National secondary school offer day 2014 is on Monday, March 4.
Today parents will find out which secondary school their child has been allocated for the academic year starting in September. After months of waiting and with initial reports that one in seven children are missing out on their first choice schools, today may be a stressful day.
Whatever the outcome, it's important to try and stay calm and positive for the sake of your child. Remember, if you don't get the place of your choice, it's not your fault, it's definitely not your child's fault, it's just the system of 'choice, no choice' we have today.
Parentdish editor Tamsin Kelly says: 'All parents want is for our children to go to a good, local school. It's not much to ask but, sadly, in many oversubscribed areas it seems that is too much to expect. After weeks of increasing anxiety, National Offer Day is a day of disappointment for too many parents.
So once you've received your offer, either by letter, email or logging on to your local authority's website, what should you do? Well, if it's good news, you simply have to accept and sit back and feel relieved until September.
If you've been allocated a school you're not happy with you can ask to be placed on a waiting list (some successful pupils may decide to go private, move house or decide on home schooling) or you can make an appeal (details here). Be warned, this is a stressful experience, and in some cases it may be best to try and look for the positives of the school you have been given.
Each year, it is estimated that up to 100,000 children and their parents are not given their first choice of school. If you're one of those it's important to stay calm, however panicked and upset you might feel.
Here are our top tips for surviving the high emotions in the school playground this week:
1. If you are pleased with your child' school place, show some empathy and whatever you do, do not go in for smuggery, whooping or hugging. You can do all that before you arrive at school.
2. If you are disappointed, try very hard not to show this to your child. Come with them to school if at all possible and shield them from the 'what did you get? where are you going?' battery of questions. Provide them with a clear response: 'I've got into x school which is good because...'
3. Steer clear of Facebook showing off. Your true friends and family will know the outcome. Do you really want to rub salt in other people's wounds?
You can find more about how to appeal and how to prepare yourself and your child for different outcomes with our dedicated guides:
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