The following exchange occurred recently on Mumsnet
I have edited to its essentials and also to ensure that there is no way the individuals involved in the exchange can be identified.
"My child is currently without a place for Reception 2013.
Our first choice was a free school and my child would be in the reception year. It has a maximum size of 24 children. Does anyone know if I stand any chance of an infant size class appeal because there are less than 30 children or does this rule not apply to free schools?"
"The rules apply to free schools but with an admission number of 24 this will not be an infant class size appeal. You can therefore win if you can show that your child's need to attend this school outweighs the problems the school will face through having an additional pupil."
In otherwords the advice is that as the class size is less than 30, the infant class size issue does not arise, it is an appeal on particular circumstances only.
If this is accurate, this means a Free School in an area of high demand would find it difficult to keep class sizes small......