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Finding a school place - help please!

(4 Posts)
Zeeky Mon 18-Jul-11 22:37:30

Looks like we are relocating to Northamptonshire in the autumn. DS due to start reception in September. I am about to start looking into finding him a school in Northants but haven't a clue where to start! There are lots and lots of villages in south Northamptonshire (the area we would be moving to) & each has a primary school. Do I start reading the ofsted reports of all of them to work out which are the good ones? Do I phone the schools to see if they have a place for him? Would the local authority be able to give me a list of schools with places? Or should we just pick a nice place to live/see where we find a house & then try to get ds into a local school? I am so confused as to where to begin!

Also I am a little concerned about poor ds starting school in September, and then just as he is settling there we move him to a different school! He's already quite anxious about going to "big school" in September. I'm guessing that we may be able to defer him starting until Jan (as he is only 4 in Aug) which would at least buy us some time in finding a school for him & avoid him having to start in sept.

Any advice as to how we proceed would be greatly appreciated! DH is very unwilling to discuss anything to do with the move at the moment as his job offer has not been finalised, but this school issue is really playing on my mind, & once DH signs the new contract I know it will be all hell let loose trying to sort out the whole relocation!

skybluepearl Mon 18-Jul-11 22:44:29

i would probably work out which schools you like the look of and ring them direct. Do know exactly which area you are going to live in?

LawrieMarlow Mon 18-Jul-11 23:16:50

Last year we moved to York and I had a spreadsheet of virtually every primary school in York. I looked at Ofsted reports which narrowed it down a little bit. Then I emailed all the schools to find out whether there was any possibility of a space for both DS (then Year 1) and DD (to be reception). Then made two lightning visits up here to view 13 schools. I made notes on each one and some were removed from the list and others stayed. Then found house (we rent) and chose one of the schools.

Now the LEA has taken over admissions in all year groups I think, but individual schools may be able to let you know whether there are any available places. I personally found looking at schools first better, particularly as I needed places for two children and didn't want to be in the situation where I would have a place for one and not the other.

I used this website to find schools and I think searched on the postcode of my H's place of work.

prh47bridge Tue 19-Jul-11 00:46:58

You will have to apply to the LA for admission to any school. They should be able to tell you which schools have places, although that may change between now and the time of your move.

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