Parents win more school panel appeals

NEARLY 400 parents in Suffolk lodged an appeal last year because their child did not get a place at their first choice of school, new figures reveal.According to the Department for Children, Schools and Education there were 8,349 admissions to primary and secondary schools in Suffolk between September 2006 and January 2007.

NEARLY 400 parents in Suffolk lodged an appeal last year because their child did not get a place at their first choice of school, new figures reveal.

According to the Department for Children, Schools and Education there were 8,349 admissions to primary and secondary schools in Suffolk between September 2006 and January 2007.

This led to 397 appeals from those whose children did not get into their first choice of school - of which 353 were heard 147 were decided in favour of the parents.

In the previous year only 123 of appeals were upheld from a total of 438 that were lodged.

Ian Brown, head of infrastructure at Suffolk County Council, said: “In Suffolk, parents are given three preferences when choosing a school and of those applying for a place in the 2006/07 school year, over 99pc were offered one of their three preferences. In fact 97pc got their first preference.

“For those parents who do not get one of their preferred schools, then the appeals system, which is run entirely independent of the local authority, gives them the opportunity to put their case. Our aim is always to provide as many parents as possible with their preferred school.”