How Can UK Parents Dodge the School on Offer: Step-by-Step Guideline

a year ago

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UK parents who don’t want their kids to go to schools on offer can now opt for other educational institutions. Later this year, hundreds of thousands UK parents will learn which elementary school their kids will go to. Now, they are provided a number of options if the school on offer doesn’t meet their requirements. Typical Student has put together a step-by-step guide to ensure your kids get the proper education!

Do You Have the Right of School Choice?

The process begins when you get a letter from your local authority. In the letter, you’ll find instructions to follow in the event a school on offer doesn’t suit your needs. However, parents must remember they do not have the right to choose a specific school. All they CAN do is express their preferences towards a particular educational institution.

The local authorities can allocate a student in an alternative school according to the parents’ preferences if the first choice cannot be met. Please mind, in particular cases, this can be a school that was not listed in your preferences. Parents shouldn’t miss the opportunity to see a school on offer their child is assigned to.

How to Check If You’re on a Waiting List?

Typically, each school keeps a waiting list. After the first offer is sent out, there can be some movement. In case some families on the list choose a private school for their kid, they will free a place for another family to go to a school of choice. Check if you’re on the waiting list of your preferred school!

Calling the school’s admissions team will make that clear. Typically, the admission authority keeps a waiting list for one term, so specify, what’s your position on the list, and how far do they intend to move before the term begins.  

Is It Worth Filing an Appeal?

Don’t take this personally, but appeals are rarely won. Most schools have a limit of 30 students per teacher, which can be breached only if there is a viable reason. In case the school is oversubscribed, the chances of winning an appeal are pretty slim. However, appeals CAN be successful if filed on the following grounds:

  • The school's admission arrangements are against the law.
  • The school’s admission authority mishandled your child's application.
  • Admitting further children would not breach the infant class limit of 30 pupils per teacher.
  • Unreasonable refusal, taking the admissions arrangements into account.

If you do wish to appeal, make sure to do the following:

  • Submit a written notice to the local authority of your decision to appeal.
  • The date for your appeal hearing will be set at least 10 days in advance.
  • Practise your arguments and speech.
  • In particular cases, seeking legal advice is recommended.

What to Do at Appeal Hearing: Strategy for Parents

The appeal panel consists of 3-5 people assessing a case. Prior to the hearing they will get all the details on why your application was turned down as well as check if there has been a breach of the Schools Admissions Code. Next, parents are invited to provide an explanation of the reasons why they are appealing against the decision. Bringing the written evidence in support of any special circumstances is strongly recommended.

As soon as the appeal is heard, the panel will decide whose case is stronger - the applicant’s or the school's. The legally binding decision will be mailed to you within seven days. In the event of  success, the child will be given a place at the school. In case of failure, a child's name can still be submitted on the school's waiting list.

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Any questions or propositions?