Finding out which school your child has a reception place in is a very stressful process, many a fingernail has been lost in the frantic clicking on the edmissions website. Our resident teacher/education guru, Mrs. A., has these words of wisdom to help if your child hasn’t been allocated a school of your choice:
‘From 5pm the emails will be sent out. At about 5:04pm the eadmissions website will crash but it’s often possible to view your allocation online before 5pm.
Whatever time you receive the email/manage to login to eadmissions, make sure you accept the place you’ve been allocated. You need only accept it on an administrative level, not an emotional/practical one, but accepting it means you’re still in the system. It’s still possible to join the waiting lists of any schools that were higher preferences than your allocated one but if you reject the place, the LA has discharged its duty to offer a place and owes you nothing more. Rejecting a place does not give you priority over anyone else, will not increase the likelihood of being offered a higher preference school or mean that the LA ‘have’ to find you something better. What it could mean is that you end up with your child being offered an even less desirable school in the second round of allocations.
Once you’ve accepted the place you’ve been offered, you may feel you want to appeal the allocation. Very few appeals are successful and those that are win because the parents have demonstrated that a mistake has been made. Childcare difficulties, the fact that every other child at the same nursery is off to X school, being an atheist but being allocated a church school, etc., etc. are not the sort of grounds that win appeals.
Today, and the next couple of months, will be extremely disappointing for some of you but please remember that children with interested, literate parents will generally do well regardless of which primary school they go to. Remember too that there is a lot of movement of places between now and September; not being allocated one of your preferred schools tomorrow doesn’t necessarily mean that your child won’t be offered a place at one of them before September.’
Hang on in there, have a stiff Gin and start the appeals process if you want to. Alternatively, take the time to get to know the school you’ve been allocated. Maybe your cloud will have a silver lining.
May the force be with you.
Mrs A is a local mum and primary school teacher. Having lived through the experience of her eldest child missing out on a place at a primary school approx. 700m from her home (this was 2009 and school admissions weren’t as fraught as they are now), she has made it her business to make sure as many parents as possible avoid being allocated a school 2.9 miles/two bus rides away.