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School place offers: statement of options

This page explains the options available to parents who have received a letter notifying you of the outcome of your application.

If you receive a letter, it will be for one (or both) of the following reasons:

  • You applied for a school place by post.
  • Your child has been refused a place at their first choice school.

You will need to respond to your child's school place offer by completing and returning a Parental Notification Form by the requested date, or your child may lose their offer.

How you can respond

If you applied online

You can respond to the offer in your letter online, via our application portal, or by post (see instructions below).

If you applied by post

You should complete and return the Parental Notification Form enclosed with your letter to us at the following address:

  • Admissions & Transport
  • People & Communities Department
  • Lewis House
  • Manvers Street
  • Bath BA1 1JG

If you want to appeal for a place in a school outside Bath & North East Somerset

You should contact the relevant Admission Authority for further information, before completing and returning the Parental Notification Form to us (by email or post, as above). 

Your response options

Select a response option below to read in detail what you'll need to do.

Accept the offer

To accept a place at the school offered, please fill in section A of the Parent/Guardian reply form and return it by the requested date, as shown on the response form. We will inform Headteacher of the offered school of your acceptance. They will then contact you about admission arrangements and other information you need to know. 

You must take action by the requested date (indicated when you receive your offer), even if your child gets an offer at the school listed as your first preference. If we do not receive your response, we may offer the place to another child.

Join a waiting list (without a formal appeal)

By asking to go on the waiting list your child can still be reconsidered for any places that may become available at your preferred school(s), even if you do not want to make a formal appeal for the school concerned.

If you choose this option, you will not have an appeal hearing scheduled. The place you have been offered (at an alternative school) will be held without prejudice, until it is clear if you will get an offer at your preferred school. If you choose to join the waiting list, and a place becomes available at your preferred school, then the place at the original school offered will be cancelled.

To choose this option, please tick the ‘waiting list’ box under Section C of the Parent/Guardian reply form and return it by the requested date as shown on the response form.

How waiting lists are managed

Waiting lists will contain late applications, children whose parents have made a formal appeal, and those who have asked to be put on the waiting list without appealing formally.

Your child's position in the list may change, if other parents withdraw, move out of the area, or submit a late application. The lists are held in order of the school's admission criteria only, and this will decide how any places are allocated, if they become available.

However, children who are the subject of a direction by a Local Authority to admit or who are allocated to a school in accordance with a Fair Access Protocol must take precedence over those on a waiting list.

If at any time you decide you no longer want your child to stay on the waiting list, you will need to confirm this in writing to Admissions & Transport (at our email or postal address, above). 

Please also note that the waiting list will automatically be cleared at the end of the academic year. If you want to register your child’s name on the waiting list for the following academic year, you should put this request in writing to the individual school concerned.

Make a formal appeal

Under the terms of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998, if you have been refused one or more of your school preferences, you can appeal for a place at each of the schools involved. You have a period of 20 school days from the date of your offer notification to prepare and lodge a written appeal.

You will need to appeal to the admissions authority of the school. For Foundation and Voluntary Aided Schools, this is the Governing Body of the school, and for Academy Schools, it is the Academy Trust. 

To appeal, take the following steps:

  • Tick the ‘appeal’ box under Section C on the Parent/Guardian reply form and return it by the requested date as shown on the response form.  This ensures the Local Authority is aware of your intentions.
  • Prepare and lodge your written appeal(s) with the school’s admission authority within the 20-school-day period. This date is mentioned on the individual school allocation statement, where it also gives information about the address to send your written appeal.  
  • You will need to use the correct appeal form for each school you are appealing to. Go to our page on School allocation statements and appeals to find the form for your school. You need to submit your appeal in writing, stating the reasons for wanting your child to attend that school.
  • If you are appealing for more than one school, you must write a separate letter of appeal for each school concerned. 

What happens if you appeal

If you receive an offer for a school, but decide appeal for one that you preferred, your original place will be held open for you until the result of the appeal is known. Your child’s name will also automatically be added to the waiting list for the school you are appealing to.

Appeals are heard by an independent panel which has the power to overrule the Admission Authority’s decision. Appeals are normally heard during Terms 5 & 6. You can attend the hearing, and you will receive information about what you need to do, nearer the time. If a place becomes available for your child in the meantime, the appeal hearing will be cancelled.

If at any time you decide to withdraw your formal appeal, you will need to confirm this in writing to the relevant Admissions Authority and to the Local Authority. At this point, you can decide if you would like your child to remain on the waiting list for the school.

Apply for a place at an alternative school

If you plan to apply for a place at an alternative school, you must tell us using your response form. 

Applying for a B&NES school

Your decision letter will include details of schools within Bath & North East Somerset which have places available at the time of writing. If you want to apply for an alternative school place, please tick the ‘new preference’ box under Section C of the response form and return it by the requested date, as shown on the response form.

Applying for a school outside B&NES

For details of places at schools outside Bath & North East Somerset, you should contact the LA in which the school is situated. You must still return your response form to us; please tick the ‘new preference’ box under Section C of the response form and return it by the requested date, as shown on the response form.

Taking up a place at an independent school

If you want to decline a school place offer because you have made alternative arrangements for your child at a fee-paying independent school, please complete Section B of the response form, so that we can update our records. 

How we manage alternative school applications

Please note the following conditions for applying for an alternative school:

  • You can still choose to apply to an alternative school, while you are lodging a formal appeal, and / or requesting to be kept on a school's waiting list
  • Completing a request for an alternative application does not guarantee that you will get a place at that school.
  • You cannot make a verbal request to apply to an alternative school. You can only apply with a written request on your offer response form.
  • We cannot make verbal offers of places at alternative schools. You will have to wait for written confirmation of whether your application has been successful.

Further advice

View our admissions booklets  for information about the admission policies and appeals procedures for all schools within this LA.

Primary and junior school admissions 2024/25

Secondary school admissions 2024/25