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Help...this is a minefield!

(9 Posts)
Midge25 Sat 13-Jun-09 21:04:04

My dd is 17m. She's currently in full-time nursery and we're living in a fairly yummy-mummyish and affluent area. (By chance - we moved here because of my dh's work and virtually picked a rental property and location out of a hat! Didn't want MNetters to think that was some weird boast.) We're fairly settled now, as is dd, but was gobsmacked when one of the nursery staff said we'd have to start thinking about a school place for her by the time she turns 2. Does this sound right? Maybe I'm terribly naive...
And what does it entail? I can't get my head around having a choice...partially because I grew up in v remote area, I reckon. What do I do? What are the rules of this strange game? The only experience I have is of seeing upset parents on tv whose children couldn't go to the school they wanted. Any advice gratefully received - and it really can't be too basic as I don't know where to start!

Sam100 Sat 13-Jun-09 22:10:42

Depends if you are thinking of state or private education.

If private they have their own rules and popular schools can get booked from birth I believe (not something we have had to worry about). You would have to contact the school you were interested in.

If state - then each Local Authority will have its own rules and you can find out from the council website what they are. But generally you apply for a school place in a state school during the school year before your child would start school. So we are applying in the autumn for ds's school place to start in sept 2010 - he is 3 soon. The applications have to be in by date in October 2009 - we will get told in Feb 2010 which school was offered and he will start school in Sept 2010.

Some schools will take details from you so that they can send you out prospectus nearer the time - but that does not give you any priority over people who did not ask for one.

Hope this helps.

Midge25 Sun 14-Jun-09 21:20:43

Oh, it'll definitely be state education! Thanks for the info...do people normally go and look round schools?

CandleQueen Sun 14-Jun-09 21:30:18

All/most state schools will hold a prospective day or evening.
Check your LEA website for school details and details of the application schedule.

DS1 starts school in Sept. We had to apply by 1st Feb and we heard in May.

mummyrex Mon 15-Jun-09 11:03:41

In most areas you have to apply approx a year before they start. My ds is nearly 3 and should start Reception in Sept 2010. We will need to apply by this November.

Each year around Sept (in our county) lots of posters go up near schools, in doctors surgeries detailing who needs to apply that year. You can pick up the forms from your nearest school.

londonartemis Sat 20-Jun-09 18:00:38

midge - keep across your council's website for application dates etc...some schools are not very flexible about visits if you miss the dates they offer. at the moment, though, you have plenty of time! also now is the season of summer fairs etc, so a chance to have an informal look and some fun!

treedelivery Sat 20-Jun-09 20:27:13

Well, we started looking when dd was 2 blush and had her name down when she was 2.5. We went with religious schools who hold their own file of pupils wanting a place. I don't know if non church do that, I believe the funding is different or something.
We looked around 5 schools.
In official terms, we had to apply by Nov 08, to hear in May 09, for a start in Sept 09.

merrymonsters Mon 22-Jun-09 10:04:36

If she's going to the nursery part of the school, she'll start the term after she turns 3. You'll need to apply when she's around 2 and a half. You need to look around nearby schools (call the school to make an appointment), read the Ofsted website and put her name down at your favourite school. They'll send out the forms to you when it comes out.

That's what we do in our area of London.

PeachyTheRiverParrettHarlot Mon 22-Jun-09 10:08:38

If there's a set school yopu fancy, ask. Our school is Church but out catchment so you don't 'book' early but you do use a different route you could easily miss if you weren't aware (the caychment is a few streets, everyone else has to grovel apply byt letter)

Contact the four or five closest to you (e-mail easiest ime) and just ask what their procedures are.

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