Secondary school places – the wait is nearly over

Parents and carers will find out what school their child has been offered a place at on National Off

Parents and carers will find out what school their child has been offered a place at on National Offer Day. Picture: GETTY IMAGES / ISTOCKPHOTO - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

This week parents and carers in Suffolk will be finding out whether their child has made their first choice secondary school on National Offer Day.

On Friday, March 1, the outcome of school applications will be announced detailing which schools children aged 10 to 11 have been offered a place at.

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.

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 Suffolk County Council will send you a letter by second class post which will arrive after Friday, March 1, with details of your offer.

You will receive the letter as long as you applied before October 31, 2018, or if the council received your application with evidence before January 3, 2019 - and agreed that there were exceptional reasons for your application being late.

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

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Last year, Suffolk County Council received more than 25,000 applications from parents and carers indicating which school they would prefer their child to attend. 93% of applicants received offers for their first preference school and more than 98% of applicants received an offer for one of their top three preferred schools.

However, if the council were unable to offer your child a place at your preferred school there are three main options which 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 schools waiting lists close by contacting them 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 March 29, 2019, to be heard by June.

Applying for a different school

If you wish to apply to a different school then your new application 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.

Are you waiting to find out what school your child has been offered a place to? Let us know on Friday whether you are happy with the outcome.

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