Guide to moving up to secondary school

Last updated: 2 September 2022

National Offer Day: your child's school place offer

National offer day

1 March 2023 is National Offer Day. This is when you'll receive your child’s secondary school offer if you applied on time.

If you applied using the online application portal, you can log into the portal to view and accept your child’s offer. You will also receive an email with details of your child’s offer.

If you applied using the application form and you included an email address or mobile phone number, you will receive an email or text with the outcome of your child’s application.

Respond to your child’s school place offer

By 11:59pm on 14 March, you need to tell us if you would like to:

  • accept the place offered
  • decline the place offered
  • remove your child from the waiting list of a school we could not offer

Submit your response on the online portal if you applied in this way. If this is not possible for any reason, or you applied using a paper form, contact us to tell us your response.

If you made your application to another local authority, you should respond directly to them, even if your response concerns a Buckinghamshire school. That local authority will share the information with us.

If you do not respond to your child’s offer

If you do not respond to your child’s offer by 11:59pm on 14 March, we will send you a reminder. If we receive no reply after this reminder, we will withdraw the offer we have made, and offer the place to another child.

If you are happy with the school your child has been offered

If your child has been offered a school that you are happy with, accept the place offered by 11:59pm on 14 March.

If applicable, also make sure you tell us to remove them from any waiting lists if you do not want them considered for any other school.

If you would prefer your child to be offered a place at a different school

Even if you would prefer your child to be offered a different school, it is sensible to accept the place offered for the time being. Accepting the place will not affect your child’s position on a waiting list or your chances of success at appeal. You can always decline the place later.

We will automatically add your child to the waiting list of higher preference schools, as long as they are eligible. We will then try to offer your child a place in a later allocation round.

You also have the right to lodge an admission appeal for any school you applied for, but that was not able to be offered. Bear in mind that there will be deadlines to lodge an appeal, and lodging an appeal late may mean that it is not considered until after the summer holidays.

If you need to change the schools in your child’s application, you can do so after 31 March.

If your child has not been offered any of the schools you applied for

We understand that it is disappointing for you and your child if a preferred school cannot be offered. In most instances, if your child is in this position, we will have offered a place at the nearest alternative school that has a place available: it is sensible to accept this offer.

Accepting the place will not affect your child’s position on a waiting list or your chances of success at appeal. You can always decline the place later.

We will automatically add your child to the waiting list of higher preference schools, as long as your child is eligible. We will then try to offer your child a place in a later allocation round.

You also have the right to lodge an admission appeal for any school you applied for, but that was not able to be offered. Bear in mind that there will be deadlines to lodge an appeal, and lodging an appeal late may mean that it is not considered until after the summer holidays.

If you need to change the schools in your child’s application, you can do so after 31 March.

If you do not need or want the place offered to your child

Your child may no longer need a place at a Buckinghamshire secondary school (for example, if you have accepted a place at an independent school, if you are moving out of the area, or if you have decided to home educate). If this is the case, please contact us by 11:59pm on 14 March to decline the place and let us know what arrangements you have made for your child’s education.

If you have not made alternative arrangements for your child’s education, we strongly advise you to accept the place offered for the time being. Accepting the place will not affect your child’s position on a waiting list or your chances of success at appeal.

We would like to remind the parents of all statutory school age children that it is your legal responsibility to ensure that your child receives a suitable education. Where we believe this may not be the case, during August we will ask the council’s Education Entitlement Team to check this with you.

The Education Entitlement Team will have details of the secondary schools in Buckinghamshire that still have places available, and they will discuss your options with you. They cannot give your child a place in a school that is full.