The vast majority of parents will be offered school places on Monday 16th April. In England that is 600,000 families eagerly or anxiously awaiting an email or letter from the local authority. However, online forums are hot with anxious mums and dads – particularly for those whose child has SEND. And inevitably various parties have used date as a hook to publish research or perspectives on the issue.
The jury is still out as to what number of parents will not be offered one of their three preferred schools. Thankfully there is lots of great advice available on what to do if parents find themselves in this situation.
Check the information on your local authority website and gov.uk for how to appeal.
Our top tips would be:
- Don’t panic! Keep upbeat and positive for your child even if you are worried or disappointed. What’s clear from what parents have told us is that things do work out positively in the end for the vast majority of families. Over 80% of primary schools are highly rated by regulators such as Ofsted and others will still offer a fantastic education to your child.
- Keep an open mind. If you are unhappy with the school you have been offered there is an appeals procedure that can be followed. When you are ready it may also be worth getting to know this school and other families who attend it better to help your decision making. Knowing how adaptable kids can be and how dedicated early years teachers are, Is there any reason why your child won’t do well at this school?
- Do accept the place you have been offered and get on the waiting lists for your desired school(s). There is a lot of movement in waiting lists so you may get to the top with patience. For some, deferring starting school may be an option worth considering.
- Get involved in your child’s new school. As well as helping you get to know other families and staff, you can make a positive difference and help make the school a brilliant place for all children to thrive. We would love you to become active in the PTA but there are lots of other ways to get involved. Read our blog post: Why I took the PTA plunge.