What to do if your child DOES NOT get into the state school that you hoped for?

Thousands of local families have been finding out recently whether their child has got a place at their state school of choice.

National offer day for secondary schools was in March and for primary schools was in April. These are anxious times for parents, as they find out which local schools their children have been allocated to. Sadly, not every child is successful. To avoid some of the stress, the following is a guide as to what to do next with some answers to common questions.

Why hasn’t my child got a place?

The Local Authority is in charge of offering school places. If there are more applications than the number of children that a school admits, the council will offer places to children according to a set of rules. This over-subscription criteria may include how close you live to the school, if a sibling already attends or compelling medical or social reasons for a child to attend a specific school.

Will my child go on a waiting list?

Any child who is not allocated a place will be added to a waiting list. Sometimes a place will become available in early September, if children move schools, but sometimes none will.

Help – what should I do if my child is not allocated the school we requested?

Don’t panic! Remember that your child is not starting school until September so there is still quite a lot of time for your situation to change. Each Local Authority has an appeals process that will be set out on its website and you will be able to make use of this.

What are the alternatives that I should be considering?

More and more families are choosing private education instead of going with the state. One of the most important factors that parents consider is the size of the school. Whilst some larger schools can treat children more as a number than an individual, a far more personalised education is possible when there are average class sizes of between 12 and 18. Places for these schools are not allocated in the same way as state and some may still have places available for September. Many offer arrangements to spread fee payments so you don’t have to find one big sum at the start of each term.

Privately-Owned Independent Schools in Your Area

Braeside School, Buckhurst Hill

An all-through school teaching girls from 2½ to 16. It offers a high standard of education in a happy, secure and caring environment. There are small class sizes with a high pupil to adult ratio that enables more individual attention and personalised learning.

Coopersale Hall School, Epping

An independent prep school for boys and girls aged 2½ to 11 that offers an outstanding standard of education and pastoral care. The school has strong values full wrap-around care and extensive grounds and facilities that cater for all types of sporting and social activities.

Normanhurst School, North Chingford

An all-through school for boys and girls aged 2½ to 16. With excellent academic results, there are extensive clubs to extend the school day and many trips, educational visits and residential stays. Close parent-school relationships are encouraged for all.

Oaklands Schools, Loughton

An independent prep school for boys and girls from 2½ to 11. Alongside the extensive grounds, broad curriculum and excellent pastoral care is the considerable success at 11+ for pupils obtaining places at their first choice senior schools at the end of Year 6.

All four of these schools are members of The Oak-Tree Group of Schools. For more information visit www.oaktreeschools.co.uk.