When will your child find out which primary school they are going to?

Primary school places are due to be announced in April 2019. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Primary school places are due to be announced in April 2019. Picture: GETTY IMAGES - Credit: Archant

Parents and carers across Suffolk and Essex will soon be finding out whether their child has made their first choice primary school.

National Offer Day has been and gone for school pupils aged 10 to 11, but next month details will be announced for children aged three to four who will be going to school in September for the first time.

On Tuesday, April 16, also known as National Offer Day, parents will discover whether their child has been accepted into their preferred primary school – including infant, junior and middle schools.

How will I find out?

Families who applied online will be able to view the outcome of their application by logging on to the school admissions portal on Suffolk County Council’s website.

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Parents and carers will also receive an email with the details of their child’s offer.

However, if you applied using a paper application form then the authority will send you a letter by second class post which will arrive after Tuesday, April 16, with details of your offer.

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You will receive the letter as long as you applied before January 15, 2019, or, if the council received your application with evidence before February 8, 2019 – and agreed there were exceptional reasons for your application being late.

What if my child doesn’t get their first choice?

In Suffolk this year, 90% of those applying were given a place at their top choice secondary school – as announced on March 1.

In 2018, the county council received more than 25,000 applications and 93% of applicants received offers for their first preference school.

While in Essex, just 84.2% of parents were offered their first choice secondary school on March 1 – the lowest figure since 2012.

However, if either Essex or Suffolk councils are unable to offer your child a place at your preferred school, there are three main options you can take.

Waiting lists

If your child was not offered a place at any of your preferred schools they will be automatically added to the school waiting lists.

Names are placed on the waiting lists in priority order – this is set out in the school’s admissions oversubscription criteria.

The order of the list can change when a new child’s name is added or the circumstances of a child on the list changes.

The waiting lists for community schools, voluntary controlled schools, foundation schools, voluntary aided schools and academies who operate the same policy as Suffolk County Council, will close on December 31, 2019.

You can find out when waiting lists close by contacting schools directly if they do not fit into these categories.

Appealing the decision

Parents and carers can appeal the decision if their child is refused a place at any of their preferred schools.

You can find out more about the appeal process and download an appeal form here.

The form should be submitted to the Education Appeals Office by May 21, 2019, to be heard by July.

Applying for a different school

If you wish to apply to a different school then your new application, which must be in paper format, will replace your earlier application and preferences.

This means you must include any schools from your earlier application above your new preferences if they are still one of your three preferred choices and you still want the right to appeal or for your child’s name to remain on the waiting list.

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