How to overcome missing out on primary school offer place day

Today is primary schools national offer day 2019 – did your child get the place you had requested?

If your child was born between 1 September 2014 and 31 August 2015, they are due to start primary school in September 2019.

You must make an application for your child’s primary school place.

We’ll assume, for the purposes of this post, that you’re not considering home education. If you are there’s more information about HE on our website.

If you submitted your application by 15 January 2019, your child’s school place offer will be available from the national offer date of 16 April 2019.

If you haven’t yet applied for a primary school place, you have until 2 May 2019 to apply in the second round.

New housing developments equals shifting boundaries

Some parents have been shocked to discover that although they thought there were near enough for their child to qualify for a primary school place at their local school, newly built housing developments have ‘jumped the queue’ and taken those places.

Don’t miss out through ignorance and check out your local school’s and council’s latest application criteria.

92% first place allocation rate


​In 2018 approximately 92% of applicants for primary school places were allocated their first preference, and a further 6% were allocated either their second or third preference. However, this figure does not include late applications.

If your child’s not been offered their 1st choice place you’ll need to accept the one offered and that will still allow you to appeal or stay on the preferred school’s wait list.

Oversubscription criteria

The reality of the situation presented is that in many locations around the UK a large proportion of schools receive more primary place applications than they have capacity to cover.

Under those circumstances, each place is allocated according to the school’s published oversubscription admission criteria.

Different schools, and different council regions use different oversubscription admission criteria, for example:

  • Many schools’ oversubscription admission criteria give priority to children living in their linked area, which often applies to rural areas. It’s important, therefore that if you live in a school’s linked area and want to be considered for a place at that school, you must include it as one of your preferences. To not do this could mean your child may be allocated a place at another school which may be quite far from your home.
  • The oversubscription admission criteria at faith schools may give priority to applicants on faith grounds of church attendance or commitment.

Want success? Plan for the possibility of failure

When considering which primary school(s) to put down on your application it’s important to assess realistically each one and your chances of securing a place.

If you want your child to attend then it’s quite possible that many other parents do too.

Review, therefore, each school’s oversubscription admission criteria & assess whether you feel you’ll qualify.

Do this for all three of your preferred choices and you’ll have less chance of not securing the place you wish.think about the likelihood of schools being oversubscribed. We would also suggest that you read and consider .H

Did you secure a place at your first choice school?

Comment below to say how you’ve found the application process. Did you secure the place you wanted? Did others local to you get in but you missed out? Are you planning an appeal?

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