you mentioned a second round of allocation, when and how to apply?
I suggest parents ask the LA now if they can change their preferences (assuming that's what they want to do).
So what is the chance of getting a place in either schools when they have already refused you based on the fact that you are not in the catchment?
I assume that means they are oversubscribed with in-catchment children? (If they were undersubscribed, they couldn't refuse just because parents aren't in catchment!)
If parents don't want to change their preferences, they can appeal. Not sure anyone can really say what their chances are - it depends on a number of factors:http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... school#c20
They can also go on the waiting list. When things have settled down the LA should be able to say where they are on the waiting list. That will give them a clue as to what their chances are. However, the waiting list order isn't set in stone - it could change at any time.
What happens when all fails? Where would the child go?
I'm afraid that becomes the parents' problem, as the LA has fulfilled its obligations by offering a school place.
As Booklady pointed out, for the time being they should have accepted the school offered.
They could check with the LA to see if the offer is still available.
If the council advice is to accept and then appeal (or waiting list), why send the form to ask parents to accept or decline the place at the allocated school?
Some parents will have the offer of a school place that they no longer need. They might be moving away from the area, or they might have got a place at an independent school, or they might be 'home educating'. The LA needs clarity so that any spare places can be reallocated as soon as possible.