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Secondary school – did you get your first choice?

On 1st March Year 6 primary school children found out which secondary school they will be going to. Some local authorities report that over 90% of children were allocated their first place school. But data from 2011 shows those numbers vary depending on where you live. For many parents and children not getting into their first choice can be a crushing disappointment – it can cause practical problems such as transporting children in different directions and emotional issues such as facing being separated from well-established friends.  So if your child didn’t get their first choice what are your options?

  • Don’t discount any route at this stage – you can accept a place at one school, appeal to others and go on the waiting list of other schools.
  • Give your allocated school a chance – go and visit, speak to the head and teachers. Form your own opinion and look objectively at any practical issues getting in the way.
  • If you do want to appeal then focus on the school you wanted and what it can offer your child over and above the school they have been offered a place at.
  • If you are appealing understand the grounds on which you can appeal, be prepared to be specific and offer lots of evidence. It is worth revisiting the entrance criteria for a school.
  • The appeal process needs to be based on fact, not your gut feeling or local gossip. Roughly 1 in 3 appeals are successful.
  • If your child didn’t pass the 11+ then take a moment to reflect – maybe grammar school wasn’t the right path for them?
  • Have a Plan B if your appeal isn’t successful – could you consider independent schooling or home schooling, even for a short period?

If you need advice on tutoring at secondary school level in Manchester or Cheshire (Didsbury, Sale, Chorlton, Heaton Moor, Wilmslow) for Maths, English and many other subjects, contact 121 Home Tutors.


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