What to Do if a Child Didn’t Get a Place at First Choice Grammar School

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Grammar Schools are allowed to allocate school places on the basis of a pupil’s ability. Parents seeking this type of education will be well aware of the 11+ exam that prospective students must take and pass to be in with a chance of a place.

But what happens if your child doesn’t get a place at your first-choice Grammar School?

As with all non-independent schools, parents that aren’t successful in a Grammar School application should be given a right of appeal to an Independent Appeal Panel (IAP). However, it’s worth noting that these appeals can be complex, as there are a number of issues the IAP needs to take into account.

For instance, is there good evidence that your child is of the required ability for your chosen Grammar School? Furthermore, the IAP must consider the individual school’s own 11+ arrangements, and also the regulations that apply to all school admission appeals.

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What are the ground for Appeal

You’re unhappy with the decision not to give a place to your child, you need to have solid grounds for appeal. You can appeal either on the basis that a school’s admissions procedures – as outlined on their admissions policy - weren’t properly followed, or that your child would be harmed if they didn’t get a place.

For example, there may be personal issues such as bullying behind your decision to favour a particular school, difficult family circumstances or Special Educational Needs that only your first-choice school can meet and cater for.

When you’re notified of the decision regarding your child’s school place, the school’s appeals process will be outlined in the paperwork. This will outline the steps you must take to lodge an appeal, and clearly state any deadlines for submitting your paperwork and supporting evidence.

This could include letters and reports from healthcare professionals, current teachers and people working at social groups attended by your child.

The paperwork should also state who will hear your appeal, which in the case of Grammar Schools will usually be the governing body.

For a more detailed overview of how to appeal school admission decisions, download our free Guide to School Place Appeals. You can also get in touch with one of our expert Education Solicitors for legal advice, as we have considerable experience in helping parents secure the education they want for their child.

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