Decision re primary school registration(6 Posts)
We are staying in a nice area around central London, obviously renting as we can't afford to buy a house yet.
I've been told by work colleagues I should start looking for a primary school now, even if the little one is only 4 months old.
The problem is, I have no idea where we'll be in 5 years time and I am a bit confused to be honest about how the system works.
We will try to buy a house at some point.
Generally speaking, what happens if we move house meanwhile and secondly, do we really have to register her so early?
Not unless you plan to go for a fee paying school. For state schools you would apply the January before she would start in September at aged 4, although you may want to consider catchment areas and proximity to schools when you eventually move. London can be tricky because of its high population density so where you might get a place could change from one year to next depending on local demand.
If you are looking at a state school you apply the January before they would start (which is the September before they turn 5). There is no system to register earlier. The only situation where I guess it might be different is if it was a church school and you were needing to attend a specific church. Private schools I guess maybe you do need to register.
State school you apply the January before they start. No early registration.
If you want to meet religious admission criteria you may need to put in years of attendance and baptise before six months though!
As others said, do not bother if you are going to a state school (unless it is a church school). However, if it is a non selective private school then you should register as soon as possible. In competitive London areas places go quickly. We registered our DD when she was a little over 1 yo. No schools had places only waiting lists. We got only one offer out of 3 schools, happily it was the school we wanted the most. So if you want a choice do it earlier than later.
unless it is a church school
Even with a church school you cannot register early. However you do need to check the admission criteria. Some Catholic schools give priority to pupils baptised within 6 months of birth. Most faith schools give priority to those who attend church regularly. In order to get priority you will need to give evidence that you have met the requirements.
But for actual applications other posters are correct. You apply through the LA. Your child can start school in the September following her fourth birthday, although by the time your child is old enough the government may have changed the rules to allow summer-born children to start a year later if the parents wish. The deadline for applications is mid-January in the year your child is due to start school and the LA will accept applications for a few months before that. You cannot apply before that and you don't get any priority for applying early.
The idea that you need to apply for a place at a state school almost as soon as your child is born is an annoyingly persistent myth.
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