Choosing a preschool based on the primary school it feeds

(9 Posts)
BellaTheGymnast Thu 15-Nov-12 13:31:49

We're lucky in that we live in a small town with good primary schools.

Primary School A is in our street, gets a mixture of 'outstanding' and 'very good' in its inspection report. It has an anecdotal reputation for being academically rigorous with more homework. I disagree with the idea of homework for tinies but the facilities are lovely and there is a focus on music, which OH and I are keen on.

Primary School B is a drive away, gets the occasional 'outstanding' but mostly 'very good' and the odd 'good'. It has slightly lower percentages of achievement in numeracy and literacy. Anecdotally has a good reputation, as its intake is from a more socially diverse area I've heard positive things re inclusion.

Crucially, our beloved childminder can't drive, but picks up from school B, and the preschool that feeds it. Both schools score well on parent satisfaction, happiness of children and pastoral care.

My question is (thanks if you're still reading!), would you choose the preschool that for now would be most convenient (ie the one attached to school B, where our CM can pick up), or try to decide a primary school now and choose the attached preschool?

Does choice of preschool even affect getting a place in a primary?

JackThePumpkinKing Thu 15-Nov-12 13:34:10

I'd choose the one that's most convenient for now - I don't think preschool has any bearing whatsoever on getting a place at primary school - the process is separate.

libelulle Thu 15-Nov-12 13:38:05

There are no 'feeder' nurseries as jack says - you'll get no priority in application terms. On the other hand, it might be useful for your DC, if they do end up going to the same primary school, to have prior knowledge of the lay of the land there.

ReallyTired England Thu 15-Nov-12 13:44:11

"Does choice of preschool even affect getting a place in a primary? "

Depends on the LEA rules. If the school is an academy then it will have its own admission rules.

There are web sites that tell you if your child would get into a particular school if you had applied last year.

If both schools are as good as you say then its unlikely that you have the option of school B. Depending your area's rules, priority may well be given to parents who put a school down as their first choice. It may well be that if you don't get school A you will be lumbered with school C, the sink school two miles down the road.

Choosing a pre school is different to choosing a school. Children do adapt if they have to go to a different school for reception.

Pancakeflipper Thu 15-Nov-12 13:48:59

Check your LEA rules. Our infant school doesn't care about what preschool you went to - its catchment and siblings that are priority - this is a school that's always oversubscribed.

BellaTheGymnast Thu 15-Nov-12 13:53:01

Thanks, wasn't expecting replies so quickly!

Yes, I really don't know whether attending a preschool helps you get a place, you hear things on the grapevine, but it's good to hear that there isn't a formal connection. That takes the pressure off, and we can apply for September for the one where our CM can pick up.

There are 3 other primaries within 3 miles, all of whom are good (haven't read their reports, just word from friends), so hopefully even if we end up with School C it would still work out.

ReallyTired, when you say it's unlikely we'd be offered B, is that because we're further away? If we were to put B as our first choice?

ReallyTired England Thu 15-Nov-12 14:01:19

"ReallyTired, when you say it's unlikely we'd be offered B, is that because we're further away? If we were to put B as our first choice? "

Are you in catchment for school B? Or is B a faith school? I would expect that both schools A and B are very over subscribed. School admissions are complex.

In my town you would not get a school that is Outstanding or even good with outstanding features unless its your nearest school. Children who are in catchment for a particular school have priority. Some of the academies also give priority to those who put a school as their first choice. Therefore to stand getting a place at an outstanding academy school you would have to be in catchment and put the school as first choice.

However admission rules vary from area to area. In reality parental choice is a bit of a myth. Everyone wants to send their child to an outstanding school.

BellaTheGymnast Thu 15-Nov-12 14:25:09

Thanks, will have a look for admissions criteria for the two primary schools and, unless it's advantageous to have been to the attached pre school I guess we can choose a preschool on the grounds of our lovely CM!

All this is quite baffling when it's your first child, isn't it? grin

libelulle Thu 15-Nov-12 19:58:35

Yes to reading the criteria and then putting your hands over your ears! You'll meet any number of parents over the next few years who claim that while the official criteria are x y z, really if your mum is chair of governors/knows someone high up in the council/etc etc, then it'll all be fine. They talk bollocks.

The chair of the governors of our local school told me in no uncertain terms that you'd be 'unofficially' rewarded for putting the school as a first choice. She was talking bollocks too and is mad as a box of frogs.

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