This was the first preference school, so it may be that your daughter was offered places by lower ranked schools, which were then re-allocated because the LEA had erroneously recorded that she had a place at a higher ranked school. The audit reports should show whether this happened. If it did, perhaps appealing to those schools, or going on their waiting lists, would be helpful, if only as a backup plan. If those schools are community or voluntary controlled, i.e. their admissions are handled by same LEA that made this mistake, you ought to have a strong case at appeal.
It would also be useful to know exactly when the LEA was notified of their mistake. It seems that this was after allocation day, when all the damage was already done.
Thanks. The LEA say that our daughter has not been disadvantaged as regards our other preferences as our applications for these schools were also unsuccesful. We have gone on the waiting lists for the other schools and will probably appeal as a backup as suggested, neither are community or voluntary controlled schools by the same LEA. How would we get the audit reports - freedom of information act request? The deadlines are tight for appeals.
We have asked the school for a timeline, and the LEA, of when the mistake was notified. We believe the school has a list of allocations from the LEA before the offers arrive with the parents which they are supposed to check against the school's own allocation list. At this stage they may have been able to phone us and withdraw the offer, via the governors sub-committee or otherwise, before it was communicated to us or our daughter causing less distress.