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When to start looking at primary schools

(6 Posts)
bryony77 Tue 13-Oct-09 16:33:03

Sorry, but am a total novice at all this; DD's at nursery and I've already heard some parents talking about going round schools. She's only 2 and it hadn't occurred to me I needed to start looking now - is it usual to start looking and visiting or when is the most usual time? Also, when do they usually start - term before 5th birthday?

made to feel a bit of an uncaring mum seeing as I'm assuming this is all in the future!

stillstanding Tue 13-Oct-09 16:39:10

Oooh you've left it waaaay too late, bryony. Your DD will have to be home educated wink

Am a bit clueless myself but I think the upshot is that they start school the September after they turn four.

In terms of state schools you need to apply for a place around the September after they turn three (I think). For public schools you usually need to register much earlier - from birth in some cases but asap in most (in my area anyway).

mankyscotslass Tue 13-Oct-09 16:43:27

I looked around when my eldest was about 3 1/2, the forms had to be back that November, and he had just started school nursery.

Legally they don't have to be in education til the term after their 5th birthday, but in practise most LEA's have now gone to a single intake in the September of the school year your ds will turn 5.

This meant that my eldest DS was 4 in the May and started school fulltime the following September. Some of his friends had turned 4 just weeks before starting school.

You can try to defer a year, but in reality this means your child will go straight into year 1 and mise reception altogether, as most LEa's will want the children with their cohorts.

titchy Tue 13-Oct-09 16:59:30

Assuming she'll be 3 before 1 Sep next year, you'll probably have to apply before the end of October next year.

Primary schools usually have their open days towards the end of September or the beginning of October. In reality if there are several options open to you this might mean you end up visiting half a dozen or so in a very short space of time.

This is not only draining, but they also tend to merge into one after a while, so many parents do the visits a year before hand to at least narrow the shortlist down.

flibertygibet Tue 13-Oct-09 22:48:24

There's a certain independent school in my area that takes applications on the child's 1st birthday. All the 'clued-up' mums seem to have got themselves down there actually ON the actual birthday and then proudly discussed it 'oh no, we got on the list AGES ago'...

I felt SOOO out of it and felt like I was a terrible mother because I didn't have the school sorted out by the time he was crawling!

ds now in Y2 at a lovely lovely primary school and I couldn't be happier.

Don't believe the hype. They're not as sorted as you think they are.

I agree with other posters - start thinking about it soon, look around at schools, but don't get too stressed about it. (unless you are aiming for Oxbridge! heehee).

bryony77 Wed 14-Oct-09 10:40:42

Thanks everyone - very reassuring. I know it is coming up, but you can just feel so behind the curve (especially as our local village school looks great from the ofsted (which I looked at in a bit of a 'I need to do something NOW-type panic)) which was something of a relief as I had rather assumed she would just go to the village school and so wasn't planning a Grand Tour!

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