Information

School Admissions FAQ

This page provides answers to FAQ surrounding admissions for both primary and secondary schools.

For more detailed information please click here for our information page or click here for our how to guide.

National offer days for schools in England are:

  • on 16 April for primary schools
  • on 1 March for secondary schools

I have not been given any of my preferred school choices for my child. What are my options?

  • Wait for the letter giving you the reason for refusal – this will determine whether you need to make an infant class size appeal or a standard class size appeal.
  • Accept the school place you have been given. This does not affect your right to appeal other school places or have your child on a waiting list for other schools.
  • Check your child’s place on the waiting list for your preferred schools and how often this will be reviewed.
  • Collect the information from the school about their admissions arrangements, the Published Admissions Number (PAN), Net Capacity Assessment, staff capacity, the actual number of pupils in each age group, information about the size of the classrooms and communal areas.
  • Follow the instructions you receive from the admissions authority about how to lodge an appeal.

For more detailed information, please see our School Admissions information page or our How-To Guide on School Admissions Appeals.

My child has been refused a school place due to infant class size prejudice – what does this mean?

Infant classes (those where the majority of children will reach the age of 5, 6 or 7 during the school year) must not contain more than 30 pupils with a single school teacher. Your child has been refused on the basis that they have already filled all 30 places. Additional children may be admitted under limited exceptional circumstances.

For more detailed information, please see our School Admissions information page or our How-To Guide on School Admissions Appeals

If I accept the school my child has been offered, can I still appeal the refusal of my first preference school?

You can appeal against the refusal to admit your child to a school even if you have already accepted another school. If you wish, you can appeal all schools for which you have been refused.

We advise parents to accept the place they have been offered and/or locate another school even if they do not get their preferred option to ensure your child has a school place.

For more detailed information, please see our School Admissions information page or our How-To Guide on School Admissions Appeals.

The school my child has been offered does not have a good Ofsted rating. Can I refuse the school place?

Generally speaking, appeal panels will not accept a school’s Ofsted rating as a reason why a child should or should not attend a particular school. You will need to demonstrate why your child’s needs outweigh the prejudice caused to the school by accepting another pupil.

We advise parents to accept the place they have been offered and/or locate another school even if they do not get their preferred option to ensure your child has a school place.

For more detailed information, please see our School Admissions information page or our How-To Guide on School Admissions Appeals.

I have asked the school for its Published Admissions Number and Net Capacity Assessment but they will not provide it. What can I do?

Admissions authorities must publish their admissions arrangements and most publicly funded schools must include the information stated above. If you are having difficulty obtaining this you should contact the Information Commissioner’s Office.

For more detailed information, please see our School Admissions information page or our How-To Guide on School Admissions Appeals.

How can I prove that my child practises the religion of my chosen Faith school?

Designated faith schools must have regard to any guidance from the body or person representing the religion/religious denomination when setting admissions arrangements. You should therefore consult the relevant body or person to see how to demonstrate that your child belongs to a particular faith.

For more detailed information, please see our School Admissions information page or our How-To Guide on School Admissions Appeals.

The school my child has been offered is too far away, It is a good school but I will struggle to get my child to school as I do not drive. What should I do?

If the school you have been allocated is the nearest qualifying school with places available that provides education appropriate to the age, ability and aptitude of your child and it is outside of the statutory walking distance then your child may qualify for free school transport.

If you are appealing on the basis of distance, please be aware that the Independent Admissions Appeal Panel may enquire as to whether your child qualifies for free school transport from your allocated school.
See our page on Transport for more information.

See also our School Admissions information page or our How-To Guide on School Admissions Appeals