You are legally entitled to appeal to all the schools you named on your preference form, or if you got your third choice, for example, you can just appeal to the two you prefer. There’s nothing to lose by appealing to all of them. Hearings take place over a couple of months, so you can always drop out of later ones if you get offered a place you are happy with.
Your school offer paperwork will give details of how to appeal to each school in your county. Pay close attention to the procedures and deadlines, as these will vary for each school according to whether appeals are being handled by your Local Education Authority or the school’s own panel.
In the first instance it is fine to lodge your case simply with a sentence saying that you intend to appeal. You need to follow this up with a full statement and documentary evidence by the deadline given. Do not miss this; your case could only be considered after this point in the most exceptional circumstances. And you must send in all documents by this deadline; you will not normally be allowed to produce new evidence on the day of the hearing, although one family was able to refer to a damning Ofsted report which had published only that morning.
Some special needs are easy to spot, others are only determined once a child has experienced considerable difficulties, frustrations or social and emotional problems.
Over the years, diagnosis of and provision for SEN have improved, but both can still be a minefield.
Identifying different kinds of special educational needs
Few children fit a condition perfectly – if they do, we tend to say they are a ‘classic’ case. Most will not be straightforward: perhaps a dyslexic with dyspraxia and a touch of ADD, or a child with ASD who also has Down’s syndrome.
Just as special needs are hard to…
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Counties such as Kent or Buckinghamshire are ‘selective authorities’ and most families will have at least one grammar school close to where they live. Elsewhere, for example in Reading or Kingston-on-Thames, there are just one or two grammar schools and competition for places at these is ferocious.
How to find a state grammar school
Grammar schools are located in 36 English local authorities. Almost half of these are considered 'selective authorities' (eg Kent and Buckinghamshire), where around one in five local children are selected for grammar school entry based on ability. The others are areas such as Barnet or Kingston,…
As proud parents, we all know our children are unique. They're smarter than anyone else's, funnier, certainly more attractive, better behaved and above all bursting with the kind of talent that would leave Daniel Radcliffe, Jamie Bell and Charlotte Church standing. And for some extraordinary - though totally understandable - reason, everyone but us seems blind to our offspring's God-given artistic gifts.
If you think your child would benefit from a boarding school education, but are put off by the high fees and consequent limited social mix of a typical independent boarding school, you may find that a state boarding school is the answer
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