Secondary school offers March 2013
We know that it can be very upsetting for you and your child if you have not got a place at the school that you wanted but there are a number of things that you can do to try and change the situation. These are outlined below.
It is best to contact your local authority Admissions Department with any initial queries that you may have about school places. They will advise you on whether you need to contact the school directly.
1. Waiting Lists
Ask to add your child's name to the waiting list for any school you applied for but where you did not get a place. This may happen automatically but it is always worth double checking that it has been done.
You could also ask Admissions if you could add your child's name to the waiting lists for schools that you did not apply to but would consider now.
The Admission Authority for the school must keep a waiting list for at least one term. It may also be called a continued interest list. Ask how the waiting list is ordered. It will usually be ordered according to the school's oversubscription criteria.
Find out your position on the waiting list. You could also ask how many children were admitted from the waiting list last year, this may help to give you some idea of how likely you are to get a place this way.
|NOTE: Be aware that your child can also move down a waiting list if other children join the list who have greater priority. |
2. Other schools with vacancies
There may be vacancies at other schools that you did not include on your application form. Very popular, oversubscribed schools will not have vacancies at this stage but it may be worth looking at any alternatives that are available.
Contact your Admissions Department to ask about vacancies in other schools.
3. Think about appealing for a school place
You have the right to appeal for any school you applied for but were refused. If you think there are good reasons why your child should go to a particular school then you can present your case to an independent appeal panel.
The school will present their case for why they cannot take extra children and why it would be bad for the school if they had to. You present your reasons for why your child must go to this school and why it would be bad for them if they had to go to a different school. The panel listen and then decide which case is stronger.
If you are successful your child will be given a place at the school.
You must be given 20 school days to lodge an appeal so you have time to consider what you could include in your case.
ACE produces a comprehensive advice booklet called Appealing for a school which explains the appeals process and helps you to put your case together.
4. Try not to panic!
Remember that your child is not starting school until September so there is still quite a lot of time for your situation to change. In most areas there will be a lot of movement of school places and offers in the next few weeks and months. Keep in touch with your Admissions Department and make sure you are on waiting lists.
Your child may already be feeling anxious about transferring to secondary school so it is important to try and remain calm when talking to them about school places. You can reassure them that you are doing everything you can to try and change the situation.
- Accept the school place you have been offered as you can always reject it later on, if you manage to get another school place you prefer more.
- If you are not familiar with the school you have been offered make an appointment to visit during the school day. If you have particular questions or concerns ask to meet with a member of staff to discuss these.
- Try to be positive about the school you have been given even if that is difficult, as your child may have to attend there if you cannot get another place in a different school.