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Putting down DD for a school?

(19 Posts)
Filzma Sat 25-Nov-17 22:36:24

Hey y'all. First time mum and not entirely familiar with school systems in the UK. My DD is 14 months and just thinking of putting her into kindergarten/nursery and apparently there's a wait list. Do people apply or 'put down names' at birth?

How about school? What age does she join? She was born in August? Do I need to apply now? I'm really confused about all this. I'm not late, am I?

katycb Sun 26-Nov-17 18:08:16

First don't panic at all about school. You can't apply until the autumn before she would start so that would be autumn 2019 to start the following September. For a school Nursery she can start from the term after her 3rd birthday so have a look when you feel ready and put her me down but applications won't be until she is at least 2. For private nurseries they often take from birth so you could send her now but you would have to pay until there term after her 3rd birthday (some people get funding from 2 but only if you are on certain benefit or the child has sen) hope this helps kx

Filzma Mon 27-Nov-17 06:01:44

Thank you so much katy! Made lots of sense and weight off my shoulder lifted. Xx

rhocfan1 Mon 04-Dec-17 21:19:23

Hi. We put our daughters name down at our chosen school when she was 6 weeks of age. She went to a pre school when she was 2 and then in Jan this year she started at the school we'd chosen. Earlier the better I'd say. We've just chosen four schools for our daughter for full time in sept. You tend to have to put their name down as soon as you can as a lot of schools now are oversubscribed.

BackforGood Tue 05-Dec-17 22:34:59

The difference is if you are talking about state school - which is free to all - or Private school where places are paid for by the parents.
katycb is absolutely right for state school.
rhocfan1 OTOH is talking about Private school. In the UK I think it is only about 7% of folk that go to Private school so it really is very unusual for most of the UK. You do get skewed figures in some small areas however.

rhocfan1 Wed 06-Dec-17 10:09:01

She mentioned school places..I assumed she meant state school as private was never mentioned??

minipie Wed 06-Dec-17 10:19:11

Private primary schools = register asap

State primary = you don't need to do anything till the year before she will start (which is the September after she turns four).

However you might want to look into what the schools near you are like and what is their admission policy and catchment area - in other words are you likely to get her into a school you are happy with. If not you may wish to consider moving before school application time...

Nursery, do you mean daycare nursery or preschool?

BackforGood Wed 06-Dec-17 19:15:32

Well, in that case Rhoc - you can't put your child's name down at 6 weeks. Or indeed, at any time until the school admissions window opens in the Autumn before thy start Reception.

rhocfan1 Thu 07-Dec-17 21:40:17

We called the school when she was 6 weeks old and expressed an interest in their nursery. They took her name. She attended a private pre school at 2 years old and then when it came time to start school nursery we were sent a letter offering her a place in the afternoons so yes, you can put their name down for school nursery as early as you like. I've also worked in schools since 2005 so I'm aware of how it works. She actually had her name down for two diff schools but luckily the one we wanted contacted us first.

PatriciaHolm Sat 09-Dec-17 17:28:15

I think there is confusion about nursery vs reception here. For state school reception, you cannot put your name down early. Admissions open the autumn before the sept intake, and there is no way to apply earlier than that. All applications received by closing date are treated equally.

Nurseries operate different systems, and private schools are different again. For nurseries and private school, you need to check the individual requirements.

Filzma Tue 12-Dec-17 10:18:54

Thank you so much ladies!! In theory I knew there's private and public schools but didn't know the which I needed to put down names for. I know I could google but what is reception? Is that kindergarten?
Nursery is optional right? I'm going back to uni next year and want to leave DD at nursery.
Then reception?pre school?
Then primary school? What ages?
Sorry guys.

Also someone mentioned checking the schools in my catchment area...how do I check for quality of school and how well they do? Is there a rating of schools site? Or just word of mouth? I'd like to move early on if possible.

Thank you so much!! I appreciate all your replies.

minipie Tue 12-Dec-17 11:28:15

Reception is the first year of school. Children start in the September after they turn four and stay till the year they turn 11. This stage, 4 to 11 is primary school. Then they go to senior school (aka secondary school) from 11 to 16 or 18.

Admission procedure for reception is different for state vs private primary schools (see my post above).

(In the UK "public school" means a particular kind of private senior school, usually a very traditional boarding school. What the US would call public school, ie publicly funded and non fee paying, we would call state school).

There are two kinds of nursery. Daycare nursery is for childcare and usually runs 8am to 6pm or longer, 52 weeks a year. They take from babies upwards. Nursery school (aka preschool or kindergarten) is intended to be educational rather than for childcare and it runs term time only and usually mornings or afternoons only. They take from age 2 or 3 upwards.

It sounds like you need daycare nursery. In that case the answer is start looking for a space asap as they get booked up!

There aren't any state daycare nurseries. There are a few state nursery schools attached to state primary schools but not that many, most nursery schools are private too. However all nurseries (daycare or nursery school) are supposed to offer free govt funded hours to children over 3.

Filzma Tue 12-Dec-17 11:42:11

Minipie thank you so so much!! That really was useful especially the public and state school thing. I would never question my understanding of public school!!
So will quickly apply for nursery (day care) for DD. Then worry about the rest later on.
Oh and school rankings/ratings? Just to get an idea of what I'm looking for..

AssassinatedBeauty Tue 12-Dec-17 11:53:45

OFSTED is the govt organisation that inspects schools (also nurseries, pre-schools, childminders, nannies). They rate schools as either Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement or Inadequate.

Each school should provide a link to their most recent OFSTED report which details their grading, with reasons, and what the school may need to do to improve.

For me, the OFSTED report is one factor, but viewing the school and getting a feel for it is as important. Primary schools will do open days or tours when the application process is open for that year.

Filzma Tue 12-Dec-17 12:29:20

AssassinatedBeauty! Thank you so much. You're right, nothing beats visiting and getting to see the school teachers etc. Lovely!

Thank you so much ladies. That's a proper thing checked off the back of my head. 🙂 💕

minipie Tue 12-Dec-17 13:08:43

Agree with above re Ofsted but also getting a feel yourself, and chatting to local parents.

Also look on your local council's website for information about admission policies for your local state primary schools. There is a huge variety - some go purely on distance from school to home (and this distance varies year to year depending on number of applicants), some have a specific priority area, some prioritise families of a particular religion (🙄) etc.

AlexanderHamilton Tue 12-Dec-17 13:18:07

Rhocfan is wrong about nursery in some areas. In my area & many others school nursery admissions are handled by local authorities in exactly the same way as normal school places are & you apply before the closing date (in my area 5th March) to start the September after the child is 3 years old.

rhocfan1 Wed 13-Dec-17 20:37:11

Alexander how am I wrong? The state nurseries in my area aren't handled like applications to reception are at all but in order to get a place in a state nursery in our area you do have to put your child's name forwards as early as possible or you risk not getting a place when they turn 3. The one my daughter attends is over subscribed which means if their name isn't down early it's very unlikely you'll get a place in the term they are due to start..I know another mother who didn't get her child's name down early enough and her daughter now has to start there 6 months later than what she should have done (she should have started Jan 17 like my daughter did)..I wouldn't say that's wrong when I'm telling this lady to get her child's name down as soon as possible for state nursery if that's where she chooses to send her child. Better to do it early than risk missing a spot being available for your child, don't you think?

AlexanderHamilton Wed 13-Dec-17 22:52:22

I'm saying it's wrong "in some areas". Many areas you can't put your name down for state nurseries, you have to fill in the online application form by certain dates & places are allocated according to admissions criteria.

The info for particular areas is usually on the council websites.

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