Primary school admissions: Everything you need to know on primary school offer day 2021

Tom Jones discusses his school reports as a child

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Primary school offer day has arrived. Primary school allocations have officially been decided and now parents are eagerly awaiting the outcome of their applications. In just a few months children aged three and four will take their first steps into education and today decides which education provider will be the first in their academic career. Express.co.uk has compiled a helpful guide to explain everything you need to know about today.

What is primary school offer day?

Primary school offer day is the name given to the day of the year when parents and guardians receive the decision letter related to their child’s primary school application.

Families across England are told what primary school their child has been allocated to for the upcoming September.

Parents made an application last year highlighting three top choices for where they wished for their child to attend school.

Now, these caregivers will find out which school their child has been allocated.

How likely are you of getting one of your top choices?

Most parents will have a particular primary school in mind for their child, but the sad news is some of the most desirable primary schools are fiercely competitive for children to get into.

Infant classes are limited to a maximum of 30 pupils per teacher which means schools are often over-subscribed.

Therefore, not all parents will be offered their first choice of schools because some schools will receive more applications than places available.

The good news is between 90 and 95 percent of parents gain a place at one of their top three preferred schools according to School Appeals.

What time will you find out your primary school allocation?

Anyone who applied to primary schools online will find out the outcome of their application today (Friday, April 16) via email.

If you did not apply online you will receive a letter from your local council outlining the decision.

As this letter will be sent in the post, you may be required to wait a few more days for it to arrive.

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How do you respond to an offer?

The letter you receive will outline what next steps you should take whether that is accepting the offer or appealing the decision.

There is a deadline for both and parents must respond by that deadline or the spot will be withdrawn and given to another child.

School Appeals advises parents to accept an offer from one of their top three choices even if they do intend to appeal a rejection for another one of their choices.

If the appeal proves unsuccessful, your child may have lost out on the other spot if it was not accepted on time.

What should you do if your child has not been given a place?

If an application is unsuccessful there are four steps you can take.

The first is to choose an alternative offer of a school which does have space to accommodate your child.

You can also choose to put your child on the waiting list of their preferred schools.

Every school must keep a waiting list for at least the first term of each academic year and therefore parents may find that space opens up as families move house or circumstances change.

The third option is to make an appeal against the decision.

The final choice you could make is if you are willing and able, to send your child to a private school.

How to appeal a decision

Schools must allow 20 school days from the date on the decision letter for parents to lodge an appeal.

Each appeal is evaluated on an individual basis so you must appeal each rejection separately.

Once the appeal has been submitted in writing, the admission authority will set a deadline for parents to submit evidence and information to support their appeal.

The appeal hearing will be evaluated by an independent panel of at least three people, with parents given at least 10 days notice of the appeal date.

Decisions will be to parents within five school days of the hearing.

Overall, 20 percent of appeals are upheld according to the Good Schools Guide.

What makes an appeal more likely to succeed?

An appeal is likely to be successful if a school which has rejected a child has not complied with the school admissions code or properly adhered to its admission criteria.

Evidence must be provided to support claims made by parents.

Supplementary evidence from professionals such as doctors and social workers will make appeals more likely to succeed.

Children with special educational and medical needs offered a school not equipped for this need are more likely to succeed with an appeal.

A poor Ofsted rating or parent’s simply desiring children to be placed in a more reputable school are not necessarily reasons to appeal.

What are the admissions requirements for primary school?

One key reason why an appeal may be upheld is if a school has rejected a pupil when it is at odds with their admissions requirements.

Priority will be given to students who live close to the school or have a sibling at the school already.

Those from a particular religion or who pass an entrance exam may also be prioritised.

Anyone who attends a particular nursery which is affiliated with the primary school may also be prioritised.

Those who are eligible for the pupil premium or the service pupil premium are also likely to be more likely to win a space at the school.

Any student who is the child of a teacher or member of the school’s staff is also likely to be more eligible for that school.

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