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School appealcDespite all you’ve heard about competition for places at the secondary school you want for your child, it’s still a huge shock when your offer comes through for Unpopular Academy instead.

Don’t despair - you have a legal right to appeal to any school named on your preference form. But it’s vital to have a back-up plan alongside going through the appeals process.

This article tells you what you need to know. If it all looks too daunting to tackle on your own, The Good Schools Guide Education Consultants can advise you and guide you through the whole process. Contact us on 0203 286 6824 or

Action plan

  1. You must accept the place at the school you have been offered, no matter how tempting it is to return the form with ‘Over my dead body’ scrawled on it. You would run the risk of having no place at all in September, and appeal panels will not take kindly to you doing this.
  2. Get on the waiting list for any school which you would prefer to the one you’ve been offered (this can include ones you didn’t put on your preference form). There’s a big shake out between National Offer Day and September, and places become available even into the start of term, as some people decide to go private, or move, or get offered a place at another school they prefer.
  3. Do not rule out the school you have been offered. A bad local reputation can linger after a school has improved under a new head. Go and visit and see for yourself, and also use it as a research trip to find details you need for your appeal. And it may not be as bad as you thought. One parent decided after such a visit that her son could actually do well at a school which had been unpopular, but was now under a new head with lots of support and impetus to improve.
  4. If your child is particularly gifted or talented, you could investigate if any local private schools still have spaces and a scholarship/bursary to offer.

Optimise your chance of success when lodging a school appeal, speak to a school appeal expert consultant today. Phone 020 3286 6824 or email



Further reading

The Good Schools Guide’s top tips for Secondary school applications.

British schools

Primary school admissions – where do I start?

State boarding schools

State school admissions - how to secure a place


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