Everything you need to know about primary school offer day
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Thousands of children across Norfolk are preparing to find out where they will be starting school in September.
Schools may be largely closed due to coronavirus, but Norfolk County Council is still set to release its primary place offers for the 2020/21 academic year, letting families know whether they have been successful in securing a space at one of their preferred schools.
Applications for reception class places closed in January and it has been a tense time as parents and carers await a decision on where their child will start their education.
Last year admissions data from Norfolk County Council showed that, of the 9,062 applications made for reception class places for the next academic year, 92.8pc were given their first preference.
In total 600 families across Norfolk missed out on their first-choice primary school for children starting school in September. Some 355 applicants (4pc) secured their second preference, and 82 secured their third – while 191 applications were not offered a place at any of their preferred schools.
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But what about those waiting to get into a primary school this September? When do they find out their fate? Here’s everything you need to know:
When will I find out if my child has a place?
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Councils will send confirmations for reception classes and primary school places on Thursday, April 16. Depending on the way you applied for your child’s primary school place you should find out that day.
How will you find out which primary school your child has been offered?
If you applied online, you can check your admissions account online at admissionsonline.norfolk.gov.uk. You will be able to view the decision on your account from 8.30am. This will be followed up with an email giving the decision and further information. If you completed an application form, letters are sent out by second-class post on April 16.
What happens then?
If your child has been offered a place at one of your preferred schools, the headteacher will have been informed and you will be contacted directly by the school with further information.
You do not need to accept the place offered; however some schools may have arrangements in place to ask you to confirm your acceptance. The first day of the autumn term 2020 is Monday, September 7.
What if you are not happy with the primary school your child has been offered?
If you are not happy with the primary school offer you have been given, there are three courses of action you can take. Firstly your child will automatically be added to your preferred school’s waiting list, you can appeal, or you can apply for a different school.
If a preference has been refused at any school your child’s name will be kept on a waiting list for that school until the end of December 2020.
To appeal against the decision of the admissions authority, you need to state your intention in writing (or by emailing email@example.com) stating which school or schools you are appealing for before Friday, May 1.
What does an appeal involve?
If your child has been refused a place at an academy or a free school your appeal request will then be forwarded to the headteacher who will send you an appeal form and guidance.
For all other schools, we will send an appeal form to complete and return by Friday, May 15.
You will be told 10 school days in advance when and where your appeal will be. It will be heard in private in front of an independent three person panel whose decision is based on balancing the needs of your child against the effect of admitting another child.
Wherever possible you will be told the decision by phone by the next working day and a letter will be sent within seven days explaining the decision and the reasons for it. All admission appeals panels act independently and their decisions are binding on everyone. There is no further right of appeal.
• Information around late primary school place applications, home to school transport and free schools meals is available at norfolk.gov.uk/education-and-learning/schools