School offer day can go one of two ways; filled with joy and excitement because your child will begin their education at your first choice school, or stress and frustration because they were allocated a place you are unhappy with.
Your child starting school for the first time is a huge milestone for every family and we understand that this can already be a daunting experience. At Wandsworth Prep, we have put this guide together to make it as easy as possible for you to navigate Primary School Offer Day to secure a school place that will be best for your child.
Step 1: Check your offer email or letter
State school allocation notifications are usually sent via email, letter or an online portal. Make sure to check your spam or junk folder as well, as sometimes important emails can get filtered there by mistake!
Step 2: Read the offer letter carefully
When you receive your offer letter, read it carefully to understand which school your child has been allocated to. Make a note of any important information, such as the start date and term times.
Step 3: Consider your options
If you are happy with the school that has been allocated to your child, then congratulations! You can start preparing for the next steps, such as buying school uniforms and books. However, if you are unhappy with the school that has been allocated to your child, it's important to avoid stress and carefully consider the many options available to you.
Option 1: Appeal the decision
If you believe that your child has been unfairly allocated a school place, you can appeal the decision. You will need to prepare a case and evidence for an appeal hearing. The appeal process can be lengthy and there is no guarantee that you will be successful, but it is worth pursuing if you feel strongly that your child has been unfairly treated.
Option 2: Join a Waiting List
Most schools in the state sector will operate a waiting list system, depending on whether there are spaces available. Your child's position on a waiting list will be determined by set criteria. They will move up the list if a child above them is accepted into the school or is removed from the list and they will move down the list if another child meets more of the admissions criteria.
Option 3: Consider an independent school
If you are unable to secure a place at a state-funded school that meets your child's needs, you may want to consider an independent school. Independent schools are not governed by the local authority and have more flexibility in their admissions policies.
Independent schools can offer your child a customised learning experience based on their needs to ensure they are happy, thrive and achieve the best of their ability. Children benefit from smaller sizes and more attention from specialist teachers. Compared to state schools, there is more emphasis placed on character development which can be nurtured through a broader range of extra-curricular activities.
Steps if you are considering an independent school:
Research schools - Look at websites like WPS, prospectuses, or schools’ guides to get a sense of their offer and if your child will be happy and thrive there.
Consider the cost - You may not have planned for the financial cost of an independent school, but it can be more affordable than you may think. Different independent schools have different price points, so it is important to check and compare fees as well as bursary and scholarship options. We offer an interest-free monthly payment scheme, which can allow for easier budgeting and help make payments more manageable for you. The fees for each term are split into three equal instalments and paid during the first three months of the term.
Visit the school - There is no better way to get a sense of a school than to see it in person and assess if it is the right place for your child. View the facilities, evaluate the atmosphere and meet some of the teachers and pupils. At Wandsworth Prep, we offer personalised tours at a time which is most convenient for you, so you don’t have to wait until the next open day.
If you have been left disappointed following School Offer Day, then contact us today. We will be more than happy to talk through your situation and discuss your options with you.