6 steps to take if your child doesn’t get into their first choice school

There are plenty of practical steps you can take if your child doesn’t get a place at their first choice school this April 2021 – with SoGlos sharing six of them in this hot list.

School allocation day can be stressful for parents and pupils – especially with the added pressure of not getting a place at your first choice school.

But all is not lost. In this hot list, sponsored by Wycliffe College, SoGlos explores six steps you can take if you don’t receive an offer from the school you were hoping for this April 2021.

About the sponsor – Wycliffe College

Wycliffe College in Stonehouse is a co-educational independent school offering an outstanding education in a beautiful countryside setting, just 90 minutes from London.

As well as academic achievements, Wycliffe pupils can explore a wide range of extracurricular activities, from beekeeping to ballet. Wycliffe College’s excellent value-added programme also helps pupils to develop and thrive during their time at the school, tracking their progress every step of the way.

For more information, see Wycliffe College’s expert insight on the benefits of value-added in schools, or visit wycliffe.co.uk.

1. Don’t panic

Getting the news that your child hasn’t been offered a place at their first choice school can be stressful and overwhelming, but it’s important not to panic as you do have options.

2. Accept the place you’ve been offered

It might seem counterintuitive, but one option is to accept the place you’ve been offered. Although it might be your second choice, the school you’ve been offered could still provide a fantastic education for your child, even if it wasn’t number one on the list – just make sure to do your research before you agree to accept the offer.

3. Join the waiting list for your first choice school

If you or your child have your heart set on your first choice school, you can join the waiting list for it – or other alternative schools, if the place you’ve been offered really isn’t what you want. The school admission department at your local council should be able to tell you what position you’re in on the waiting list for your preferred school.

4. Appeal to the council

If you’re really unhappy about not getting into your preferred school and want to know why, you can send an appeal to the local council. You should have 20 days from the date of your admission letter to submit an appeal and supporting evidence to the council. There’ll then be a hearing where the school can explain why your application was rejected. You will also have the opportunity to provide reasons why you think your child should get a place.

You’ll usually receive a decision within 5 school days from the date of your hearing. You can only appeal once against each rejection, so it’s important to make sure you have followed your chosen school’s admission criteria carefully.

5. Home school your child

Home schooling isn’t for everyone, as a lot of parents have discovered during lockdown, but if you don’t get a place at your preferred school and aren’t successful in appealing, you could choose to home school your child – if you’re able to.

There are some fantastic home schooling resources out there, such as BBC Bitesize which provides activities and challenges for children aged three and up. Plus, home schooling allows you the flexibility to plan your own timetable, with no school run to worry about, as well as an opportunity to explore child-led learning.

6. Consider an independent school

If you’ve not received a place at your first choice school, this could be the right time to consider sending your child to an independent school instead. While it could feel like a big jump to go from state to private school, especially if you’re not used to paying school fees, independent schools give parents and children complete choice over where they study – rather than choosing based on location alone.

Many schools, including Wycliffe College, offer both day and boarding options, outstanding resources and smaller class sizes which allow teachers to offer more individualised learning and support – which could benefit your child in the long run.

For more information about Wycliffe College, visit wycliffe.co.uk.

By Chloe Gorman

© SoGlos
Thursday 15 April 2021

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