National Offer Day – how can parents appeal

Today parents will be hoping their child gets into the right primary school on National Offers Day, but some families will be disappointed by the news coming their way – if these is you, read on

National Offer Day can be a source of frustration for those who don’t get thier first choice place

National Offer Day is here, where soon-to-be primary school parents will find out which school their little one will be attending.

For many up and down the country it is a source of excitement, however, for some people not everything will go as planned.

National Offer Day is taking place on April 19 this year, three days later than it would in a typical year.

This is because in 2022 it collides with the Easter Bank Holiday, meaning that correspondence can be expected to be received on the next working day.

If you are in Scotland please remember that the system is very different, with children being allocated their spots automatically by the local authority and without a preference system for parents.

What to do if your child didn’t get their preferred primary school place

Getting your kids into the right school is undeniably stressful



Parents and guardians have a number of steps and processes to take if their child didn’t get their preferred place at school on National Offer Day.

Your first step should be to accept the offers from the schools your child did get into. From this point on your child will be automatically enrolled on the waiting lists for the schools they didn’t get into that you’d ranked higher on the application form.

You can appeal to the local authority if you aren’t happy with the school you have been allocated – but be wary that these cut-off dates vary from council to council.

Generally speaking though, it is roughly 10 days from when the offers get handed out.

The government says: “If a parent wants to appeal, they should first contact the school’s admission authority. The school’s admission authority is responsible for establishing the appeal panel, but the panel itself is an independent body.

Thousands of children will find out today which primary school they’ll start at in September


Daniel Laflor)

“The appeal panel must come to its own independent conclusion as to whether the school should admit the child, having regard to the case presented by both the admission authority and the parent.”

According to School Guide: “In most cases, your offer will be your number one preference.”

In a piece for School Guide, Emma Lewry, former head teacher and school readiness specialist, pointed to three key things you can do if you find that you haven’t been given the school you had been hoping for:

  • Check out the primary school you have been allocated – use resources like School Guide to find out the school your child has been given a place and try and talk to families who are already at the school.
  • Call your first choice school – ask if there is a waiting list and whether your child could be put on it is a good idea. They will be busy, but a quick inquiry for this information and the chances of getting a place later won’t do any harm.
  • Look into the primary school appeals process – please note these only tend to be granted if there is a specific need that the school you have been allocated cannot fulfill.

Did your child get into the primary school of their choice? Have your say in the comments below

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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