About us

The Office of the Schools Adjudicator (OSA) helps to clarify the legal position on admissions policies in schools.

This can be helpful when differences arise, usually between schools and local authorities.

The OSA is not involved in making decisions about school admissions for individual pupils. Parents who want to appeal about school places should contact their admission authority.

Our responsibilities

We’re responsible for:

  • ruling on objections to and referrals about state school admission arrangements
  • settling disputes over school organisation proposals
  • making decisions on requests to vary school admission arrangements
  • determining appeals from maintained schools against the intention of the local authority to direct the admission of a particular pupil
  • resolving disputes concerning the transfer and disposal of non-playing field land and assets
  • producing an annual report for the Secretary of State for Education about our work

Who we are

The schools adjudicators work independently from the Department for Education but are appointed by the Secretary of State for Education.

They are impartial and may not have any connection to the cases they examine.

They’re supported by a small team based in Darlington.


The Chief Schools Adjudicator is Ms Shan Scott.

The schools adjudicators appointed by the Secretary of State are:

  • Ms Shan Scott - Chief Adjudicator
  • Dr Bryan Slater
  • Mr David Lennard Jones
  • Mrs Ann Talboys
  • Mrs Deborah Pritchard
  • Mr Phil Whiffing
  • Mr Peter Goringe
  • Mr Thomas Brooke
  • Mrs Lorraine Chapman
  • Dr Marisa Vallely

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