National Offer Day 2022: What are the next steps for school steps for Sunderland parents and can they appeal a decision?

Parents across the region will find out today which primary school their child has been awarded.

Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 11:20 am

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The day parents will discover which primary school their children will attend in the next academic year is here, and this is all you need to know about the event.

What is primary school offer day?

This offer day marks the date families will find out whether or not a child has been given a place in their preferred primary school for the 2022-2023 academic year.

National Offer Day 2022: What are the next steps for Sunderland parents and can they appeal a decision?

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Anyone waiting for an application will be made aware of the decision by either letter or email.

Primary school offer day usually occurs on April 16 but was delayed due to the Easter holidays.

How can I respond to a school place offer?

Each letter and email sent to parents today will include a set of instructions for the next steps as well as a deadline for accepting or declining the offer.

My application has been rejected, what comes next?

Even if an application has been rejected, local councils have an obligation to provide a school place for every child. This means a school place will still be allocated, even if it is not at a school of the family’s choice.

Parents can accept the alternative offer of a place in another school, put their child on a waiting list of preferred schools or make an appeal. Any response must be sent by the given deadline to avoid the place going to another student.

How can I appeal a school offer?

The letter or email which includes the offer will include the steps for anyone wanting to appeal a decision.

Schools in Sunderland must allow a certain number of days from the date of the decision letter for parents to appeal and each application must be paired with evidence and information to support an appeal. This year’s deadline falls on May 13.

Sunderland Council warn that anything received after these dates may be heard after the appeals which were sent on time, reducing the chances of spaces remaining available at the preferred school.

The hearing itself takes place in front of an independent panel with parents being given 10 days notice with a decision being given up to five days later.

On what grounds can I appeal a decision?

The majority of appeals come as a result of the needs of the child. If a school is unable to have their special or educational needs met by a school, an appeal is more likely to be successful.

Grounds of appeal such as commuting distance to a school and childcare arrangements are known to have been rejected in the past.

What are the criteria for allocating primary school places?

The criteria may differ by school, but according to government guidelines, priority is more likely to be given to children who:

Live close to the school.

Went to a particular ‘feeder school.’

Have a parent who has worked at the school for 2 years or more.

Have a sibling at a specific school.

Are from a particular religion (in faith schools).

Pass an entrance exam (in selective schools).