Primary school admissions 2022: how to appeal school place after National Offer Day decision

Here’s how to appeal your child’s primary school place, depending on where you live in the UK

National Offer Day takes place every year, with parents in the UK finding out what primary school their children will be attending.

In England, local councils will send out letters confirming primary school places on Tuesday 19 April 2022.

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Usually, the English National Offer Day is 16 April, but as this falls on a Saturday this year, the Government is releasing the results the next working day. Due to the Easter bank holiday, the next working day after 16 April is Tuesday.

In Wales, National Offer Day is 19 April. Parents have until Wednesday 4 May 2022 to accept or decline the offer.

In Northern Ireland, parents will receive notifications of their P1 applications via the online portal on Thursday 28 April.

In Scotland, parents don’t decide where their child goes to school, as it’s the local council’s choice. If you’re unhappy with the choice, you can always request another school but this depends on any free places.

But what happens elsewhere in the UK if your child does not get your preferred school of choice?

Here’s what you need to know.

How can I appeal my child’s primary school place?

In England, you will be sent a letter with the decision about your child’s school. If your child is refused a place, you can appeal against the decision and the letter will tell you how to do this.

You must appeal against each rejection separately and can only appeal once against each rejection.

The admission authority for the school must allow you at least 20 school days to appeal from when they send the decision letter.

The admission authority will also set a deadline for submitting information and evidence to support your appeal.

If you submit anything after the deadline, it might not be considered and may result in delays to your hearing.

The admission authority must give you at least 10 school days’ notice of the hearing and appeals must be heard within 40 school days of the deadline for making an appeal.

In Northern Ireland, if your child doesn’t get a place in the school you prefer, you can appeal the decision.

You can appeal if you think the school didn’t apply their admissions criteria or didn’t apply them correctly, but you can’t appeal a decision about a place in a voluntary or private pre-school setting.

Parents/guardians whose child has not been offered a place in a school which had considered the application will be advised of where they can access information about how to appeal the decision via The Education Authority (EA).

You can also appeal a decision about a pre-school, primary or post-primary school place if you think the school didn’t apply or correctly apply its published admissions criteria.

To appeal a school’s decision that has refused your child a place, go to the EA website where you can send the appeal form (AT1 Form).

In Wales, if you have not been offered a place at your chosen school you have the right to appeal to an independent appeals panel.

The panel will consider your case for your child attending and the admission authority’s case for turning down your application. The appeals panel will be responsible for making the final decision.