THE proportion of parents in Southampton winning an appeal over their child’s selected school rose last year, figures reveal.

Department for Education data shows in Southampton, parents took 104 cases against their child’s school placement for the 2020-21 academic year to an appeal hearing, with 21 successful – a win rate of 20%.

The success rate was up from the year before, when it was 10%, and higher than the national average of 19%.

Parents are facing a postcode lottery for appeals across England, the figures show, with wide variation in success rates between local authorities.

In the North East’s County Durham, the rate was 48%,while in the London borough of Kensington, just 3% of appeals were won.

Schools follow the Government’s admission code when deciding which pupils to allocate places to each year.

When a parent is unhappy about an allocation, such as not achieving their first-place preference, an appeal can be submitted to the school’s admissions authority.

That can go to an independent appeal panel which then assesses whether the school was right to turn down the application.

In Southampton, 85% of pupil applicants were offered a first-choice school place last year.

The number of appeals heard equated to 1.6% of all admissions, up from 1.4% the previous year.

Of the outcomes, parents of secondary school-age pupils were more likely to win than those of primary school pupils, with a success rate of 23% compared to none%.

Across England, the number of appeals heard fell sharply last year, from 48,100 in 2019-20 to 41,100 in 2020-21.

A Department for Education said with an increase in schools found to be “good” or “outstanding” by Ofsted inspectors since 2010, parents could be “confident their child will get the high-quality education they deserve”.

A spokesperson added: “School admissions appeal panels are independent bodies and make decisions on an individual basis, without admission authority involvement in the decision.”