Logo

Advice for Camden, Haringey, Barnet and Westminster parents on what to do if your child misses out on top primary school place

PUBLISHED: 12:21 19 April 2017 | UPDATED: 12:21 19 April 2017

Families from across Camden, Haringey, Barnet and Westminster found out on Tuesday whether their children had bagged the primary school of their choice.

Families from across Camden, Haringey, Barnet and Westminster found out on Tuesday whether their children had bagged the primary school of their choice.

This content is subject to copyright.

Families in Camden, Haringey, Barnet and Westminster found out yesterday whether their children had bagged their top choice of primary school.

"Many children will again be placed in schools that parents feel are unacceptable but it is important to remember that the chances of successfully appealing are incredibly slim and over-sized classes, bad Ofsted reports, siblings at other schools and distance from home and not considered grounds for an appeal."

Elizabeth Coatman

Although each borough saw an increase in the number of families bagging their September school of choice, there were still more than 18 per cent of children in Camden who did not receive their first preference.

But the Good Schools Guide’s state school expert Elizabeth Coatman is urging parents not to panic if they aren’t happy with their allocated school and to think very carefully before appealing.

She said: “Many children will again be placed in schools that parents feel are unacceptable but it is important to remember that the chances of successfully appealing are incredibly slim and over-sized classes, bad Ofsted reports, siblings at other schools and distance from home and not considered grounds for an appeal.”

The Good Schools Guide is recommending the following to parents who don’t get their preferred choice of school:

· Firstly, accept the place your child has been offered. However determined you are to find an alternative, if the initial offer is not accepted, you run the risk of your child having no school to go to in September.

· Once you have accepted the place, get on the waiting lists for other schools you would prefer – even schools not on your initial application. All kinds of things can happen between now and the start of the new academic year which could result in places being freed up.

· If your child has been given a place at a primary school you are not keen on, think carefully and take advice before planning an appeal – you only have a very slim chance of success.

· Instead take a moment to check out the school in greater detail. It might be better than you fear. Even if the local reputation of the school is bad, this could be based on out-of-date information which is no longer relevant. Look at its most recent Ofsted report and if it only scores a 3 or ‘requires improvement’, read the Section 8 monitoring visit report to see if the problems are now being addressed. Speak to parents at the school gate. Find out how young the teaching staff are: having a core of long-serving, older teachers may tell you something about how the staff are treated and how experience is valued.

· Don’t let on to your child if you think the allotted school is a disaster zone. If you bad-mouth the school but then fail to get into another one, your child will start at the new school conscious of the black mark you have already given it.

· If you do end up appealing, remember, you can only appeal to the schools to which you applied. Each school will require a separate appeal. The grounds for a legitimate appeal will be published on your local authority website: the bar for success is very high. You’ll need to prove a mistake was made when the admissions process was carried out, that the admissions policy is unlawful or that no reasonable person would come to that admissions decision – ‘reasonable’ being used in the legal sense.

· If you still need advice and guidance The Good Schools Guide offers a telephone consultation with a school appeals expert who will listen to your particular circumstances, suggest ways of approaching your appeal, give advice on dos and don’ts and tell you what your chances of success are.

For more information visit goodschoolsguide.co.uk.

Further advice is available at camden.gov.uk, haringey.gov.uk, barnet.gov.uk and westminster.gov.uk.

Related articles

Latest Hampstead Education News

A West Hampstead nursery has been given three weeks to improve after it was today given the worst possible Ofsted rating.

Cally man Dan Storey gave up art at 15 despite loving it. Now 42, he tells the Gazette about his first exhibition, which is running until June.

Swiss Cottage School has ditched plans to convert into an academy after being told another school would need to be included in the deal.

Preparing your child in advance for school will go a long way towards ensuring the very best start for your child.

After over 50 years in the acting industry, and a decade of unprecedented success delivering outstanding part-time performing arts tuition at her weekend Academies across the country, Pauline Quirke returns to her roots to create even more opportunities for young performers in North London.

