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Direct admission? Or through council?

(18 Posts)
BaileyLadapa Thu 16-Mar-17 17:14:41

I basically just moved backto the UK so,I have heard so many things about get your DS in the school,my DS is Oct2014 so,she will get into school when she's almost 5

Do I have to contact the school in my area? To be listed perhaps? I found state school which has really good report but of course should be long waiting list,what you guys suggest? And a bit confused with "Catchment area" how about the school out of my catchment but still have some spaces left for my DS,can I apply? Or no way jose! I actually live in Meir Heath (Stoke-on-trent) so,is anyone comes up and live nearby please advise for the school would be so much appreciated,state or private we wouldn't mind as long as it's good x

meditrina Thu 16-Mar-17 17:20:27

You make the application to the council responsible for where you live, and typically can list somewhere between 3 and 6 preferences (all in that form, even if some of your preferences are in another council,s patch.

Note that they're preferences not choices. The council will allocate yon the highest listed preference which you qualify for, and if you qualify for nine then you'll be allocated the nearest school with a vacancy.

So you need to use your choices wisely. Put the school you really love in first place (even if you're not remotely sure you'll qualify) use the middle choices for schools that like and would probably qualify for, and the final slot as the one you are pretty damned sure you'd get in to, even if you didn't like it that much (on the general basis that a school you're iffy about but which is convenient is better than one you've barely heard of, is quite possibly just as iffy and a pig to get to).

SprogletsMum Thu 16-Mar-17 17:23:13

I lI've near to you and have a very similar aged dc. Applications for school nursery will open on the councils website in October/November time. That is for a full time space from September 2018.

meditrina Thu 16-Mar-17 17:26:04

I'm assuming you're in England btw. You can apply to any school.

The catchment area is a formally defined area in which families have a higher priority for the school. So the oversubscription criteria (after LAC and SEN) would typically be something like

- siblings in catchment
- other catchment
- non-catchment siblings
- all other non-catchment

So yes you can apply, but you need to be realistic about the likelihood of the school being full before the non-catchment, non-sibling category is reached.

But, living in catchment may not be enough. If more children live in the catchment than there are places, then the tie-breaker is usually distance (could be lottery). You also need to look at the 'greatest distance offered' for the category your DC would be in. That'll show you if you are likely to get an offer (though it can vary wildly between years depending on number of siblings and whether there has been new housing built).

FiveMinutesAlone Thu 16-Mar-17 17:32:32

For state schools, for entry to Reception, applications are usually done online via the local council. Details of how to apply should be somewhere on your councils website.

The way it usually works is, all applications are done via the council. No waiting lists etc held by schools.
Theres a window for making applications - e.g. for entry to Reception in September 2018, you would be expected to complete an application sometime between September 2017 and mid-January 2018 (but check with your council for exact dates).

You can list a number of preferred schools - 3 where I live, but the number varies by area.

Once the application deadline has passed, the council rank all applications against the admissions criteria for each school.
These rankings are used together with your stated preferences to determine which school you're offered e.g. if you would qualify for a place in all your preferred schools, they offer you a place at your highest preferred school. If you don't qualify for any of your preferred schools, you'll be offered a place at the nearest school with places left.
Usually if schools have defined catchment areas, then children living in catchment get priority, but if there's more spaces than children living in catchment, then children living outside the catchment can be offered places.

You need to read up about the admissions criteria where you live. The council might have published information that lets you see how oversubscribed local schools are. If they do, that should help to give you an idea of how likely you are to get into schools you like.

BaileyLadapa Thu 16-Mar-17 19:09:19

Thank you so much guys,I am totally lost and don't know whom I'm going to ask.Moved here for almost a year now and will start her nursery next month that's come to the point why I've keen to know about education system here,same as my husband since he also away from the country for 10 years,appreciated all the advice x

BaileyLadapa Thu 16-Mar-17 19:14:28

Dear Sprogletsmum:Any school in your mind? Shall we view the school before making the decision? Sorry if my question seems silly :-s forgive me for that,just curious though x

FiveMinutesAlone Thu 16-Mar-17 20:02:30

When we were considering primary schools, all the ones we were interested in either had open evenings for prospective parents, or were happy to let us make an appointment to come in for a look around during a school day.

This was fairly early on in the autumn term.

BaileyLadapa Thu 16-Mar-17 21:00:52

Found 2-3 schools in my mind already,some said apart from good report,don't forget to look at the afterschool activities as well,anything else I should look into?


SprogletsMum Thu 16-Mar-17 22:25:35

As far as I know, all the schools close to you are good but I find the best thing to do is speak to people with children at the school. Find out what they like or don't like about them.
We don't really struggle for school spaces around here, not like I've seen some people talk about on here.

noramum Thu 16-Mar-17 22:34:44

Schools will offer open mornings where you can tour the school and talk to teacher/heads. These are normally between September - December. But you can check with schools beforehand and ask about how they do this.

Would you need childcare? If so, then looking for before/after school clubs is good or where childminder are. Often Reception children are excluded from after school clubs, mainly to allow them to relax as it is a lot to take in, even for the older ones. These clubs normally do not cater as childcare, ours can be cancelled when there are school events and normally start later/finish earlier than the term itself.

BaileyLadapa Thu 16-Mar-17 23:24:29

I don't need a childcare since I'm full-time mum but I think it's nice to have some school club such as swimming class if that school won't provided or I heard about kidclub called "rainbow" it is good idea to get to know other children from different school as well,let's see what she up to in the future then x

BaileyLadapa Thu 16-Mar-17 23:27:23

I'm so relief I heard that from you Sprogletsmum that we don't have a pack jammed trying to get in a school,Have you heard about forsbrook primary on Blythe Bridge? Nice to know that you're not far from here and similar age for young one x

RueDeWakening Fri 17-Mar-17 14:29:29

Rainbows is part of Girlguiding UK, for girls aged 5-7 years old.

You can register your interest in it via this link, it's not related to school so each unit is likely to have girls from more than one local school attending.

I run a Rainbow unit and we draw our members from 6 different primary schools currently.

TeenAndTween Fri 17-Mar-17 15:59:51

Your DS is born Oct 2014.
So he will turn 5 in Oct 2019.

So you need to apply for a state primary by January 2019, applications opening September 2018. Schools will hold open days in September / October 2018. You should try to visit the ones that you are considering then to see how you feel about them.


If you are willing / wanting to pay for schooling then private schools have different systems. Yes you do have to contact the schools directly and you do have to put names down on waiting lists sooner rather than later. Some schools are selective at age 4 and may require entrance 'assessments'.

BaileyLadapa Fri 17-Mar-17 16:12:40

Dear : Ruedewakening
Glad to hear you run the rainbow,shall I wait for my girl turns 5 or can apply now so,her name will be on the waiting list?

RueDeWakening Fri 17-Mar-17 21:57:16

You can apply at any time - if you apply now, her name will be held on a waiting list until she's old enough. You can identify three different units that you're interested in - the website will give you a map showing your local units. If things change before she is 5, you will be able to log back in and amend your details, so make sure you keep the email you get!

BaileyLadapa Fri 17-Mar-17 22:18:41

Dear : RueDeWakening I did it and bunch of units around my house,can't wait for her to join x Thank you and looking forward to be the part of the club soon x

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