Primary school places: disappointment for some

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Headteachers' leaders have called for an end to the "haphazard" system for creating new school places as thousands of parents discover today whether their child has got into their first choice of primary.

And they add that, in light of the increasing pressure on primary school places across the country, this is good news for children and families in Cornwall.

This is due to the hard work of our place planning team and schools accommodating additional pupils where required as well as the slightly lower number of applications for reception places this year.

In total, 2,102 applications for school admissions were made by families in Reading, Berkshire for the 2017/18 academic year, compared with 2,254 last year.

This included 93.58 per cent being allocated their first choice, up from 90.86 per cent past year.

But, for a minority, it may instead feel like a day of disappointment and worry if your child missed out on your first choice primary school.

- Try not to let on to your child how much you hate the school at which they've been given a place.

There's a lot of movement on school waiting lists, even with the most popular schools.

If you are adamant you do not want your child attending the school they have been offered, draw up a list of other potential schools.

"That is reflected in the fact that the number of children achieving their first-preference school continues to rise year on year".

- If you feel you have no choice but to appeal, you must remember that you can only appeal to the schools to which you previously applied.

A year ago following a reassessment of demand, the council confirmed it would retain a second intake class at Benfield and Hertford infant schools, which had been under threat of closure. Each school will require a separate appeal. While every parent has a right to appeal, make sure you have a solid reason for appealing before you start. 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.

For the few cases where parents did not secure a place for their child in a school of their choice, they are advised in their notification about the right to appeal against the refusal. Of course, you'll want to think about the impact of moving your child once she's settled in to school. In order to do this you need to contact the council in writing - you can find the form on your local council website.

The panel's decision is binding and can only be overturned by a court.

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