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After hours spent filling in application forms, visiting schools and reading prospectuses, the day we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived! It has been a tremendous journey for all of you embarking upon the 11 plus.
Below, we have supplied some information about what you need to do next and the options you need to consider when moving forward with your offer.
The first and most important thing to do now, despite whether the offer is the one you want or not, is to respond immediately and accept it, if that is required. Some authorities operate an automatic acceptance system.
If you do not respond by the date specified on your local authority form, or you decline the place offered, you may not be offered a school place.
If you applied for an independent school, as well as state school, then you must decide which one you would like your child to go to. Once you make this decision, out of courtesy, you should inform the other school body that they may take your child’s name off their list.
For example: if you accept an independent school offer, then you should contact your local authority to decline your state grammar or comprehensive offer and vice versa.
If you filled out your application form with a list of preferences that included both grammar and comprehensive schools, then it is vital that you accept this offer. If you do not accept the offer, then your child will not have a place at any of your preferences and may even be placed at a school that is not on your list of choices.
However, there may still be hope of attaining a more preferable choice once you accept your offer. Here are some things to bear in mind:
There is a lot of movement in the first few weeks following the deadline for accepting offers. People will be accepting their school of preference which may include independent schools.
This will result in spaces opening up for other students who are on waiting lists.
However, if you only listed grammar schools and your child did not attain the required score, your offer will not be one of your choices but a school with spaces left to fill. The most important thing that you can do now, is to make sure that you are on school waiting lists. You can do this by phoning your local authority admissions team.
If a few weeks or even months pass by and you have not received another offer, check again that you are on the waiting list.
Remember: There will be movement right up until September; every child that accepts an offer from a waiting list, gives up their place at their first school offer. This school will then turn to their waiting list, and the cycle will continue until all of the places are filled.
If you are really unhappy with your offer, there is the option of making an appeal. However, you must have solid grounds to make the appeal; it is not a process for the light hearted. Your offer letter will usually explain this process in more detail, and the information provided will be relevant for the area that you live in. It is worth noting, however, that councils receive hundreds of appeals each year and the majority of them do not have sufficient evidence to support their case.
As a final note, it is important to know that you are not alone and a lot of parents find this process stressful. Try to use the above article as a logical step-by-step guide towards getting your child into the school of your choice.
If you need further help or advice, please do not hesitate to contact our education advisers on 0121 733 6558.
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