Children will soon be finding out which schools they’ll be attending. (Picture: Getty)
By September, new year groups of children will be entering secondary and primary schools.
Finding the right school for you and your child can make all the difference, and this is why National Offer Day is a big day for families.
Known as National Offer Day, parents or guardians should receive a letter from their local council letting them know whether their child has received a place at a school.
As it’s such an important milestone, we’ve got all the information you might want to know about receiving an offer, accepting an offer for a school and what to do if you want to appeal a decision.
When is National Offer Day?
There are two National Offer Days – one for primary schools and one for secondary schools.
National Offer Day 2021 for secondary schools is on Monday, March 1.
Before you know it, children will be starting their new schools. (Picture: Getty)
For primary schools, National Offer Day in 2021 will be on Friday, April 16.
How will I receive an offer?
You will receive a letter or email containing your offer.
It will inform you whether your child has been given a place at any of the schools you applied for – you would’ve been asked to choose a selection of schools a few months prior.
Please note that the letter may arrive a few days after March 1.
How do I respond to the offer?
You have two options – you can accept the offer, or if you’re unhappy with the choices, you can consider appealing a decision.
If you want to accept the offer, the letter or email will state how you do this.
You’ll be given a deadline in which to accept the offer and you must make sure you have responded by this time otherwise your child’s place may be withdrawn and given to someone else.
The deadline is usually the end of March, so you will have a few weeks to look over your options and make your final decision.
September is new term time. Make sure you respond to your offer letter to guarantee your child’s place (Picture: Getty)
What should I do if my child isn’t given a place?
Every child will be given a place at a school – your local council must provide an offer for a local school.
If your child is not offered a place at any of the schools you’ve applied for, you’ll likely be offered a place at your nearest school with places still available.
However, if you want to appeal the decision based on the schools you did apply for, you will be given the opportunity to do that.
Is there an appeals process?
The admission authority for the school must allow you at least 20 school days to appeal from when they send the decision letter.
Choosing the right school for your child is important. Read up on how to appeal and when to reply on time. (Picture: Getty)
You must submit evidence to support your appeal by a set deadline, and you will then be granted an appeal.
You can still put your child’s name down on a Wait List for your preferred school.
The admission authority for a school must keep a waiting list open for at least the first term of each school year and you can add your child’s name to a waiting list even if they have been offered a place at another school.
Although you are not guaranteed entry to your dream school if you join the waiting list, sometimes places become available between National Offer Day and term time in September as people decide to go private, or move, or get offered a place at another school they prefer.
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