National Offer Day 2024: How to see Liverpool and Merseyside secondary school place offers, appeal and accept

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How to see your child's secondary school place offers in Liverpool, Wirral, St Helens, Sefton and Knowsley - and how to appeal.

On Friday, pupils across England and Wales will find out whether they will be attending their first choice secondary schools, in September.

Councils across Merseyside will send offers of secondary school places to parents from Friday, March 1, after applications closed on in October. In the majority of cases, parents will sent an offer letter via email within the working day. In Liverpool, parents should receive an email at midday.

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Those who sent in late applications are less likely to see their child accepted to their first preferred school. If an application was not sent in on time, with a valid reason, it will be considered with applications received on time. However, late applications without a valid reason will be considered after the first round of offers.

How can I see my child's secondary school offer?

Parents or carers who applied online will be sent an email with a school place offer, and details of how to accept or appeal. For applicants who did not apply online, an offer letter will be posted by your local authority on March 1, and should arrive within a few days. Offers can be accepted via forms found on your local authority’s citizens portal.

How do I accept a secondary school offer?

Some local authorities, such as Knowsley Council, do not require parents to accept an offer from their preferred school as it is assumed the child will attend. Others, however, will require parents to formally accept the offer, with full details provided in the offer letter. Failure to accept the offer on time could see the offer withdrawn.

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What if my child doesn’t get in to our chosen school?

If your child is not offered a place at your first choice school, they will usually be offered a place at one of your other preferred schools, or put on a waiting list. If they are not offered a place at any of the preferred schools listed on your application, the local council will offer a place at another school. You can also appeal the decision.

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How do I appeal my child's secondary school place?

All local authorities have to allow parents 20 days to appeal if their child is not offered a place in their chosen school. However, many popular schools are over-subscribed and it can be difficult to win an appeal. For example, only 18.6% of appeals to community and academy schools in Sefton were successful in 2022.

Most local authorities require an online appeal form to be filled out. Full details about how to appeal are usually included in the decision letter. Below are the deadlines and appeal forms for each local authority in Merseyside.

  • In Liverpool, appeals must be sent by March 29, 2024.
  • In Knowsley, appeals must be lodged by April 19, 2024.
  • In Wirral, appeals must be sent by March 31, 2024.
  • In Sefton, appeals must be sent by March 28, 2024.
  • In St Helens, appeals must be lodged by March 31, 2024.
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