For thousands of parents up and down the UK, this week, it’s been a tense time as we discover which primary school is offering our 3 or 4 year old a place in September. We go through a range of emotions and depending on the outcome, we’re left feeling relieved or frustrated. For most parents, this week has been something like this… The wait The anticipation as you wait to find out which school your child has a place at, builds as the day gets closer. It’s a nail-biting time as you hope to get your first choice and prepare yourself for getting second, third or fourth choice. You worry: What if you don’t get a school you like? And you check the appeals process in advance… just in case you need it. The day the offers are sent out You hit ‘refresh’ on your local council website at least 200 times, and refresh your email inbox just in case get an email about it too.
Your Facebook news feed is filled with parents talking about waiting and about the good news – and the bad. If you’re offered a place at your first choice school Congrats! You feel relieved and thrilled that it’s all working out. You can start making plans about after school clubs, if you need to, or changing your hours at work to allow you to collect your child from school. PHEW. Just remember to accept the place before the deadline! If you weren’t offered a place at a school you’re happy with You feel angry, frustrated and helpless. But there are some things you can do. Put your child onto the waiting list of the school you want them to go to – you might even be able to find out where in the waiting list you are. People move house (and out of the area) after being offered places, so you might be lucky and get a place. You can also appeal the decision – if you do this, there will be an appeal hearing where a panel will decide if the school’s admission criteria were properly followed and are legal, and followed fairly and thoroughly, according to the school admissions appeals code.
Consider other options like home education (read this blog post from mum Jessica who has decided to home educate her kids) If you’re left with a place in a school that wasn’t your first (or second) choice, you’re not alone – there are thousands of children who haven’t been offered their first choice. Mum Katie found out that her four-year-old has been offered a place at their third choice school and wrote about her feelings here. Above all, try to look for the positives and remember not to let your little one know you’re not happy with the school they’re going to – you’ll want their start at primary school to be filled with happy memories.