Primary school offers day and how to appeal if you didn’t get place you wanted

Parents and guardians can find out today if their young children have been awarded a place in their primary school of choice.

Councils usually send primary school offers for reception places on April 16, but due to the bank holiday weekend, many, including Newcastle, Gateshead, Northumberland, County Durham, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland are informing applicants on Tuesday April 16. Parents and guardians will usually find out through email or via their council’s schools portal.

While the School Guide states that most will be offered their first choice, many parents may wake up today to find their child has not been accepted into the school they selected as their first preference.

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If you are unhappy, you can appeal. If you plan to appeal, do so quickly, as you have around 20 days to do so from the date of your offer, although it varies slightly from council to council. You will also be automatically added to the waiting list for higher preference schools you applied for, regardless of whether you appealed.

Even if you wish to appeal, the Government advises you to accept one of your child’s offers, to give them a backup. You can make a school places appeal through the council you applied through.

How to appeal if your child did not get the primary school place you wanted

First, the Government advises you to accept one of the school place offers, even if you plan to appeal. Accepting an offer won’t affect the appeal. You have around 10 days to reply to your offer, but dates vary from council to council. Your admission letter should give you a deadline.

The Department for Education says: “You should also consider accepting any offer of a school place you receive to ensure that your child has a place should your appeal not be successful. Accepting another offer will have no bearing on your appeal and the appeals process does not limit other options available to you.”

You must appeal to your council’s school admissions board. Your admissions letter or email will tell you how to appeal. According to Gov.UK “they should allow you at least 20 school days to write and send in your appeal”.

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The Department for Education says : “You will need to submit your appeal in writing. If you believe there has been a mistake (for example, the admissions criteria have not been applied correctly) you should set out why the admission authority should have offered your child a place. Whether or not you believe there has been a mistake, you should explain why you believe the school should admit your child anyway.”

You will have to launch a written appeal, which will then be escalated to a hearing where you will make your case to the board

What should I include in a school place appeal?

You’ve got the best shot if you can prove that your child should have been let into your chosen school under the school’s admission policy. These usually include criteria for living near the school and having siblings at that school already.

The Department for Education says : “It’s important that you clearly set out the reasons why your child should have a place at your choice of school in both your written appeal and at the appeal hearing.

“You can make an appeal because you want your child to attend a particular school over any other, but the stronger your reasons the better chance you have of your appeal being successful.

“For example, wanting your child to go to a particular school because it’s the best in the area is not likely to convince the panel that your child should get a place at the school over another child.

“You should focus on what the school can offer that meets your child’s needs. This can include what the school can offer that other schools cannot and what the impact will be on your child in not attending the school of your choice.

“You can also appeal if you believe that the admission authority did not apply their admission arrangements properly and if they had applied them properly, they would have offered your child a place at the school.”

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