Allocation Day - what next?

If your child is currently in Year 6 you should now have received an offer of a secondary school place, either by email or letter, from your local authority admissions office. You should also have received a letter from the school asking if you would like to accept the place. If you have received an offer from your first choice school then presumably you will accept the place. I say presumably because your circumstances may have changed since you applied in October. If you have moved to a new area since then, but applied to your previous area then you should contact your local admissions office as soon as possible. The Roots 2 Success website lists contact details for all local authorities which have grammar schools as well as all 163 grammar schools in England. Once you have accepted an offer of a place the school will be in touch about arrangements for a day in July which your child will spend at their new secondary school to meet some of the staff and their future classmates. Your child will probably be asked to attend slightly later than the normal start time of the school so that the current pupils will be already out of the way when the Year 6 pupils arrive. Think about how your child will get to school on that day, the temptation may be to give them a lift there, but do you want to be doing that for the next 5 or 7 years? If feasible, it may be a good idea to walk to school or get the bus with your child. You will probably also be asked to give the names of one or two children your child already knows who you would like to be in the same class as them. Think carefully about this because a child who is a friend in primary school may not continue to be a friend at secondary school. You will probably also be invited to an information evening with other parents of prospective Year 7 pupils; don't worry too much about getting to know other parents as you probably won't see most of them again; there is a lot less contact with secondary schools than with primary schools. Make sure you buy your child's school uniform well before the beginning of September, you don't want them going to school in a blazer that's two sizes too big or, even worse, two sizes too small!

What if your child did not get offered a place at their first choice school? The first thing to do is to think about whether the choice offered is acceptable - do you think that your child will enjoy attending this school? Will they do well academically? Do they have friends going there? Will it be easy for them to travel to school? If you decide that you and your child are happy with this choice then you should accept the place and look forward to September. If you decide you are not happy with the school your child has been allocated you should probably still accept it, otherwise you risk your child ending up without a secondary school place at all. The next thing to do is to contact your first choice school and find out where your child is on their waiting list and let them know that you are still interested in a place at the school. If you have a strong reason for believing that the application process was somehow unfair to your child you could make an appeal - your local authority's admissions office will be able to give you information on how to go about doing this. Bear in mind the success of an appeal is likely to depend on whether or not the selection process was fair to your child. If your child was ill on the day of the selection tests, but you did not let the school know at the time this will not help your case.