Time to apply for primary school places

06 November 2017

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If your child is due to start school for the first time in September 2018, it’s now time to think about making an application.

The application round for first admissions to reception class at primary school opens today (Mon, 6 Nov) and closes on Monday, 15 January 2018. Nottinghamshire County Council is urging parents to make sure they have submitted their application by that date.

Parents are reminded that if their child attends a school’s foundation unit, nursery class or early years’ group, it does not guarantee that they will get a place at the main school at reception age, and they must still complete an application for a full-time place.

Parents of children currently in year 2 in an infant school will need to apply for a year 3 place in a junior or primary school for September 2018. Children do not automatically transfer from infant to junior/primary school.

Chairman of the County Council’s Children and Young People’s Committee, Councillor Philip Owen, said: “If your child will be five years old between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2019, you will soon need to think about applying for a reception year place and deciding which schools to include on your application. 

“If it is your first child who is starting in reception, we want to make sure that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision which will give you the best chance of getting your child into your preferred school.

“The good news, however, is that last year, over 98% of families who applied for a primary school place on time were offered one of their preferred schools – up on the previous year.” 

It is important that all parents are aware they must make an application, even if their child is already attending a nursery or another early years setting. Children do not automatically transfer from nursery to full-time school. 
 
Parents living in Nottinghamshire will need to apply through Nottinghamshire County Council, even if they wish to apply for schools in other local authority areas such as Nottingham City or Derbyshire.

The council’s website www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/schooladmissions  has information to help with the application process, and it is worth reading Admissions to schools: Guide for parents 2018-2019 which contains lots of useful information and advice. 

The information about schools in Admissions to schools: School information 2018- 2019, also available on our website, is organised into district areas (Ashfield, Broxtowe, Rushcliffe and so on), so it is easy just to print off pages about schools you are interested in applying for. 

Nottinghamshire County Council’s service director for education learning and skills Marion Clay added: “The easiest way to apply for a place is online, but parents who do not have internet access can telephone 0300 500 80 80 to apply.

“If parents miss the 15 January deadline, their application will only be processed after all the on-time applications. Parents should be aware that, by that time, the schools they would really like their child to attend might all be full. In that case, the County Council will make an alternative offer of a place at a school which could be at a distance from the home address.”

Apply online at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/schooladmissions. Parents who apply online will also get the decision by email on what’s known as National Offer Day (18 April 2018), instead of having to wait a few days for a letter sent by second class post.
  
Parents must also remember to:

Use all four preferences – there is never a guarantee that a preference can be met, but parents should make sure that they use all four of their preferences rather than just making one preference and limiting their options. This way they are more likely to be offered a place at a school they are happy for their child to attend

Check the admission oversubscription criteria – parents are urged to include at least one school within the four preferences where their child will have high priority within the school’s admission oversubscription criteria and are therefore highly likely to get a place. Information about the criteria can also be found on the Council’s website

Other relevant information – when applying, parents also need to make sure that they mention any information that is relevant to their application, and which may affect how the admission oversubscription criteria are applied. They should also tell the Council if they are moving house as this may affect how their application is considered. It is important to read the relevant sections in Admissions to schools: Guide for parents 2018-2019. 

For any enquiries about how to apply for a school place, please contact 0300 500 80 80 or visit www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/schooladmissions

Applications for secondary school places for September 2018 have been open since 8 August 2017 and the deadline for applications was 31 October 2017. Any Nottinghamshire parent who has not applied for a secondary school place should contact 0300 500 8080.
Changes to school travel entitlement - parents also need to be aware of possible changes to school travel entitlement.

“The County Council currently provides home to school transport above and beyond what is legally required. Whether we can continue to afford to do this in the future is subject to further consideration,” continued Coun Owen.  

No change is expected before September 2019, which is a year later than published in the Admissions to schools: Guide for parents 2017-2018.  

He added: “This means that parents making a preference for a school which is not their nearest or catchment school may not be able to secure transport provided by the County Council after September 2019.”

It remains the parents’ responsibility to make sure their child gets to school. 

The Council is advising parents to read its home to school transport policy if they think this change may affect them: www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/schooltravel

ENDS

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