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Can some one explain the school selection for me please?

(7 Posts)
NeedACleverNN Fri 15-Apr-16 19:24:40

Dd is 3 and will be starting primary school in 2017.

She currently attends nursery

When do you start applying for schools?
How? Do nursery give you the paperwork or is it all online?
Can I start visiting schools now to begin to decide which are suitable?
How do I find out the results?
Anything else I should know?

Thank you

TeenAndTween Fri 15-Apr-16 20:02:32

You need to apply by January 2017
Most primaries hold open days in the autumn term, so autumn 2016 for you.

You can find Ofsted reports and other results online (search Ofsted XXX school) and 'Department of Education schools dashboard' or similar.

Be aware that results can as much be a reflection of area/intake as the school, and in grammar areas, can be affected by how much tutoring is being paid for externally.

Think about what is important to you. Academics, Sport, Pastoral. Pushy/relaxed.
Think about what you think about primary children doing homework.
Think whether you need before/after school childcare clubs.
The 'best' school may not be the best for your child.
School reputations take a long time to change, so make your own judgement.

Remember what suits your 4yo may not suit your 7-11 yo.

You can look on your LA site to see 'last distance offered' to see what chance you stand getting in. In ~May? (after this years offers next week) a list will be published for all schools. No point applying for schools you have no hope of getting in to. Make sure you do list a 'dead cert' somewhere. better a rubbish school on your doorstep than a rubbish one miles away.

I don't know re forms, I would expect nursery to give you one, but I wouldn't rely on it!

TeenAndTween Fri 15-Apr-16 20:05:26

If the school doesn't teach phonics properly then run a mile.
Ask re their y1 phonics test results.

NeedACleverNN Fri 15-Apr-16 20:06:49

Oh thank you very much

TheWoollybacksWife Fri 15-Apr-16 20:07:13

If you look at your County Council website it will probably give you a timetable for the application process this is the timetable for the current year for Northamptonshire.

Roughly the timetable for next year is...
Applications open Autumn 2016
Applications close January 2017
Allocations are made and notified to parents in April 2017

I applied online (my youngest is in year 4 now) and was notified by email - I'm not sure if some counties/boroughs still have the option of paper applications.

I would contact the schools you would consider and ask if you can look round. They may have open days or you can make an appointment to be shown round.

Some schools (faith schools for one) may have an additional form to fill in - for example this form may need to be signed by your minister of religion to prove your child has been baptised

NynaevesSister Sat 16-Apr-16 07:09:26

Work out which schools you are interested in now. How many preferences you get varies - in London parents get to put down 6 schools. In other parts of the country you get 3 or 4.

Many schools have Summer fetes and fairs. These are an opportunity for parents to get a limited look around and a feel for the school.

Keep in mind you are letting the local authority know your preferences - you are not actually choosing a school.

The local authority gives priority to applications from parents that are made on time when allocating Reception places. So it is important to get your application in smile

The school won't know where you list them in your application. They only know that you have applied.

The local authority sends the list of applications to the school, and it will put all applications in order according to how well the applications meet the school's admissions.

If you meet the admissions criteria for more than one school, the local authority will offer you your highest preferred school, and disregard the other offers - you will never know about them.

If you do not qualify for any of the schools on your list the local authority will allocate the nearest vacant school place to you AFTER all the preferred applications have been offered. This means it is likely to be an Undersubscribed no one wants.

It is advisable to always make sure that at least one option on your application is a school you are really sure you will get into even if it's one you aren't that keen on (but it's better than a school you don't want that's two buses away for instance).

donadumaurier Sat 16-Apr-16 10:34:27

You really need to think of it as less deciding which schools are suitable and more which ones you stand a chance of getting into. The system creates a false sense of 'choice.' Most parents have a choice in theory as to in which order they list schools on the application form, but no real choice at all as to which school their child ultimately ends up at.

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