If we want to keep the door open to consider an appeal am I safe to assume I don't need to do anything yet other than state our preference for a GS on our admission application form
See the advice in E32 (e):http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... aneous#e32
It is repeated at the beginning of this thread:viewtopic.php?f=12&t=36418
In practice you may not wish to submit this evidence for an appeal if you don't think it's helpful, but at least you are keeping your options open.
Headteachers have been told that they are under no obligation to provide recommendation information to the Independent Appeal Panel and in this situation none of the standard review information will be made available for parents.
Tell your headteacher you want to keep your options open.
I understand that if the GS is first preference it will automatically be declined as she didn't pass, and then the next school (which is out of our ed authority) would consider our request - they wouldn't know they are second preference?
No - but to be honest it wouldn't matter if they did!