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Nursery places at state primary schools

(10 Posts)
12Poppyfield Thu 14-Mar-13 11:06:03

hi all

I'm new to Edinburgh and confused about the system for nursery places - was hoping someone could take pity on me and explain how it works!

DS1 is 2.9 and I'm only just getting round to thinking about nursery (from what I can gather it seems I have left it very late but we didn't know we were moving here until recently...). Until now he has just been at home / toddler groups, but want him to start socialising more with other children, and was hoping to use the '15 hours at 3' for a nursery place at one of the schools near us, ideally from September this year, i.e. term after he turns 3.

Having looked at the council website, I can't work out whether there is any prospect of him getting a place in September. On the one hand it says that places are allocated strictly according to age, so I understand that 4 year olds would take priority so that they get at least one year of nursery before starting school - but then it also recommends that you apply early, as soon as the child turns 2, which would suggest that there is also some kind of 'first come first served' element to it, in which case I'm probably at the back of the queue. Does anyone know how this works, e.g. do they give places to all 4 year olds first based on birth date, and then look at 3 year olds in order of application date??

We could do mornings or afternoons - do you know whether one tends to be more popular than the other and if so which we'd be better applying for to have a better chance of getting a place?

And do places come up throughout the year, or if we don't get a place in September would it be a case of waiting until the following year?

Finally (sorry, lots of questions!!!), do you know how far in advance they allocate places, i.e. when would we expect to find out if he had a place for this September?

I called one school and they said that I was welcome to drop off an application form but that they couldn't tell me anything about waiting lists etc....

Thanks very much for reading!

catdil Thu 14-Mar-13 13:13:04

You are aware that catchments do NOT apply for nurseries so people out of catchment can get a place before you if they applied before you?
Some nurseries are also community nurseries so I have to take a turn to run as well - just worth checking. What areas are you looking at?

12Poppyfield Thu 14-Mar-13 14:50:32

thanks catdil - yes I knew that about catchment areas and that being at a nursery seems to make no difference to whether you get a place at the school. Thanks for tip about community nurseries, I think I heard there may be one like that at greenbank church - we're south edinburgh, so that would be driveable for us, or anywhere craiglockhart/fairmilehead/buckstone/
morningside/merchiston sort of areas.

catdil Thu 14-Mar-13 15:02:41

So Bruntsfield is definatly a community nursery but gilespies is not. Former only has am sessions whereas latter has am and pm and devides the 3 and 4 year olds that way. There is also a holy corner and green bank playgroup I think. I am Bruntsfield based myself so can ask at school gates if you need more info (had to do private nursery myself as I work). St. Peter's also have a nursery as does tollcross

catdil Thu 14-Mar-13 15:04:27

Most people expect to hear after easter for August intake. Others may get in through year as and when places become available. I believe most people apply as soon as they can and often to more than one!

Daisydimple Thu 14-Mar-13 18:01:16

In Scotland you get 12.5 "free hours" not 15 , our pre school does 2 sessions 9-11.35am and 12.35 - 3.10pm. The morning sessions are the ones that parents seem to want so you may struggle to get a morning place. We are currently offering places for session 2013/14 to our current anti pre schoolers and when we know returning numbers we will start offering the remaining places to new children. It's definitely not too late to get your son's name on waiting lists at least then you will hopefully have a place for his pre school year if not sooner. Good luck with your search!

12Poppyfield Thu 14-Mar-13 19:31:16

Thank you both, that's really helpful - getting straight onto it now!!

GrooveeCar Fri 15-Mar-13 13:56:05

It depends from nursery to nursery. A lot still do 4 years old in the morning and 3 year olds in the afternoon. Then others do mixed sessions. They take them in birth order, so often anyone from October onwards can miss out on a 3 year old place as there are a lot of 4 year olds in one area. You can apply to 3 schools for nursery places and if you contact the council or pop in to your local school they will give you a form and you state the 3 schools you want on it.

Most nurseries will start to look at their lists after the Easter Holidays as to what places they can offer as all the deferal forms should be in and they then ask which children will be returning after the summer. So applying ASAP to a council nursery would be the best thing.

WillPenn Sun 24-Mar-13 21:57:27

Can I recommend Tynecastle Nursery School. It is a state nursery in Gorgie, over the road from the city farm. Both of my DDs have been there, and have loved every minute. The staff are amazing and it has a wonderful garden. It often gets overlooked as it is in the shadow of Tynecastle football stadium so it might have places available.

Photog Sun 07-Apr-13 16:42:36

In the past the nursery for Sth Morningside primary at Fairimilehead has had spaces, especially afternoons. Also you can use you 12.5 hours funding at private partnership nurseries, eg Headstart at Morningside.

And I agrre tynecastle is a great nusrery, but usually places are hard to come by.

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