I emailed a few of my local schools to ask if I could visit before applying and one of them emailed back saying my daughter is much more likely to get a place if she attends their nursery first. I thought it had nothing to do with this and places were allocated by the LEA on a catchment/sibling basis? Or does this depend on the school? Its not a faith school or anything. Cheers for any advice
Hi, I live in Nottingham and the LEA admissions policy only mentions looked after children, catchment area and siblings. Do you think this school are just misinformed? Or it a deceiving way of getting kids into their nursery?? Or are they a special case for some reason? Hmmm
Benetint, If the school is a community school, then the LA (Nottingham City or Nottinghamshire) is the admission authority. Neither of these two LAs use admission criteria that give any priority to nursery children. So in this case the school is either misinformed or more likely telling a lie to get your child into the nursery. If however the school is a faith school or a foundation school then they could have in their own admission criteria priority for nursery children but it is not usual. The reason for this is that the admissions code says you can use it as a criteria but then the school needs to show that they are not disadvantaging children that are not in the nursery on admissions which is very difficult to prove. Most nurseries admit on either age or first come first serve, so I suspect you are being given poor info.
the lea may mention it in their info but is the actual school you are interested an lea controlled school? my nephews faith school prioritises pre-school and its in their criteria. They do this as they offer the free sessions plus cater from 8 -6pm so are not disadvantaging working parents (same as a private nursery). My DDs faith school does not prioritise pre school as they only operate a school day so that would disadvantage working parents - check individual schools policy.
As others have said, it depends. Some schools do give priority to children who attend the attached nursery but most don't. And some schools don't understand how admissions work and give poor advice, so you should check the school's admission criteria to see what they say.
Thanks everyone. The school I'm looking at is definitely LEA controlled.
I spoke to the LEA and they quite shirtily said "nursery has NO bearing on school places". So I rang back the school in question and they (quite shirtily) say IT DOES! So I rang back the LEA AGAIN and someone else said they are changing the policy from Sept 2012 - so apparently from then nursery will make a difference to applications. They still don't know where in the criteria it will sit though (in relation to siblings etc).
I have looked at Nottingham's 2012-13 agreed admission arrangements and they are in deed going to include nursery provision in the admission arrangements. In short the priority will be in the order, looked after children, siblings in catchment, catchment children, siblings out of catchment, those attending the nursery on the final date of application and then distance. So they are not actually giving much priority to the nursery and pupils in the nursery could easily still find themselves not getting a place if there a lot of catchment children who do not go to the nursery. I predict in 12 months time a lot of unhappy parents who think that because they have a nursery place they will get a school place, especially if the schools tell them that a nursery place gets them a school place.