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When should I start thinking about primary school?

(15 Posts)
VioLetsMum1 Tue 18-Mar-14 01:51:21

My DD is three and goes to full time nursery. I don't know any of the other parents there except one. When talking to her the other day she started asking what primary school had I decided for DD. When I told her I hadn't actually thought about it yet she had a look of horror about her face and told me I must sort it out as soon as possible and she had with her son and how it was classed as outstanding blah blah blah. So when do I actually have to start finding one for her? Feeling a bit weird now and feel like I should have sorted it all a long time ago to get into a good school.

aufaniae Tue 18-Mar-14 01:57:29

When will your DD be 4?

If she turns 4 before September this year then you are late for applying, she needs a place sorted ASAP. Call your council today and ask them what to do.

If she's 4 after September, then you should start thinking about schools. If there is no good school near you, or no school you like, and you would c

aufaniae Tue 18-Mar-14 02:00:12

Oops! Hit post too soon.

Basically, if your DD is 4 after September and you would consider moving to get into a school you would like, then you need to start looking at schools ASAP to give you time to move.

Otherwise, there will be open days in the autumn and there will be an application deadline. Here it's mid-Jan but I think it may vary by area.

aufaniae Tue 18-Mar-14 02:03:50

If you have missed the deadline don't panic! There will be a process for late applications.

If there is a school you really like, but is likely to ve oversubscribed, get her name down on the waiting list for it as soon as you can. Then your DD may have to start somewhere you're not so keen on, but if/when a place becomes available you can decide if you think it's best to move her or not.

MrsCakesPremonition Tue 18-Mar-14 02:07:18

aufaniae is right. If your DD has her 4th birthday before September, you need to call your local authority asap as places for September 2014 were allocated a few weeks ago and you need to try and catch up.

If her birthday is after September you have about 8 or 9 months to find out about schools. Google your local authority/ county council - they should have a website giving you details of the admissions process and all the schools in your area.

MrsKCastle Tue 18-Mar-14 06:49:29

Just to add- the information above is valid for England, Scotland is definitely different and I think Wales and NI are as well. So let us know where you are and when shetturns 4 to make sure you've got the correct info.

aufaniae Tue 18-Mar-14 07:09:46

Good point MrsK, I was talking about the English system.

VioLetsMum1 Tue 18-Mar-14 11:30:55

She just turned three a few weeks ago. Thanks for the info

catkind Tue 18-Mar-14 11:38:39

Unless you're thinking about private school or moving to get into a catchment then you have plenty of time. Most primaries have open days or invite visits in the autumn term, we started looking at the beginning of September but some schools hadn't got their open days booked in yet so that wasn't late at all. Depending where you live there's often no actual choice about primary places anyway, there's only one we could get a place at.
Maybe your friend is sending her child to a school preschool from September? That won't make any difference to reception places though.

Oblomov Tue 18-Mar-14 11:50:49

I started thinking about schools for ds's as soon as they were born. Talk to your nursery about timetable and deadlines for applications. Ask them which schools they feed to and go and visit.

aufaniae Tue 18-Mar-14 11:57:16

Phew! You have time then. Perhaps your friend's DC turns 4 before September?

Worth starting looking at schools now IMO. If you're not sure where all the primaries are near you, a good tip is to have a look via Just look at any property in the area, go to the map for it, and select primary schools to be highlighted. If you click on them, you can follow the links through to their OFSTED reports.

Of course you can get a list from your local council, but I like visualising where they are, Rightmove is good for this I think.

TheGreatHunt Tue 18-Mar-14 12:44:54

Well unless you're planning to move or pay then you can't do a huge amount until the autumn.

VioLetsMum1 Tue 18-Mar-14 13:30:44

Oo never thought of looking at right move. Thanks. Been thinking about the school I went to but with it being an academy now there's a waiting list and they prioritise the people who live in the village where it is first. I live just outside the priority area, bit worried she'll miss out on a place unless i move back into the village.

noramum Tue 18-Mar-14 13:58:10

Your council may still have the admission booklet available for this year's entrance. This is a good starting point to see which schools are in your area, what the distance of the last years was and you can check what additional admission criteria other schools have.

Then in September contact all schools you think are a choice for you and arrange visits.

BambooBear13 Tue 18-Mar-14 20:31:05

I used right move when looking at houses for a move as our LA uses straight line distances, so you need to close to a school to get in. Our 2 neighbouring LAs use catchments however, so people there need to consult catchment maps. Go on your LA web site and start looking at options so you have plenty of time to do visits before you apply (in Autumn term, usually deadline mid Jan)

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