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Primary school-where do I begin(12 Posts)
My kid just turned 3 and someone told me I should start looking into schools for next year. I don’t know where to begin... we would like to move house by next year but it’s not 100% that we will be able to and I’d also like him to go to a catholic school as I’ve heard they are more strict on discipline...we are catholic but don’t really go to church.
So where do I start? There are so many schools and it’s all very confusing for me as I’ve only attended university in the UK.
Also how does the system work? I’ve heard all sorts of stories that some types of school promote college while others promote university...
If you look on the local authority/council website under Education it should explain the process and list the local schools. Primary schools usually have open days in the autumn to enable you to visit. Also refer to the Ofsted reports. I don't think you can generalise on Catholic, or any particular type of schools having stronger discipline and you may find you need to have had your dc baptised as babies and regular attendance certified by the priest in order to be considered as a Catholic applicant with any admissions priority that may offer. Again the entry criteria and last year's admissions numbers under relevant categories such as Looked After Children, Special needs, Faith, siblings , distance should be on the website or available in a printed booklet via nursery or library. You have until January 2020 to apply.
Look up your local schools (or where you want to live) remember catholic schools have specific entry information usually it's baptism plus a letter from your priest about attendance to get a reserved place (around 20% of spaces go to others without specific Catholic Church attendance )
Try to move house well before the January deadline if you're going to. We ended up moving at around that time and it was stressful.
My goodness, this sounds very stressful. My son is baptised in the catholic faith and so am I, we do attend church but not on a regular basis and not in the UK. We are not English. So do I just check the best schools on the website and I apply to those? Does it matter how soon I apply? What if I want him to go to school in a different area than where we live given that we might move, or do we have to move first and then apply in that area?
Thanks so much for the guidance, where I’ve attended school it’s a lot easier, you go to whichever school you want and it’s first come first served, or you go to the school where your parents and great parents went...like tradition
You don't "apply" to the schools direct (or at all really) You list your preferences (in order) via your LA (you get 3-6 preferences depending on where you live). You should include a 'banker' so one school you are almost 100% likely to 'get' as per admission guidelines.
Admission guidelines will have categories- so highest priority will usually be Looked After Children, then it may be those with siblings, or it may be those with siblings in a defined catchment area. You'll need to work out for each school you're interested in where you'd rank in the admissions criteria and then judge how likely you are to get a place. Good luck
I think you need to move and then apply from there.
As long as your child is registered to a GP with up to date address information you will receive a letter from your education service. This will explain the application process as will the website. There is a time frame in which you apply again this information will be sent to you or found online. School open days/ tours for your child will be this autumn.
Is that new and in all areas? They didn't used to contact people registered with a GP
Are you currently not resident in this country? You won't be able to apply for primary school admissions unless you have an address in the country.
Then you go to the website for the local authority that you're living in and download their information on primary admissions, hopefully that will explain most of your questions.
But, tbh, if you haven't moved by January then you won't be part of the usual admissions.
I would maybe ask for help and advice at the Primary School nearest to you. It doesn't have to be a school you are interested in because the information will be the same for all the schools in your area. They will just be able to explain how it works.
My borough where I live prints a big booklet each year that explains the process and gives details of all the schools in the borough. I believe all boroughs and counties do this. Any Primary school in your area could probably provide this booklet or you can usually get it at your local library or Children's Centre or council offices. The ones for the years applications won't be out yet. Usually September.
As long as you apply by the January 2020. deadline it makes no difference when you submit your application. You apply for a number of schools (varies by area how many) on one form to the Local Authority and you are allocated the highest listed for which you qualify, or if not qualifying for any you list, the nearest with spaces once all applications are processed. Bear in mind though that distance is a normal criteria applied if a preferred school is oversubscribed so you need to look at the schools near where you live and choose to list at least one you historically would be accepted into on that basis. Faith schools usually have a supplementary form to complete which details any church attendance, baptism etc.