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If you don’t get your choice of school

Of course, with limited places available at each school, you may find that your child didn’t get a place at your first or second, or even third choice of school. If this happens – don’t panic!

First, call the school/s you hoped to get into and ask to be put on the waiting list. There is conflicting advice on whether you should accept the place you’ve been offered or not – some say yes, because then at least you’ve got somewhere, some say no, because local authorities will then take you off all other LA waiting lists (though this doesn’t apply to free schools, academies or voluntary-aided schools).

You can appeal, but appeals have a low success rate and can be long and stressful. Make sure you have strong grounds for the appeal, and check your Local Authority’s website to find out how to go about it.

As Christians, we also have the assurance of the sovereignty of God to rely on. We can come to Him in prayer for a favourable
outcome, asking for his peace with whatever decision is made, and for His guidance for how to help and equip our children to make the most of a less-than-ideal situation. What is His purpose for you as a family, for your children and for the school community in putting you in this situation? This kind of perspective can be very helpful in dealing with difficult situations throughout the school career and beyond. In Scotland, your child has an automatic right to attend the state school (nondenominational or Roman Catholic) within the catchment area where you live. You can also make a “placing request” for your child to attend a school further away. This will normally be granted if the school has spare capacity.

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