National School Offer Day Tips

National school offer day is a big moment for many families in England. It’s when they find out which secondary school their child has been offered for September. For some, it’s a time of celebration and relief, but for others, it can be stressful and disappointing.

If you’re one of the parents or carers waiting for your child’s school offer, here are some tips to help you prepare and cope with the outcome.

  • Check your email or online portal. If you applied online for your child’s school place, you should receive an email with details of their offer on 1st March. You can also log into the online application portal to view and accept their offer. If you applied by post, you should receive a letter by 4 March 2023.
  • Accept or decline the offer. You have until 15 March 2023 to accept or decline your child’s school offer. If you accept it, you will secure their place at that school. If you decline it, you will lose their place and have to apply again through the late application process. You can only accept one offer at a time.
  • Consider your options if you’re unhappy with the offer. If your child did not get their first choice of school, or any of their preferences, you have some options to consider. You can:
    • Join a waiting list. You can ask to be added to the waiting list for any of the schools that you listed as preferences on your application form. Your child’s position on the waiting list will depend on how they meet the admission criteria for that school. There is no guarantee that a place will become available.
    • Appeal against the decision. You have the right to appeal against any school offer that you are unhappy with. You will need to fill in an appeal form and send it to the admission authority for that school by 29 March 2023. The appeal will be heard by an independent panel who will decide whether to uphold or reject your case.
    • Look for other schools with vacancies. You can contact your local authority to find out which schools still have places available after national offer day. You can then apply for these schools through the late application process.
  • Support your child emotionally. National offer day can be an emotional rollercoaster for both parents and children. Some children may be overjoyed with their offer, while others may feel sad, angry or anxious about going to a different school than they hoped for. It’s important to acknowledge your child’s feelings and help them cope with any challenges they may face.

Here are some ways you can support your child emotionally:

  • Celebrate their achievements and strengths. Remind them of all the things they have done well at primary school and how proud you are of them.
  • Listen to their worries and fears. Let them express how they feel about their school offer without judging or dismissing them.
  • Reassure them that they are not alone. Tell them that many other children go through similar situations and that they will make new friends at secondary school.
  • Encourage them to look at the positives. Help them see what opportunities and benefits their new school may offer them.
  • Involve them in planning ahead. Ask them what they are looking forward to at secondary school and what they need to do before September.

National offer day is a significant milestone in your child’s education journey. Whatever happens on that day, remember that there are always options available and that you can support your child through this transition.

You may also be interested in 13 plus preparation and preparation for occasional places. Please contact us on or 0203 488 1278 if you have any questions.