School Place Offers

-for those without an Education, Health & Care Plan

For those parents who are waiting to hear about school places for September 2020 (secondary, primary, infant or junior) the date is fast approaching, so we thought it might be helpful to have a reminder of the key dates.

Please note: if your child or young person has an EHC Plan then the process and dates here do not apply as a different process is used. Please contact us if you need advice or support with this.

Key dates for school places:

Secondary placesWhat HappensPrimary, Infant or Junior places
Monday 2nd March 2020Offer Day. Online applicants (who applied on time) will be notified by email which school their child has been offered. Other applicants will be sent a letter by second class post.Thursday 16th April 2020
Monday 30th March 2020 onwardsLate Applications received on or after the cut off day (30th November 2019 for secondary / 15th January 2020 for primary, infant or junior) are processed and offers made A Waiting list will be established and places offered if they become available.Friday 22nd May 2020 onwards.
April to July 2020Secondary – Independent appeal panel meetings held every Thursday. Primary, infant or junior – Independent appeal panel hear appeals lodged by parent/carers.May to July 2020

If you would like a reminder about the criteria and process for allocating school places then please take a look at West Sussex’s advice on How school places are allocated.

Appealing a decision

You have the right to appeal against a decision not to offer your child a place at your preferred school and to place them on a waiting list. You can lodge your appeal online.

The admission authority for the school must allow you at least 20 school days to appeal from when they send the decision letter / email.

The admission authority will set a deadline for submitting information and evidence to support your appeal. If you submit anything after the deadline, it might not be considered and may result in delays to your hearing.

A note about appealing infant class places.

Because the law states that infant classes should not normally have more than thirty pupils, appeals for Infant class places (Reception, year 1 and year 2) are different than for other school places. The Independent Appeal Panel cannot increase the number of children in an infant class unless it is satisfied that the admission authority has acted wrongly.  The powers of the Panel to admit extra children are extremely limited where the school is organised into classes of thirty or will be arranged in classes of 30 in future years. This therefore means that very few appeals for infant classes are successful. However, your appeal could be successful if:

  • giving your child a place will not increase the class size above the limit
  • the admission arrangements have not been properly followed
  • the admission criteria do not comply with the school admissions code

Please see Gov.Uk for further information.

If your child has or may have SEN and you would like to talk through your situation with one of our advisers, then please contact us at SENDIAS: 0330 222 8555 or

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