Child Not Allocated a Preferred Grammar School Place?
Aside from a limited number of exceptions, Grammar Schools are the only schools in England and Wales that can admit children based on their academic abilities.
Many parents believe that by putting only 1 school down on their application, and leaving the other spaces blank, their child will be guaranteed a place. Others put down the favoured school for all the options, or include schools that they believe are unsuitable, in the hope that their first choice will be the only viable choice.
But this approach really limits your options if your child doesn’t get into the only school you specified. That’s because each application for a place is considered individually and in line with the school’s admission criteria.
Our Solicitors have also seen parents rent out properties in catchment areas and listing them as their child’s residence, in the hope it will get them a place at a school in a more desirable area. But Local Education Authorities are getting wise to this and might check up to see if the child actually lives at the property. If the Local Education Authority finds out that the child doesn’t live there, an offer to your child will be revoked.
Not true. Many parents believe that if they don’t get their first choice school, the other schools listed won’t offer a place as they’ll know you didn’t put them down first. But schools don’t actually find out where they’re listed in order of preference, so listing a school as anything other than your first choice doesn’t jeopardise your application in any way.
Not true. There’s no automatic right to a place at a school already attended by a sibling. While having a brother or sister at the same school is factored into the decisions made by many schools, admissions criteria can vary, which means not all schools will prioritise admissions to siblings and you won’t be guaranteed a place.
Parents often send their child to a nursery or primary school with the intention of securing them a place at the related senior school. But whilst going to a related school (feeder school) can be taken into account in the school's admission criteria, again, priority is not always given by schools so this won't necessarily guarantee your child a place.
Everyone is given a fair and equal chance to apply. With that in mind, it’s very important to research other options and include other preferences on your application, so you don’t limit your chances.
Some parents might turn down a place they’ve been offered to boost their chances of getting into another school. But even if you have no intention of sending your child to the school that’s given you an offer, keeping your options open is often wise.
Each place is offered on the school's individual criteria, which means rejecting your allocated place won't make it easier to get into your preferred choice. What's more, if you choose to reject the place, you could be in a tricky situation if you don't get offered anything from the waiting lists or if you lose your appeal, as you won’t have another school as a back-up. In this situation, the Local Authority will allocate your child another school place, but this could be a place at any school with places available and might not be a school you like.
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