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when should i start looking for primary schools?

(14 Posts)
squareheadcut Sun 08-Nov-09 15:04:55

My son is 2 and a half, he will be 3 in April. I want to get him into a preschool nursery as this will mean he is more likely to get a place in the school itself, should i be worrying about this now?

mazzystartled Sun 08-Nov-09 15:07:17

ring the school and ask them,a s they will all have slightly different procedures depending upon LEA - but if you want him to start the term after he turns 3, or the September after, you probably need to get onto it.

purepurple Sun 08-Nov-09 15:13:29

I am sorry to break bad news, but going to the pre-school will not guarantee him a place at the school. Or make it more likely toget a palce either.
You can put their names down for school when they turn 2.
The application to the LEA is normally due in by October, with you finding out the results around march time.

RatherBeOnThePiste Sun 08-Nov-09 15:17:22

Where we live children are allocated state school nursery places during the academic year in which they turn 4, so for your son that will be the next academic year starting September 2010.

The deadline for applications ( for his age group ) in our London borough, for non church places is February 12th 2010, for at least one of the Catholic school nurseries it is December 4th 2009.

It is very important to apply on time as late applications are not considered until after initial allocations have been made. All school nurseries are over subscribed. Deadlines will vary and some may be soon, so you do need now to get on with it!

This is the time when you need to visit schools you think you will like and find out their deadline and make sure you apply on time.

mazzystartled Sun 08-Nov-09 16:09:24

my post applies to getting into the preschool

the other posters are right regarding allocation of school places. the lea will publish all their admissions criteria for each school on their website - you may want to look at these now in deciding upon a preschool.

MumNWLondon Sun 08-Nov-09 16:23:10

It might even be too late to apply for the nursery... at my DC's school state (faith) school for example, children at the nursery get priority (28 places in reception and 26 in the nursery so only room for 2 more children into reception) and the deadline was 1 November 2009 for nursery places for September 2010 and reception September 2011 - so any child who will be 3 by 31st August would now have missed deadline.

Get onto it immediately - just really to find out the admission criteria for reception.... it may be that attendance at the nursery is a big factor it might be that it doesn't count for anything, varies school to school.

Oblomov Sun 08-Nov-09 16:26:13

yES, OP. No harm in showing An interest.
Round here, people sign up for primary school upon birth. and pre-school by aged 1.
Yes its true !!
Never too early !

alypaly Sun 08-Nov-09 16:29:32

I put DS1 down at 6months to make sure he got to the school i wanted.its never too early to show an interest

mazzystartled Sun 08-Nov-09 16:38:05

Showing an interest at birth, or whenever, will NOT getting your DCs a school place. (except if its a feepaying school).

The LEA allocates places on the basis of your application made in the academic year your DC turns 4. Having your name down will make no difference to that, except perhaps the school will send you a form direct rather than having to request one from the LEA.

MrsJohnDeere Sun 08-Nov-09 16:40:57

I'd ask asap about the pre-school. Here (where children start at 2.9) all pre-school places are taken and there's a waiting list for the rest of the academic year.

I've just put 21 month old ds2's name down ready to start in Nov 2010.

Oblomov Sun 08-Nov-09 16:52:51

mazzy, I know how it works. school is done through lea application form. I know this, but it doesn't do any harm to show an interest in a school.

Pre-school, get their name down asap.

ThingOneofYourNightmares Sun 08-Nov-09 16:54:20

In England the norm is to apply for primary school at some point during the academic year before they start. Where I live you need to apply in September and early October for a state school place the following September. You cannot apply earlier, go on a list, register interest earlier or any similar thing. Everyone applies at the same time. For schools with church admissions policies, it's slightly different (eg need letter from priest by August and apply by end of September) but still no chance or need to "get names down early".

A place in a school nursery does not normally have any impact on a place in reception. I know people whose children have not got a place in the reception class after a year at nursery.

Don't wait to hear from your LEA what the precise system is where you live. Have a look on their website now.

RatherBeOnThePiste Sun 08-Nov-09 17:02:04

My earlier post refers to application to a school nursery class i.e. a state nursery class attached to a state primary, not an independent preschool. The application system is very similar to a primary place.

But I do agree that attending a school nursery class in the year in which you turn 4 does not automatically get you a place in reception.

mazzystartled Sun 08-Nov-09 17:30:48

ob, I'm sure you do, but it sounds like others may not

it doesn't do any harm, no, but it doesn't actually do you any good either!

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