National Offer Day for Primary School Admissions - guidance

National Offer Day for Primary School Admissions - guidance

If you are a parent of a child who is soon to begin their primary school education, you would have likely received a letter today (19 April 2022) from your Local Authority (council) confirming whether your child has been accepted into any of your previously requested schools.

What to do if you are happy with the result?

If you are happy with the school that your child has been offered, you must formally accept that offer by the deadline set. This is usually through an online system/portal. Failing to formally accept this offer of placement may mean that the offer is withdrawn and offered to someone else.

What happens if none of my schools have offered a place?

You can ask the school’s admission authority (usually the council) to join a waiting list for your preferred school but please note that if a school receives more applications than it has places available, the school will allocate places to pupils that most closely meet the school’s published admission arrangements. Waiting lists must be kept open for at least the first term of each school year. You can put your child on a waiting list even if your child has been offered and started their placement elsewhere.

If your child has not been offered a place at one of the schools that you have applied for, the council must provide you with a place at an alternative school where places are available. You can ask the council which schools have places still available.

Can I appeal a decision of not being offered a place at my preferred school?

Yes, you can appeal a decision of not being offered a place at your preferred school.

The first step is to contact the school’s admission authority which is usually your council, but this is not always the case for example it may be that the Academy Trust is the admitting authority if the primary school is an Academy. 

The school’s admission authority is the body which is responsible for establishing an appeal panel to provide an independent decision as to whether the school should admit your child based on the information presented by both yourself as a parent and the information provided by the admissions authority.

The decision by the appeal panel, whether this is to dismiss or uphold your appeal, is binding. If an appeal is upheld, the admission authority must offer your child a place at the preferred school.

Whether your appeal is upheld will depend on whether your reasons for your child to be admitted outweigh the school’s reasons for not admitting any more children. The panel will be following the School Admissions Code and School Admission Appeals Code in its determination.

The letter you have received should explain how you can appeal the decision. You should be given at least 20 school days from the decision letter to prepare and lodge your appeal.  You must put your appeal in writing, and it is important to send any evidence alongside your appeal to support your reasoning.

A decision from the admissions panel tends to be made quickly, with a decision usually being provided within five school days after the panel.

If you would like assistance with an admission appeal, please contact Kimberley Hircock on 01245 453803 or at


The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.