Without knowing the reason for refusing the appeal it is impossible to comment. However it cannot be the one you give, or, to put it another way, if it is the one you give it is undoubtedly maladministration. I would suggest that your friend complain to the Local Government Ombudsman http://www.lgo.org.uk/ and clarifies that it is a compliant about admissions. For admissions they can act pretty quickly. YOu will see some recent judgements here http://www.lgo.org.uk/educ.htm and the annual digests of cases listed here http://www.lgo.org.uk/digest.htm under Education.