appeal.
The Panel must consider all the following matters:
a) whether the admission of an additional child/additional children would breach the infant class size limit;
b) whether the admission arrangements (including the area’s co-ordinated admission arrangements) complied with the mandatory requirements of the School Admissions Code and Part 3 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998;
c) whether the admission arrangements were correctly and impartially applied in the case(s) in question; and
d) whether the decision to refuse admission was one which a reasonable admission authority would have made in the circumstances of the case.
In Infant Class Size Appeals, the Panel can only uphold an appeal if they are satisfied that one of the above reasons does not apply in your case.
As grounds for upholding an appeal of this type are very limited, the success rate is minimal. In considering whether you wish to appeal in such circumstances, you must be aware that your personal reasons for wanting the school, however strongly you feel, cannot be taken into account, unless any of the above circumstances apply.
Parents are often distressed that their personal reasons were not considered due to the very limited criteria, therefore, please think carefully before submitting an appeal of this type.
For an appeal to be successful under “Ground (d)” the Panel will need to be satisfied that the decision to refuse to admit a particular child was “perverse in the light of the admissions arrangements” i.e. it was “beyond the range of responses open to a reasonable decision maker” or
“a decision which is so outrageous in its defiance of logic that no sensible person could have arrived at it.”