Secondary School National Offer Day: What happens next?

If you’ve applied for a primary or secondary state school in England, here’s everything you need to know about National Offer Day.


When is National Offer Day in England in 2022? 

National Offer Day in England for secondary schools is Tuesday 1 March and National Offer Day for Primary schools is Tuesday 19 April. 


What happens on National Offer Day? 

You will have applied for a place via your local authority and they will send you an email to let you know which school your child has been offered. Make sure you check your Spam folder. You can also log in to your Local Authority’s (LA) education portal. Find your Local Authority Online Portal. In most cases, your offer will be your number one preference. 


What happens if you don’t get your first choice school? 

If your child has not been offered a place at your #1 school, they will be added to a waiting list for of all schools that were ranked higher than the school offered in your application automatically. 

You can also apply for new schools that were not on your submitted list of preferences. Also, if you are unhappy with the school you have been allocated, you can also appeal. 


Should you accept the school place even if you are unhappy? 

Yes, accept the place by the deadline date – usually around 10 days after National Offer Day – to make sure your child has a school place guaranteed. You can then work on next steps secure in the knowledge your child has one option in the bag. 


How do school waiting lists work? 

You automatically get added to the wait list of your preferred school and your position on the list will depend on the school’s own admission policy in terms of priority giving to children based on specified factors. The LA’s education portal will show your position on the list. There is generally a lot of change between National Offer Day and the first day of school – places can and do become available. 


How do I appeal if I am not happy with my child's allocated school? 

Local Authority’s accept appeals before the deadline, usually at the end of March for secondary schools. You have a legal right to appeal to any of the schools on your original application. 


Can I get into a school out of catchment? 

We explain more about how to get into a school out of catchment over on our dedicated Catchment Area FAQs