Parents and guardians will have started to find out if their child has secured their chosen primary school today (April 17) for primary school offer day.

As families begin to plan for their little one’s starting education, the offers are given ahead of the next school admission in September this year.

However, if you haven’t been able to secure your first choice of primary school, here is what you can do including how to appeal the decision and planning for a hearing.

Wandsworth Times: There are various options to choose from if your child's application for a chosen primary school was rejectedThere are various options to choose from if your child's application for a chosen primary school was rejected (Image: Canva)

What is primary school offer day?

Primary school offer day is when parents and guardians are told whether their application for their first choice of primary school has been accepted.

For those who have chosen local state primary schools, they will be notified on or around the day by either letter or email.

When is primary school offer day?

According to The Telegraph, primary school admissions are usually announced on April 16 each year.

However, this year letters are due to be sent out by local councils to parents and guardians on Monday, April 17.

In Wales, National Offer Day is also Monday, April 17.

In Northern Ireland, offers will be given on Thursday, April 27.

In Scotland, local councils decide which school your child will attend, therefore no offers will be made.

What do I do if my child’s primary school offer is rejected?

Even if an application is rejected, this doesn’t mean that your child won’t have a place at school in September.

Councils must provide a place for every child who is due to start primary school, so if parents have not been able to get into the school of their choice, they will be allocated a place at another local school that has space available, The Telegraph reports.

If an application for a chosen primary school hasn’t been successful, there are four options parents and guardians can do:

  • Choose to accept the alternative offer of a school that has enough space
  • Put their child on the waiting list for their preferred schools
  • Make an appeal
  • If able and willing to, consider paying for private education

All schools must keep a waiting list for the first term of each academic year. You may find that spaces become available as families move house or circumstances change.

Wandsworth Times: You can appeal against the decision of your primary school application You can appeal against the decision of your primary school application (Image: Canva)

How do I appeal against a primary school offer rejection?

GOV.UK says you’ll be sent a letter with the decision about your child’s school. If your child is refused a place, you can appeal against the decision. The letter will tell you how to do this.

You must appeal against each rejection separately. You can only appeal once against each rejection.

The admission authority for the school must allow you at least 20 school days to appeal from when they send the decision letter.

The admission authority will set a deadline for submitting information and evidence to support your appeal. If you submit anything after the deadline, it might not be considered and may result in delays to your hearing.

When can you appeal against a primary school offer rejection?

An appeal will be upheld if the panel decides a school has not complied with the school admissions code or correctly followed their admissions criteria which parents must be able to provide evidence for.

For example, if a child has a medical or special educational need that can only be met by a specific school, or if the admissions criteria have been applied incorrectly, then an appeal could be upheld.

An appeal is more likely to be successful if this is supported with letters or evidence from the likes of health or well-being professionals.

When will the hearing be?

The admission authority must give you at least 10 school days’ notice of the hearing.

Appeals must be heard within 40 school days of the deadline for making an appeal.

What will happen at the hearing?

There’s a panel of three or more people at the appeal hearing. The panel must be independent and must follow the school admission appeals code. The stages of the hearing include:

  1. The admission authority will explain why they turned down your application.
  2. You’ll be able to give your own reasons why your child should be admitted.
  3. The appeals panel must decide if the school’s admission criteria were properly followed and comply with the school admissions code.
  4. If the criteria were not properly followed or do not comply with the school admissions code your appeal must be upheld.
  5. If your reasons for your child to be admitted outweigh the school’s reasons for not admitting any more children at all, your appeal will be upheld.
  6. You will usually be sent the decision within 5 school days.

More information about appealing the decision for your child's first choice of primary school can be found on the government website.