HCR Law Events

18 May 2020

High Court decision – a question of “permanent” address under the School Admissions Code

The High Court has quashed an Admission Appeal Panel’s decision and has sent the appeal for determination by a new panel. The claimants had challenged a decision of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames to refuse to treat their current address as their permanent home for the purposes of a primary school place application for their son. The parents owned, and had previously occupied for 11 years, a property in Barnes which they had subsequently let out to tenants as they intended to move to a larger property in East Sheen. The parents had made a number of offers on properties but were outbid and had decided to rent a flat in the area.

The preferred school was an oversubscribed primary school located close to their rented property but the Council refused to treat this address as their son’s permanent home, stating that in its view it was only temporary and that the parents had retained an alternative property which they could return to. The parents appealed the Council’s decision to an Independent Appeals Panel which rejected the appeal. The High Court, following a judicial review claim, quashed the Admission Appeal Panel’s decision due to inadequacies in its reasoning and remitted the appeal for determination by a new panel.  (R (Gassa) v Richmond Independent Appeals Service [2020] EWHC 957 (Admin) (22 April 2020)).  This case highlights the difficulties of admission appeal decisions on what is a permanent address and leaves the matter as yet undetermined.  We will update you further on this case in due course.

This note is correct as at 15th May 2020, but please note the current situation is constantly changing and we remain available to provide specific advice to your school.

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About the Author
Emma Swann, Partner, Head of Academies

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