Secondary school places: How to appeal if your child missed out on school place

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Secondary School places will be confirmed on March 2, also known as National Offer Day. Parents and students have faced a tense wait to find out if they got in to their chosen place of education. But what happens if you didn’t?

When will secondary school places be announced?

Decisions on secondary school places will be released on March 2.

Finding out whether your child got in or not will vary across the country.

But if you applied online, you can log in to your account from 9am to find out the status of your application.

You will also receive an email informing you of the decision.

If you applied by post, however, you will received a letter which will be sent to you second class on March 2.

If your child has been accepted, you will received a letter or email from the headteacher of your chosen school to inform you your child has got a place.

You will also be contacted by the school with more information.

What happens if your child doesn’t get in?

If your child was unsuccessful and didn’t get in to their first choice school, they will remain on a waiting list until December 2020.

If you have not been accepted for the first choice school, you will likely have been offered an alternative.

This is normally the school nearest to your home address.

However, you can also appeal the decision.

2. Get an appeals form

Deadlines and dates for appealing vary based on your local authority, and this is also where you can pick up or download an appeals form from.

3. Filing out the form clearly

Make sure to fill out the form clearly and consiselt, looking at what would be best for your child.

The form should be completed and then submitted to the local authority.

If your preferred school is not run by the local authority, submit the form to the school itself.

The Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) suggests that you separate your appeal case into three sections:

A description of your child and why they would be well-suited to this school – Are they very shy? Have they been bullied in the past? Do they have a special educational need (SEN)? Are their friends at this school? Do they need a place where they can make a fresh start?

Why your child needs to go to this school in particular – Is it a single-sex school that would help your child to feel less self-conscious? Do they specialise in working with your child’s SEN? Do they excel in an academic area that your child has a real aptitude for (languages, music, maths, etc.)?

Why it would be detrimental for your child to go to the school that they have been offered – Do not say negative things about the school’s performance here or at any point in the appeals process, but rather focus on social and practical aspects such as distance from home (if your child is wary of using public transport), academic requirements (only lets students take one language GCSE when your child would do more) or general size (too intimidating for a child who is very shy).

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