If your child is "rising 5" (i.e. will turn 5 on or after the start of September 2018) then you need to apply for a place at the school you would like your child to attend. This does not happen automatically, so there are some important dates you need to put in your diary if you wish to give your child the best chance of attending your first-choice school:
- Apply online from 12th September 2017
- Closing date for applications: 15th January 2018
- Allocation decisions sent on (offer date): 16th April 2018
- Appeal hearings: June and July 2018
- Induction days: summer 2018
When applying for a school place for your child, you can name up to three schools on your application form. Listing more than one does not affect your first preference. Every school has its own admissions criteria, so it is worth checking these out before you fill out the application form. Generally speaking, the criteria will take into account where you live (the catchment area), whether your child has siblings at the school, and your religious denomination if you are applying for a place at a church-run school. Church-run schools usually also ask you to fill in a separate application form in addition to the online form - check their websites for details.
Please do also be aware that attendance at St Mary's Nursery does not automatically guarantee your child a place at St Mary's Catholic Primary School - you will need to apply in the usual way and meet the relevant criteria in order to obtain a place.
Flexible options and summer-born children
By law, children must start school the term after they turn 5. Although most children start school in the Autumn term after their fourth birthday, recent legislation has brought in flexible options such as delayed start dates and part-time attendance for "summer-born children" (i.e. children who were born between 1st April and 31st August). This is because studies have shown that some summer-born children can be disadvantaged by their relative immaturity within a class. Children born in late summer - July and August - can find themselves in a class with children who are 11 or 12 months older than them. These older children will often be more physically capable, will be able to concentrate better and their language skills might be more developed. As a parent of a summer-born child, you have the right to request a deferred start date, meaning that your child would start school in September 2019. Further information can be found here: Admissions for summer born children.
One of the best ways of choosing a school for your child can be to visit it during an Open Day. Often, parents and carers will get a "feel" for a school that sways their decision one way or another. Details of open days being held by local primary schools can be found below; click on the school's name to be directed to their website:
- Tuesday 14th November at 2pm
- Wednesday 22nd November at 9:30am
- Thursday 7th December at 9am and 7pm
- Tuesday 17th October at 5:15pm
- Wednesday 18th October at 2pm
- Tuesday 14th November at 9:30am
- Thursday 9th November at 9:30am and 6pm
- Wednesday 22nd November at 10:30am and 2:15pm
- Tuesday 7th November at 10:45am
- Thursday 9th November at 1:15pm
- Monday 13th November at 10:45am
- Wednesday 15th November at 1:15pm
- Tuesday 28th November at 10:45am
- Monday 4th December at 5pm
- Monday 8th January at 10:45am
- Wednesday 22nd November at 10am
- Thursday 23rd November at 10am
- Tuesday 14th November at 9:15am
- Wednesday 15th November at 9:30am and 6pm
- Thursday 16th November at 10am
- Thursday 23rd November at 10am
Please do bear in mind that some schools may wish for you to call to let them know that you will be attending an open day.