Is National Offer Day for primary schools still taking place and can you make an admission appeal?

Schools have been closed across the nation since Friday 20 March

Sabrina Barr
Thursday 16 April 2020 10:03
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The current climate has caused a great deal of uncertainty in various sectors, including business, education and retail.

Last month, it was announced that schools and colleges across the nation would be closed from Friday 20 March until further notice, with only vulnerable children and those whose parents are key workers permitted to continue their attendance.

As such, some parents and carers may have wondered whether National Offer Day — the day on which primary schools send out offers for places at their institutions — will still continue.

Is National Offer Day still taking place this year?

On the government’s website, it outlines how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting schools.

The government states that National Offer Day for primary schools will still be held on Thursday 16 April.

Several schools and local councils have tweeted about the day, urging parents and carers to check their emails, mail and online portals to find out where their children have been allocated primary school places.

“It’s National Offer Day for primary schools today. We’re looking forward to welcoming our new Reception children in the new school year, alongside new joiners in Nursery and across the school,” tweeted Seabridge Primary School in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Boston Pioneers Academy in Lincolnshire tweeted that “although we are currently facing uncertain and unprecedented times”, the institution is looking forward to “welcoming all our new students for September 2020 admission in person as soon as we are able to do so”.

Can parents and carers appeal admissions?

On the government’s website, it acknowledges that “local authorities and other admissions authorities” are likely to feel “concerned” about how they may deal with admission appeals at the present time.

“We are working urgently on emergency regulations and guidance to establish alternative arrangements which are suitable but also flexible,” the Department for Education states.

“We are looking at flexibility for admission authorities to hold panels via telephone or video conference, in writing, and at extending the normal timescales.”

The government adds that it will “provide further information in due course”.

Mike Pemberton, partner and head of the civil liberties and public law team at Stephensons Solicitors LLP, advises parents and carers that if they wish to appeal the primary school place their child has been given, they should first check their local admissions authority website to find out the deadline on which they can make an appeal.

Mr Pemberton states that it would be wise to accept the primary school offer in order to secure the place.

“You can withdraw this acceptance later if you do decide to appeal and you’re successful, but make sure you do accept a school in the interim,” he says.

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