PARENTS in Trafford are less likely to win appeals against their children's school allocations than parents elsewhere in England.

With school about to return, figures from the Department for Education (DfE) show a lot of variation in success rates between different areas.

In Trafford, parents made 484 appeals against their children's school allocations for the 2020-2021 academic year, with 57 of them successful.

It is a success rate of only 12 per cent, down from 19 per cent in the 2019-2020 academic year, which is also the national average.

In contrast, the success rate was 48 per cent in County Durham.

Matt Richards, founder of law firm, said the urban landscape of an area might be a factor in the variation in success rates.

He said appeals in urban areas were likely to involve parents wanting their child to be allocated to a better school, whereas in rural areas with schools more than five miles apart, appeals were likely to be down to logistical reasons.

Schools follow the Government's admission code when deciding on their allocations.

If a parent is unhappy about an allocation, an appeal is submitted to the school's admissions authority.

An appeal panel can then assess whether the school was correct to turn down the parent's application.

In Trafford, 83 per cent of applications were offered a place at the first-choice school.

The number of appeals equalled 6.5 per cent of all applications.

Across England, the number of appeals fell last year, from 48,100 in 2019-2020 to 41,100 in 2020-2021.

The DfE said measures were in place to allow parents to appeal during the pandemic.

These included allowing hearings to be held by telephone or video conference, or be decided on the basis of written submissions.

The Local Government Association said it was not able to comment on specific hearings.

But a spokesperson said: "Every child should have a fair chance of getting into their parents’ preferred school, and councils and schools work extremely hard to try and ensure that as many pupils as possible are allocated their first preference."

The DfE 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.

"The number of appeals heard in each area varies widely, so the number of successful appeals cannot be meaningfully compared as the volume can impact the success rate of appeals."