For Parents

Ian Jones

Education Barrister

Legal Support

for Parents


School Admission Appeals


Ian Jones has many years of experience in supporting parents with admission appeals for primary and secondary schools, including grammar school appeals.


Ian offers a range of

fixed fee services to suit your needs and budget:



Up to one hour by phone




Preparing grounds of appeal




Representation on the day

£1000 + travel fee



Advice, appeal writing & representation at hearing

£1500 + travel fee

Exclusions & Discipline


Ian regularly advises and represents parents whose children have been excluded from school, or who are at risk of exclusion.


Depending on the length of the exclusion, you may have the right of appeal to a governor committee, or to have your child's case reviewed by an independent panel.


If you are concerned that your child is at risk of exclusion, or you believe that the school is not addressing your child's needs, Ian can intervene on your behalf with the school.



Up to one hour by phone





Price on request

Special Educational Need


Children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilties (SEND) can find it harder to obtain suitable school places; can struggle to be fully included in school life; and are often at higher risk of exclusion from schools. Although much SEND provision is excellent, funding pressures and a lack of understanding can create obstacles for parents and young people with SEND.


Whether you want "someone on your side" in raising an issue with your child's school, or support through an SEND Tribunal, Ian Jones can help.



Up to one hour by phone





Price on request

Complaints &

School Disputes


Every school and academy must have a complaints procedure, and parents do not generally need a lawyer to pursue a complaint.


If you want advice about your rights before challenging a school decision, or support in dealing with a complicated complaint, contact Ian Jones.


Recent disputes where Ian has assisted parents include:


Parents banned from school premises/dispute over SEN


Unpaid school fees/dispute over quality of education


Safeguarding allegatons by or against children



Up to one hour by phone



Here to help


As a barrister, school governor and parent, Ian Jones understands the school system - and can help you to navigate your way through it. Ian supports parents and schools alike, including by training school staff on their legal duties, giving Ian real insight into why disputes arise and how they can be addressed. With extensive experience of school admissions, exclusions and wider issues of education law, Ian offers a flexible, responsive service directly to parents.

School Admission Appeals


Frequently Asked Questions


What should I do if I’m not happy with my allocated school?


In March and April each year, parents across the country find out which new school their child will attend. In most cases, this will be your first choice.


But if you don’t get your first choice, what should you do? What if you are not offered any of the schools you chose?

In many cases, being offered one of your other preferences won’t be a problem. Yes, the top school was a little closer or looked slightly better, but the school offered is fine. In this case, you can still appeal for your favoured school if you want to, but your case to the appeal panel may not be very strong.


But if you have good reasons why the school offered is not suitable and why your preferred school would be a much better – or the only workable – option, you will need to appeal.


How do I appeal and what is the deadline?


You will need to appeal in writing, stating your reason. Many schools use standard forms but sometimes these can be misleading. You can also appeal for more than one school.


The decision letter should make clear how you appeal. If not, check the school’s website or contact your local authority to find out who to contact.


The school/council website should also tell you the deadline for submitting an appeal, which must be at least 20 school days after the decision letter. School holidays and weekends don’t count, so if you are given a shorter deadline, you should challenge it.


What are my chances of winning the appeal?


Nationally, about one in three appeals are decided in the parent’s favour, but this statistic masks a range of experience, depending on the type of school and age range – infant class size appeals have very strict rules, and only about one in 10 succeeds.


The strength of your arguments and how you put them forward will be very important, but so will the school’s detailed reasons for refusal. No one can give you a clear idea of your prospects without knowing all the facts.


What should I include in the appeal?


  • Read the admissions policy very carefully
  • Frame your application in terms of the admissions criteria
  • State why your case is different, not just how good the school is
  • Provide clear documentary evidence to back up any claim of strong social/medical need to attend a particular school
  • A school’s specialist status is usually irrelevant to any appeal
  • Ensure all paperwork is sent in good time and obtain a receipt


If you need any help from the school, local authority or an outside professional, don’t wait until the last minute.


Can I appeal myself or do I need a lawyer?


You will need to be able to analyse arguments, express yourself clearly and objectively in writing and in front of an appeal panel and to challenge facts and arguments put forward on the day and by the school. You also need to understand the sort of factors that are likely to ‘tick the boxes’ for the appeal panel, and those that will not.


If you feel confident to handle the appeal yourself, you don’t need anyone to help you. However, a good representative will have these skills, will know from experience the arguments that might be most persuasive, and will understand that the hearing is not confrontational.


Don’t be put off by the school or local authority saying you don’t need a lawyer. It is your appeal and if you feel that you need help, ask for it. Panels are not allowed to think any more or less favourably of your case just because it is presented by a lawyer.


What is your success rate?


As a barrister, Ian is not allowed to advertise a success rate or compare rates of success with other professionals. in many cases, Ian assists parents with only one stage of the appeal process, and sometimes presents the school's case 'against' the parents' appeals, so success would be hard to measure. Ian can support any parents wanting help with an appeal, regardless of the strength of their case - beware that some other service providers are more selective, to protect their success rates. Finally, winning XX % of appeals would not mean that your appeal has an XX % chance of success - it will depend on your particular circumstances and those of the school.


Can you tell me whether I have a case before I instruct you?


No. If you want a meaningful review of your chances of success before starting the appeal process, please arrange a fixed fee consultation, when Ian can explore your possible arguments and family circumstances. Please note that Ian Jones DOES NOT provide free legal advice.



Just to let you know that L has got into the school! As you can imagine, we are thrilled and can't thank you enough for representing us. The whole process was an awful experience but made easier knowing you were there... Our case was presented very well. So HUGE thanks.





Education Barrister

Holbrook Chambers, PO Box 9327, Leicester LE21 3EL Tel: 07771 961 962, & Holbrook Chambers are (c) Ian Jones, a barrister in sole practice regulated by the Bar Standards Board of England & Wales.

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