A Checklist on Surviving Primary School Admissions
Today is National Offer Day for primary school admissions and as you probably know, getting the right education doesn't just start on the first day of primary school.
Making sure your child gets into the right school is the most important step in getting them ready for their first day. To help ease the school admissions process, we've created a checklist to make sure you're confident on how your application will work and move forward.
Pick the Right School
Things to consider include checking the primary school league tables for the performance of the schools in your area, and whether the school is a feeder school for a desirable secondary school. You should also look at what specialist facilities and programmes they run, and whether the school can provide the right care for your child's needs.
Attending Open Days
Open days give you the chance to ask any questions and get a feel of how the primary school works, and if you would like to send your child there. Remember, this is where your child will spend most of their formative years, so putting a lot of thought into picking the right school is vital.
Applying for Your Preferred Schools
You can make your application for a primary school through the Local Authority in which the school is based. The deadlines for applications are often in the January of the year your child will start school, yet they can differ depending on which local authority you apply to.
Getting Confirmation of Your Child's Place
This year's offer day is April 16 which may have long since been marked on your calendar. You should receive an email and a letter shortly after to let you know whether your child has been accepted into the school of your choice.
It's great news if your child has been accepted to the school of your choice, but if they haven't, don't panic
. Not getting the preferred place doesn't have to mean giving up on getting your child the best education.
Making an Appeal
If you do decide to make an appeal, an Independent Appeal Panel will look into whether your child's place was unreasonably refused, and if any mistakes were made.
If your child has special educational needs
, you must go through a different appeals process, even if you have applied to a mainstream school. Your appeal will need to be to the Special Educational Needs Tribunal rather than the Independent Appeal Panel
. This makes sure that your child's needs are given greater weight.
Imogen Jolley, our Partner specialising in education law, understands that, "It can be stressful and upsetting if your child hasn't been accepted to the right school. This, coupled with facing an appeal by yourself can be very daunting. Getting the right legal advice can help make this process much easier for you."
At Simpson Millar LLP we specialise in primary school admission appeals and can help if you believe your child was unfairly denied a place at your chosen school. We have prepared a detailed guide to the admissions and appeals process which you can download for free
. It helps to have information prepared by education law experts to give you the best chance of a successful school admissions appeal.