Primary school offer day: what is it, how do I respond and how do I appeal?

Yesterday, parents across the county discovered which primary school their children will attend in the next academic year, and this is all you need to know about the event.

By Aimee Seddon
Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 12:29 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 2:41 pm

What is primary school offer day?

This offer day marks the date families will find out whether or not a child has been given a place in their preferred primary school for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Anyone waiting for an application will be made aware of the decision by either letter or email.

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Everything you need to know about primary school place allocations. Image: Ian West at PA Images.

Primary school offer day usually occurs on April 16 but was postponed by 24 hours due to Easter Monday.

How can I respond to a school place offer?

Each letter and email sent to parents today will include a set of instructions for the next steps as well as a deadline for accepting or declining the offer.

My application has been rejected, what comes next?

Even if an application has been rejected, local councils have an obligation to provide a school place for every child. This means a school place will still be allocated, even if it is not at a school of the family’s choice.

Parents can accept the alternative offer of a place in another school, put their child on a waiting list of preferred schools or make an appeal. Any response must be sent by the given deadline to avoid the place going to another student.

How can I appeal a school offer?

The letter or email which includes the offer will include the steps for anyone wanting to appeal a decision.

The deadline in Lancashire to request an appeal or a place on a reserve (waiting) list is April 29, and appeal forms will then be distributed to parents in the week commencing May 4.

The appeal deadline for community and voluntary controlled schools is Friday 13 May 2022- for voluntary aided, foundation, free and academy schools appeals, parents must check with the school directly for the deadline date.

Appeals for community and voluntary controlled schools submitted by the deadline will then be heard by an independent appeal panel by Friday 8 July 2022.

Lancashire County Council warns that appeals they receive after the deadline will be slotted into the schedule where possible, but they cannot guarantee this.

Instead late appeals may have to be heard after the agreed date at a second round of hearings, which reduces the chances of spaces remaining available at the preferred school.

On what grounds can I appeal a decision?

The majority of appeals come as a result of the needs of the child. If a school is unable to have their special or educational needs met by a school, an appeal is more likely to be successful.

Grounds of appeal such as commuting distance to a school and childcare arrangements are known to have been rejected in the past.

What are the criteria for allocating primary school places?

The criteria may differ by school, but according to government guidelines, priority is more likely to be given to children who:

Live close to the school.

Went to a particular ‘feeder school.’

Have a parent who has worked at the school for 2 years or more.

Have a sibling at a specific school.

Are from a particular religion (in faith schools).

Pass an entrance exam (in selective schools).