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18 I can't get my child into the school I want. What can I do?

You have the right to choose which state school in your area you want your child to go to. However, if that school is full or your child doesn’t meet its entry requirements you may be turned down. You may also have problems if your child has been excluded from their previous school two or more times.

If more children apply for a place than there are places available at your chosen school, then the school will use a set of oversubscription criteria to choose between the applicants. You may be able to find these criteria in the school’s prospectus. If your child is refused a place, you can usually appeal to an independent panel. The school or local education authority should send details of how you can appeal, why your child didn’t get a place at your chosen school and how long you have to decide whether or not to appeal.

If you do choose to appeal you should focus on the reasons why your child needs to go to the school you have chosen, rather than your objections to the alternative. You can usually send further information later.

If you need help getting your child into your preferred school, or any other aspect of education, we recommend that you speak to one of our education advisers on 0845 345 4 345 for specialist advice. Telephone specialist advice is only available if you qualify for legal aid.

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