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Schooling...when do you kick off the whole process?

(22 Posts)
Adeona Sat 27-Oct-12 22:26:38

My son is 2.5 and goes to a private nursery. I know it's still a little while before he goes to school but I was just wondering when we should start thinking seriously about this. We're thinking of moving soon although we don't know exactly which area we'll be in but it means we will have the flexibility to choose good catchement areas, providing we are lucky to find a house we can afford in the area of our choice.
My son will be 3 in Feb next year. Does that mean he can start school in sep when he is 3.5 or would he have to wait until he is 4 so sep 2014? How do I get a list of the good school in the area where i live? do I have to contact the council or is there a website where I can enter the postcode and get a list of schools with ofsted reports etc. I would be grateful for any advice as hubby and I are totally clueless.

clemetteattlee Sat 27-Oct-12 22:31:02

They start the September after they are four (so in your case Sept 14) and you apply next autumn (2013). If you go to your county council website there will be links to your nearest schools, their catchment areas and their OFSTED reports.

didireallysaythat Sat 27-Oct-12 22:34:36

He'll start school the academic year he turns 5 (at least in England). The website of your county council will list schools so you can (probably search by postcode). Worth checking if your sons year group is a large one - if so you may have to live on the doorstep of the school you want him to go to to get in.

Adeona Sat 27-Oct-12 22:36:09

Thank you so much for the quick reply. I am so relieved that my son won't have to start school until 2014, the thought totally freaks me out although I'm sure when the time comes I will cope well but for now at least I can relax and use the time to get information to make a smooth transition when the time comes.

Adeona Sat 27-Oct-12 22:38:20

Fair point didireallysaythat. How do I find out if it's a large year group? by contacting the school?

IwishIwasmoreorganised Sat 27-Oct-12 22:40:11

Here in Wales, children in some areas start school full time in the academic year that they turn 4, so that would be next September (2013).

In most areas though, they start half days at school nursery in the term after they are 3, so that would be next Easter for you.

Depends on where you're looking to move to.

clemetteattlee Sat 27-Oct-12 22:41:33

Half days are by no means compulsory though.

Adeona Sat 27-Oct-12 22:44:23

Oh I see, we're in England so hopefully that doesn't apply to us!

We don't have to worry about half days as my son is at nursery full time and will remain there until he starts school.

ChippyMinton Sat 27-Oct-12 22:47:33

To start Sept 14, you will probably have to apply at the start of the year - it varies by LEA (Local Education Authority ie your local county or unitary council).

Not to panic you, but that gives you about a year to move house.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Sat 27-Oct-12 22:51:39

No clemette you're right they're it compulsory. Around here lots of children go to Welsh school so many do attend the nurseries (meithrin) in order to really get going with or consolidate their Welsh.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Sat 27-Oct-12 22:52:09

Should say not not it, sorry!

clemetteattlee Sat 27-Oct-12 23:50:30

Out of interest, are the children of working parents then disadvantaged by not being able to attend part-time or do the private nurseries teach Welsh too?

noramum Sun 28-Oct-12 12:06:36

We were in a similar position and started the house hunting process when DD was just under 3 years. We looked at areas with good primary schools, looked at distances of the previous years (by no mean reliable but an indication) and this can be obtain with this years admission papers. Looking now will give you an idea if your LEA's time table. You need to have moved by the time of the deadline, later changes are virtually impossible.

midseasonsale Sun 28-Oct-12 12:11:35

Work backwards. Find a secondary school with a great reputation, then look at great primary schools that are with in catchment of the fab secondary school. And yes start looking not at primary schools. Mention moving areas during the initial phone call.

midseasonsale Sun 28-Oct-12 12:13:00

If in England your son will need to wait till Sept 2014 when he is 4

midseasonsale Sun 28-Oct-12 12:14:31

but school applications take place about 9 months before - so make sure you are in catchment by then

MrsJamin Sun 28-Oct-12 12:15:30

I found this website useful

Adeona Mon 29-Oct-12 21:03:35

Thank you all very much. Mrs Jasmin that's a very good link thank you. We are hoping to buy a house by June next year so that's enough time hopefully!

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 29-Oct-12 21:24:16

That's a very interesting site MrsJ, I don't suppose you know of an equivalent site for welsh schools do you?

Clemette. There are a few private nurseries where welsh is spoken, but they are few and far between. Most working parents like us had to switch from using a private nursery to using a childminder to be able to take advantage and get our ds's into meithrin . That brought along a whole host of other problems that we'd never had with nursery. I have now managed to swap jobs to work around school hours now that they're both in full time education.

Lots of people say that childcare gets easier once they go to school. Unfortunately that wasn't our experience.

clemetteattlee Mon 29-Oct-12 22:58:01

No, it hasn't been ours either!

AntoinetteCosway Mon 29-Oct-12 23:04:43

Sorry to hijack your thread OP, but does anyone know what happens to children with September birthdays? DD's birthday is mid-September, and she'll turn 4 in 2015. So does that mean she won't start school until September 2016, just before her 5th birthday?

clemetteattlee Mon 29-Oct-12 23:38:11

That's right Antoinette.

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