Primary school places Sheffield 2022: What to do if your child doesn't get in, as offer day approaches

Parents across Sheffield are anxiously waiting to find out if their child has got into the primary school of their choice.

By Andrew W Mclean
Thursday, 14th April 2022, 1:06 pm
Education law specialist Mike Pemberton, of the law firm Stephensons, has offered advice to parents in Sheffield about what to do if their child doesn't get into their first-choice primary school
Education law specialist Mike Pemberton, of the law firm Stephensons, has offered advice to parents in Sheffield about what to do if their child doesn't get into their first-choice primary school

Families are set to discover on Tuesday, April 19, what school their child has been offered.

Ahead of the big day, one law expert has offered advice on the steps to take if your child misses out on a place at their first choice primary school.

Mike Pemberton, partner and head of the civil liberties and public law team at Stephensons, is a specialist in education law.

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In 2021, just three of Sheffield’s primary schools that provided figures were able to offer a place to every child that applied. The hardest schools to get into were Anns Grove Primary in Heeley and Dobhouse Infant School in Millhouses.

Mr Pemberton said: “It is not surprising that national offer day can be stressful. The main thing though, is not to panic. Parents’ starting point should be to firstly look closely at the school your child has been given a place for as there may well be more merits in that option than you first realise.

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“The law means that there can only be 30 children per qualified teacher for reception and infant classes unless there are exceptional circumstances. If this applies to their child, parents can try and appeal to get their child into their first choice.

“The appeal process can be complicated according to Mr Pemberton. First you must find out who to appeal to, this depends on the type of school so it could be the academy trust, local authority or governing body.

“Next check the admission policy to see if this has been referred to properly. Then parents should find out the published admission numbers and check to see if the school’s oversubscription policy has been applied correctly.

“It is also important to look over the School Admissions code of Practice 2014, School Admissions Appeals Code 2012 and relevant parts of the School’s Standards and Framework Act 1998. Parents should also gather any supporting information on their child’s medical or social circumstances.

“The appeal must be made in writing and in good time to have the highest chance of success. Parents should also consider whether they will seek legal advice and assistance and source it as early as possible.

“Once an appeal has been lodged it must be heard within 40 days of the school appeals deadline.”

For further information on the appeal process for primary schools, see https://www.stephensons.co.uk/site/individuals/education/school_admission_appeals.