Parental choice in education

New law in force

The Equality Act came into force on 1 October 2010. Some of the information on this page may be out of date. We are currently writing new guidance to reflect the changes to the law.

Parents can express a preference about which school their child attends in their catchment area. But local authorities (or education authorities in Scotland) don’t have to agree with that preference, particularly if a school is oversubscribed.

If your child is not offered a place at your preferred school, you can ask the local authority, or education authority, to explain the reasons and discuss your options with them. If you are still not satisfied, you can appeal (this means taking formal action).

Find out more about how to appeal in England and Wales from the government website Directgov.

Find out more about choosing a school and your rights in Scotland from the Scottish government website.

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