Parents in the UK now have the opportunity to express a preference for their child’s school. However, since there are limits to the number of students any school can admit, published criteria are used to prioritize students to school places. Consequently some parents do not get a school of their choosing. But legislation, such as the 1988 Education Reform Act, has also extended parents’ opportunity to appeal against their allocated placement. The number of parents appealing against rejection of their preference has risen considerably. This suggests that more parents are becoming dissatisfied with the failings of the new market system to allow them access to a school of their choosing. A potential explanation for this is a growing awareness by parents of their rights and the rise of a consumer culture in education. However, significant geographical variations across the UK in the prevalence of appeals suggest further possible causes of market frustration.