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National Offer Day, when parents and children anxiously wait to hear whether they have succeeded in securing their place at the school of their choice, typically comes around on 1st March.

Last year, shockingly, 28,000 pupils in London missed out on getting their first pick of schools. The Evening Standard revealed that a third of London children didn’t get picked for their first choice of secondary school, on top of this, a further 5,000 children did not get an offer from any of their preferred schools.

Finding out that a child hasn’t got their preferred place can be a huge upset to parents and children alike, however, it’s possible to appeal against these decisions, and it’s worth noting that all schools must keep a waiting list for the first term of each academic year. Spaces could become available as families’ circumstances change.

How to appeal

If a child is refused a place at the school of their choice the parents can start an appeal from the moment they receive the letter containing the school’s decision, that letter should give instructions on how to do this.

From the date of the letter, parents or guardians are given at least 20 days to appeal, each rejection must be appealed separately, and parents can only appeal once against each rejection.

The admissions authority will then set a deadline for submitting information and evidence to support the appeal. It’s important to note that if anything is submitted after the deadline, it might not be considered.

An appeal will be upheld if the authority decides a school has not complied with its admissions code or correctly followed the criteria.

The admissions authority must give at least 10 school days’ notice of the hearing and appeals must be heard within 40 school days of the deadline for making an appeal.

Further details are available on the Government website.


This process can be overwhelming for parents and their children, which is why our Family Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI) insurance covers advisors’ costs to appeal against the decision of the Local Education Authority, resulting from their failure to conform with its published admissions policy.

Our Family LEI insurance also covers a wide range of other household legal issues including, employment, contract and personal injury claims and will cover the cost of litigation if required.

Our bespoke policies are supported by specialist legal and claims experts providing the best advice and assistance.

Our 24/7 Legal Assistance Helpline is also available to our policyholders to provide legal advice and assistance on a wide range of home and personal issues.

To find out more about Family Legal Expenses Insurance, please contact your Partnerships Manager or email

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