If your child has just been told that they didn’t get their place in the high school of their choice, then don’t be disheartened – there is still hope. You can take action and appeal the decision. There are tried and tested ways to go about this process, so it’s essential to arm yourself with knowledge and understand exactly what an appeals form needs to include. Luckily, we have a comprehensive guide to school admissions appeals that outlines the key steps to help you write an effective appeals form and ensure your chances of securing a place for your child in the high school of their dreams.
Applying to a new school can place a lot of pressure on families, and the disappointment of not receiving a place in the desired school can be disheartening and even upsetting. Fortunately, there is a straightforward appeals process available. By putting together an argument that highlights reasonable grounds for objection, 25% of all secondary school appeal decisions are successful – making it worth taking the chance if you feel strongly enough.
How do high schools decide who will attend?
The UK school admissions process is set out by your local education authority and can differ from borough to borough. Some of the common things that help schools decide are as follows:
- How close you live to the school.
- Whether your child already has a sibling in the school.
- passing an entrance exam (some grammar schools)
- religious faith (for some faith schools)
- the primary school attended
- children eligible for pupil premium (this can include looked after children or those in care)
- children with additional learning needs.
- Children whose parent has worked at the school for at least two years.
All these things are considered when allocating school places, so it could mean that almost all spaces have been assigned. So can you do anything to change the decision?
Accept the offered place.
Firstly, you should accept the place offered to your child, even if you decide to appeal it. Please do not leave it up to chance, as this may not happen automatically. To ensure success, ensure your child’s name is on the right waiting list and their application is complete.
Furthermore, consider putting their names on multiple waiting lists – even those you have not applied for – and submit appeals to various places. Don’t forget the most essential thing here: ensure your child can attend a new school at the start of the autumn term!
Get an appeals form.
The appeals process for admission to certain schools is managed differently depending on whether the local authority runs the school.
If the local authority governs the school, any appeals should be made directly to them. If the local authority does not run a school, appeals must be submitted to the school itself.
The local authority will provide an appeals form you can fill out to begin this process. It would help if you acted quickly as each case will be assessed on its own merits and still depends on the number of places available in the school.
What do I write in the appeals form?
Filling in the appeals form is your chance to get your point across while clearly outlining why you believe your child should attend the desired school.
In most cases, you will need to present unique or compelling circumstances. However, if you believe there may have been an error in the decision, you can bring along a supporter who can provide additional insight. This could include lawyers and child psychologists. Additional support increases the chances of making a persuasive argument during the appeals process.
The Advisory Centre for Education (ACE) suggests that you separate your appeal into three sections:
- A description of your child and why they would be better at the school. Do they have special educational needs, anxiety, or shyness? State this in the form.
- Why this school in particular? What would it offer that the place you have been offered didn’t?
- Would going to the school offered be detrimental to your child? If so, why. Focus on something other than the school here, but any practical or social aspects, like travel distance, academic requirements and so forth.
Chase up your school admissions appeals form.
It’s essential to follow up and ensure your form has been received. You should get confirmation within the week.
https://schoolappeals.com/ have several templates on the website, and you can access high school appeals template.
Whatever the outcome, if you feel you are in need of additional support to ensure your child gets the best out of their schooling, Astar Tuition can help with supportive online group tuition. We provide qualified online tuition, with proven results year on year. to find out more, get in touch with Helen today.