Secondary School Admission Notifications
If you have a child starting secondary school in September 2017 you will have found out from their secondary school admission authority if they have a place at their preferred school on 1 March 2017.
Although we hope that you will be in the majority receiving your secondary school place of choice, we know that a significant minority we be disappointed.
What should you do if you are in this minority?
What should you expect?
Secondary School Waiting Lists
Firstly, you will be automatically put on the waiting list for your preferred school. This will be done for any school that was a higher preference than the one you were awarded.
If you contact the relevant secondary school admission authority then you will be told where your child is on that list. The position on the list may well change prior to the start of the new school year.
The Secondary School Offered
Take the time to look at information about the school you have been offered. Although it won’t have been your first choice, it might be able to still meet your child’s needs.
Read the Ofsted reports online. Speak with any parents you know with children at the school to find out more.
The Local Authority will also be able to give you details of other schools nearby that still have spaces available. It may be helpful to research those schools. If they are not suitable you should make a note of why. This will help you if you appeal at a later date because one of the questions you will be asked at the appeal hearing is whether you have considered the suitability of other schools.
Accepting a Secondary School Place
You should accept a place at either the secondary school you have been offered or an alternate local school with space. Doing so will not affect your right of appeal, nor your chances of success.
The consequences of not accepting a place may be that if you are unsuccessful at appeal then you will have no school place at all for your child and will have no alternative but to accept a school allocated at that time by your Local Authority.
Confirmation Letter from your Secondary School Admission Authority
You should receive a letter confirming your school admission results a few days after the initial email notification. This letter will provide you with the information you need if you wish to appeal the admission authority’s decision. It will provide you with a form to complete and a deadline by which to return it. In most cases this will be towards the end of March.
Appealing your secondary school place offer
The letter you receive through the post will enclose a form telling you how you can appeal and to whom. You will be able to appeal online or by completing the form and posting it. Any paper appeal should be sent recorded or special delivery to ensure that it has been delivered.
As part of the appeal you will not only have to complete you and your child’s details but also complete a statement setting out your reasons for wanting to appeal.
The members of the independent school appeal panel who decide your appeal will have sight of the appeal statement that you submit. They will have read your representations and any supporting documentation prior to you having you arguing your appeal in front of them.
As a result it is very important that the arguments you choose to advance are structured, coherent, persuasive and relevant.
Contact us about education law
We will be publishing further information about the arguments, law and how the appeal process will proceed for a secondary school admission in further articles. If you wish advice now on this aspect of education law then we will offer the following:
- free initial advice on the potential merits of your appeal
- fixed fees dependent on your instructions and our involvement thereafter
Please contact Andrew Wesley on 0115 9599550 or email us here with your details and we will make contact. We provide our education law service from our offices across the East Midlands.