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When and where to start with school registration

(16 Posts)
IWannaBeLikeYou Mon 16-Jul-07 10:22:49

My DS is 3 yrs and 3 mths and I believe it would be about time to register him for school. I'm not very familiar with the school system in England so any real life experience and advice from other parents and teachers would be much appreciated.
I know the law says a child has to start school no later than the first term school after their fifth birthday ? Does that mean DS can start school Sep 2008 when he will be 4.5 or do we wait until 2009?
If he can start Sep 2008 do we need to register him already or when is the registration normally done?
I have so many more questions on the subject, but I'll stop here to keep it short

iota Mon 16-Jul-07 10:28:59

You need to ring your local council for info as it varies from county to county. My local council starts the children in Reception from the September after they are 4 for example.

IWannaBeLikeYou Mon 16-Jul-07 13:31:25

This may sound a bit silly, but does the local council normally send out any info to parents or is it up to us to get "informed" on the policies and practice?

shergar Mon 16-Jul-07 13:34:40

A pack automatically arrived in the post for me well before the admissions forms needed to be completed (which is all online here) - I'm in Herts. Not even sure how they knew about me as I was fairly recently moved to a new area!

Thelittlesoldiersmummy Mon 16-Jul-07 13:35:29

Hi My DS was 3 in June and i registered him in the school we like last week he will start Sept 2008 - If you want to make sure he gets in the school of your choice best to register him as soon as you can !

throckenholt Mon 16-Jul-07 13:37:42

does he go to a playgroup or nursery ? Often you will get information sent out via that.

Best to just ring the local education authority (would be on the county council website) and ask.

In Norfolk info packs and application forms are sent out in the autumn.

Another alternative would be to make appointments to visit the local schools to see which you like and ask them what the procedure is. But that will probably h ave to wait til the autumn term now since it is almost the end of term for most.

coppertop Mon 16-Jul-07 13:38:43

The majority of families seem to get a form sent directly to their homes without requesting one. It seems to depend on whether your child's name and date of birth are on the council's list or not. Notices are put up informing parents that if their child was born between 2 particular dates then their child will need to be registered with a school by the named closing date. It gives you the number to call if you haven't already had a form.

Procedures seem to vary depending on where you are but here the forms are sent out in Sept/Oct and have to be returned by mid-December. You get the results the following Spring and your child starts school in the September after their 4th birthday.

It's worth doing a search for your town/city and "school admissions". It will probably only tell you what happened last year but will be a good indicator of what to expect for this year.

IWannaBeLikeYou Mon 16-Jul-07 13:45:26

We are in Merton and DS goes to a private nursery full time, but we haven't received any info at all and I started to panic that we may be late too start this whole school process ...
I will ring the council and ask for details.
I also rang one of the local schools and indeed they said I will only be able to visit the school next term ... but wouldn't that be too late for registration?

Also, do children born in March generally go to school in September following their fourth birthday?

coppertop Mon 16-Jul-07 13:50:59

Just did a search here and it looks as though you can get the application forms from September onwards. It also says that there will be no January intakes so your ds will start in September 2008.

That's if I've got the right Merton.

Smithy Mon 16-Jul-07 13:55:40

In our LEA (Bracknell Forest), if your child is due to start in reception in September 2008, you register your child's name with the Schools Admission Team now and they then send the relevant application forms for Primary/Secondary School in November. The applications have to be in by February for processing and the places are allocated accordingly. Places are confirmed in April. Believe online applications are now possible in this area. HTH.

IWannaBeLikeYou Mon 16-Jul-07 14:03:47

Thank you very much everyone. I'm just reading on the merton.gov.uk site about school admission ...

Another question. Is there any advantage in sending a child to the nursery attached to the school we would prefer him to go to?

mankyscotslass Mon 16-Jul-07 14:08:18

It depends...my eldest went to the nursery attached to the school he now attends. They told us they could not promise a place in school by his attendance at nursery, buthe got in. This year there are 7 children from nursery who never got a place in reception due to the sibling rule, apparently out of 60 reception places, something like 50 were taken by siblings!
There are loads of appeals going on over it now!

IWannaBeLikeYou Mon 16-Jul-07 14:15:36

I understand the school doesn't guarantee a place for children attending their nursery, but is it better for a child to go to a nursery attached to a school? I mean does it prepare them better for school, do they learn more, are the activities more "formal" than in private nurseries?

gemmiegoatlegs Mon 16-Jul-07 14:20:55

i don't think school nurseries are generally superior to private nurseries, but they do give children a feel for the school which helps when they start full time. Also at ds' school nursery, the little kids can drift into reception and year 1 at various times if they fancy a bit more hardcore learning!

mankyscotslass Mon 16-Jul-07 14:22:16

WEll, I think ours was very much a part of the whole "infant" set up at school. They wore the school uniform, and took part in the reception class Nativity play, and in the last term of the school year they had story time and carpet time with the reception children and teachers, so they were familiar with the school ethos and the teachers. So in that repsect I think it was useful for my DS. But a few of his friends never went to the nursery and settled fine into the new school and friendship groups, and several children who had gone to the nursery struggled for a few weeks with the change. So imo, I think it has more to do with the child really, and what they are like

Smithy Mon 16-Jul-07 14:35:13

DS2 attends the Primary School nusery (ds1 also went there and he's about to start year 1 in September). DS2 wears the same uniform and is in a building at the same location as ds1. This is good for school drop off/pick up. Also the nursery is "integrated" into the main school, they use the resources (ICT, hall, playground). They are familiar with the school which makes transition into reception easier. Of course, there is the application process to go through which is handled by the LEA but we are in catchment and have a sibling at the school so I'm not overly concerned.

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