A new survey has revealed the often “extraordinary” lengths parents have gone to get their children into their preferred primary school.

Camden Market’s array of stalls come in all shapes and sizes, but according to one trader “we are like a family who are always defending each other”.

Our Student Takeover 2018 drew to a close on Friday with an awards ceremony, but the story is not over for one budding journalist.

College of North West London student Tadhg Ormond delves into the history of a school which has been serving the community since before the First World War

A school has pulled out all the stops to champion all things scientific.

A group of 15 budding politicians have launched their campaigns to become Camden’s next youth MP.

South Hampstead High School’s bursary scheme has been championed by a former student who grasped the opportunity with both hands.

A team of media-hungry teenagers have arrived at the Ham&High for the Student Takeover 2018.

The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama has backed the Mayor of London’s commitment to calling out sexist and misogynistic attitudes.

Plans for a raft of Catholic schools to form an academy trust have been kicked into the long grass due to a lack of interest from those consulted.

Camden and Haringey schoolchildren have been celebrating the magic of fiction on World Book Day.

The Ham&High’s student takeover team has been decided following a Dragons’ Den-style pitching session at the City of Westminster College.

Placard-bearing staff at UCL have entered their second week of strikes in response to a dispute over pensions.

A consultation has been launched on plans to bring a specialist school for young people with autism to Haringey.

A Hampstead school table tennis team is going for glory after getting through to the finals of the table tennis national school team championships.

An Archway children’s centre has been rated “outstanding” across the board in its latest Ofsted report.

Fortismere School has appointed two permanent headteachers following a “rigorous selection process”.

A Camden super group has been formed to ensure that “no child gets left behind in Camden”.

The decision to admit girls into UCS Hampstead 10 years ago has been described as “ground-breaking”.

Former La Sainte Union student Eden Lunghy, 18, speaks to the Ham&High about her role as a Camden deputy youth mayor.

“Promoting equality and empowerment” remains at the forefront for an independent school celebrating 100 years since women were first able to exercise their right to vote.

The husband of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has said the care a school has shown in hosting a play about their ordeal has made a great difference to his jailed wife.

Children at Our Lady of Muswell Primary School were left “stunned” by a surprise visit of Britain’s tallest man.

Pupils are being warned of the dangers of being mugged at home time as they continue to be targeted by teenage gangs.

Hornsey School for Girls has been named as the best performing school for progress in Haringey.

Camden School for Girls has been recognised as the top performing schools for progress in the borough.

The headteacher of St Aloysius College in Archway has been suspended from his post after being arrested on suspicion of fraud.

Highgate Primary School has received a donation of 100 trees to help transform the site into a greener and healthier space.

The future is bright for Hawley Primary School following the official opening of its new building.

Students from Portland Place School have demonstrated their support for anti-bullying by winning first place in the ‘odd socks day challenge’.

A Golders Green school is celebrating after receiving an “outstanding” Ofsted report.

Our Lady of Muswell Hill Primary School is on the up after receiving an upgrade in its Ofsted rating.

A Coldfall Primary School student has been named as the number one ranked under-10s table tennis player in the country.

Greig City Academy students were among dedicated sailors from across the UK who had their endeavours recognised by HRH Princess Anne at the annual Royal Yachting Awards (RYA) ceremony.

Schools have been hard at work in the run up to Christmas to provide as much festive cheer in the community as possible.

There have been some busy elves working away in the run up to Christmas at The Cavendish School.

South Hampstead Junior School pupils have marked 60 years since the school moved into its own separate site at 12 Netherhall Gardens in 1957.

‘The future is bright’ for a crop of Camden youngsters who dazzled judges in a public speaking contest at Regent High School.

Henrietta Barnett School has been named as the UK’s top performing state school in a much-anticipated annual league table released by the Sunday Times.

A success story of one of Archant London’s Student Takeover schemes is encouraging students at City of Westminster College and College of North West London to get involved in a potentially “life-changing” opportunity at the Ham&High.

-->
Most Read