Parents across Hertfordshire will today find out which primary schools their children will attend in September.
While many will gain places at their preferred schools, hundreds are likely to be disappointed when the allocations are announced.
Experts have warned that many families will be disappointed on National Offer Day, with many sought-after Hertfordshire schools being oversubscribed.
Elizabeth Coatman of the Good Schools Guide has offered advice to parents whose children have not been offered their first-choice school.
Accept the school place
“Firstly, accept the place your child has been offered.
“However determined you are to find an alternative, if the initial offer is not accepted, you run the risk of your child having no school to go to in September.”
Get onto waiting lists
“Once you have accepted the place, get on the waiting lists for other schools you would prefer – even schools not on your initial application.
“All kinds of things can happen between now and the start of the new academic year which could result in places being freed up.”
Check who you can appeal to
“If you do end up appealing, remember, you can only appeal to the schools to which you applied. Each school will require a separate appeal.
Appeal on the right grounds
“You’ll need to prove a mistake was made when the admissions process was carried out, that the admissions policy is unlawful or that no reasonable person would come to that admissions decision – ‘reasonable’ being used in the legal sense.”
Consider your chances of a successful appeal
“If your child has been given a place at a primary school you are not keen on, think carefully and take advice before planning an appeal – you only have a very slim chance of success.”
Check if the allocated school is actually that bad
“Take a moment to check out the school in greater detail. It might be better than you fear.
“Even if the reputation is bad, this could be based on out-of-date information which is no longer relevant.
“Look at its most recent Ofsted report and monitoring visit report to see if problems are being addressed.
“Speak to parents at the school gate.”
Hide your frustration from your child
“Don’t let on to your child if you think the allotted school is a disaster zone.
“If you bad-mouth the school but then fail to get into another one, your child will start at the new school conscious of the black mark you have already given it.”
Read your council’s guide
Did your child miss out? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.