The appeals data is derived from two sources:
The local authorities provide aggregate appeal data for all of their community and voluntary controlled schools via the school admission appeals data collection (APAD), returned to the department each January in relation to appeals submitted by the previous 1 September.
Foundation, voluntary aided and academy schools submit their own appeal data via the spring school census (admissions appeals module), also held in January. This is because they are responsible for the administration of their own appeals, even if they contract the actual running of those appeals to a third party.
Community and voluntary controlled schools who were in the process of converting to academies provide their data via either the local authority or school census based on their school type on January census day.
In each collection, figures are provided on the number of appeals lodged, withdrawn, heard, upheld and rejected.
In order to allow us to report on the current academic year, only appeals lodged by 1 September and relating to entry into the start of the academic year (for any school year) are collected. Therefore appeals relating to an application for a child to move schools during the school year are not included.
Appeals for entry into infant age classes are listed individually. These are a subset of the primary appeals figures. This subset relates to all infant appeals, not just those affected by the regulations limiting the maximum size of an infant class.
From 2017 onwards, improvements to the school census enabled us to allocate the appeal figures for all through schools to the appropriate school phase. So any appeals they received relating to entry into years reception to 6 have been counted as primary appeals, and appeals relating to years 7 upwards as secondary appeals.
Appeals against non-admission to a school sixth form and 14-19 schools such as UTCs and studio schools are included.
The admissions dataset used to calculate the rates of appeals lodged and heard is calculated from the same school census as that in which the appeals data was submitted. It includes all pupils who were on roll on census day and who were identified as a new entrant into a mainstream maintained or academy school on or after 1 July prior to the academic year starting. The month of July was included for the first time in 2019 after detailed analysis showed that in previous years a small number of schools recorded the entry dates of all of their new arrivals in the July before the new school opened. A very few children who moved schools, with immediate effect, in July may have been included because of this change.
The designation of the governance and phase of each school was aligned to those used in the statistical publication Schools, Pupils and their Characteristics for the same time period.