we had assumed that if he passed the test then he would be given his first grammer choice but this is not the case and we now need to write to go on the waiting list and I assume lodge an appeal.
Yes, do both. The docs should have made it clear that it is the other way round. In Gloucestershire one is advised to put the grammar first as if 11+ is failed, the first non-grammar choice becomes the new First choice. Until recently, some schools would only consider you if you put them as first choice, but this is no longer allowed.
* If we appeal does that mean we need to turn down the church school place
NOOOO. Accept it and then appeal.
* Is the appeal process two stage, i.e. appeal for a place at the grammer of choice on your form and if unsuccessful appeal again for a place at any grammer
I'm not sure about this one. As the appeals are all heard around the same time, you couldn't easily do this - and if you did, you'd have less chance at the 2nd appeals, as spaces would be even tighter.
* Is there any caselaw that would allow judicial review if we lose out on both a grammer place and the church school place once the process is exhausted?
You'll still have the church school place. But you can only take this to the ombudsman if the appeal process is faulty, rather than disliking the result of it. You'd also be on sticky grounds I imagine, as your wishes as expressed on your preference form have been fulfilled. But anyway, appeals panels are quite sympathetic, and you may strike lucky.
Sorry this is a long post but we were advised third party that this ordering of schools was best in Kent and that the appeal process would ensure the right outcome but a conversation since the place was awarded suggests different. It seems such an opaque process dispite the KCC publication
Your were certainly ill advised there. I hope it wasn't the school or any council officials who said it, otherwise you'd have to make sure that was brought up at appeal (and complain separately). If it was Private Advice - i.e. - the tutor - sue the hind legs off them - you know how much you paid them!!!!