Highs and Lows of National Offer Day
Highs and Lows of National Offer Day
As parents receive their secondary school offers on National Offer Day, the realisation hits that the best performing state schools are massively oversubscribed. The national increase in secondary school applications year on year has risen by more than 15,000 and with only one in six children receiving their first choice of secondary school, some parents are left disappointed on National Offer Day.
So what are your options? If you have not been offered a place for your child at your preferred school there are routes you can take. You can appeal and put your child on waiting lists for any other school you have applied for.
However disappointed you feel it is still highly recommended to accept the school place your child has been offered, this will not affect your waiting list position or your appeal. By doing this you will guarantee your child has a school place if no other places become available or if your appeal is unsuccessful. If you don’t accept the school you have been offered the local authority has no obligation to find you a school at all.
The first point of call is to register on schools waiting lists and you can check progress by speaking to the school direct. There is often plenty of movement on these waiting lists as the shuffle for accepting and declining gets into full swing. This shuffle can carry on well into the Summer holidays, so it’s advisable to hold off for as long as possible before buying uniform and school kits. Waiting list information is not normally out until May time but check with the schools.
The appeal process can be very stressful. Be prepared and make sure you know your argument. Nationally, only 22% of school place appeals were successful last year and the Borough of Bromley only upheld 7% of the 123 appeals it heard.
To appeal for your school it is best to start by contacting the Advisory Centre for Education, which offers excellent advice for parents. Once you have submitted all your documents to the school and local authority you will be set a date for your appeal hearing usually during the summer term. At the hearing, there will be a panel of three to five members of the public who will assess your case. They will be told why your application was turned down. They’ll check that the school’s admission arrangements comply with the Schools Admissions Code. Then you will be invited to say why you’re appealing against the school’s decision. You’ll need to explain why you think this school is best for your child and any special circumstances that support your application.
Once the appeal has been heard, the panel has to decide whose case is stronger – your case or the school’s. The result will be sent by post within seven days and the decision is legally binding. If your appeal is successful your child will be given a place at the school. If your appeal is unsuccessful, you can still put your child’s name on the school’s waiting list.
Local authority appeal procedures may differ:
Bromley secondary schools and academies are responsible for their own appeal arrangements. All enquiries regarding appeals should be directed to the individual school/s. Bromley schools appeal advice can be found on page 8 of their admissions booklet Bromley schools admissions and appeals
Kent County Council provides a helpful parents appeal guide download KCC Parents appeal guide
Lewisham Schools appeal guide can be found here Lewisham Parents appeal advice
Bexley appeal information can be found on page 14 of their school admissions guide, along with Bexley schools admissions criteria Follow this link for Bexley school place appeals.
You can also apply to a school that isn’t on you preferred list by completing an In-Year Admissions form and this will place you on their waiting list for consideration.
There are alternative options within the Independent education sector and some offer great scholarship opportunities. View the latest FM Magazine with forthcoming Open Days FM Spring 2017
Download the Independent Schools Comparison Chart FM Spring 2017 Comparison Chart