Applying for a Primary or Reception place for your child

Applying for a Primary or Reception place for your child

Parents of children born between 1st September 2014 and 31st August 2015 have until 15th January 2019 to apply for a primary place for the academic year starting in September 2019.

Thoughts for parents – are you looking for a faith school, a state school or fee-paying school? Is your child looked after or adopted from care? Having a plan will be valuable – even if it’s changed at a later date.

Choosing a primary school can be an exciting but worrying process.

Parents need to research their local schools. Primary schools have websites so, as a parent, you can have a look online and get a feel for the school. Claire, the manager at Startel Day Nursery recommends “parents take their child along to each of the school viewings so that he or she can feedback their thoughts too.”

Sam, the manager at Jancett Day Nursery echoes Claire’s advice and adds that parents “gain a lot of information from visiting the school, as just with choosing a nursery, parents get a feel for a place by seeing it in action.” Furthermore Claire urges “parents to look at the most recent Ofsted reports.” All the reports are available, as are details of SATs results, on the Department for Education Performance Tables website.

Make sure you get the application process right. Each local authority’s admission guide explains how to apply and lists the admission criteria in each area. The Jancett nurseries are within Sutton and many children leaving us next Summer 2019 will transfer to a primary school within Sutton too.

Take a look at which gives information on:

  • Applying for a Primary (reception) school place
  • Key dates to remember
  • Primary schools in Sutton (A-G and H-Z)

It is worth noting that online applications open 1st September 2018 and close 15th January 2019 (for September 2019 school places) Sutton.

Sutton council strongly advise parents to read the Starting School Guidance Booklet which explains the application process. The booklet clarifies that if your child attends a nursery attached to a primary school then you must make a separate application for Reception entry. It also states that Sutton community schools give no priority to children who are in an attached nursery. And if applying for a faith school then you’ll need to complete a supplementing information form (SIF) which will ask for details of the family’s religious adherence.

More Tips

Remember you’re not choosing a school but rather listing those you would like your child to attend. The Good Schools Guide advises parents to include at least one school where you are virtually sure of getting a place – even if it isn’t your first choice. Otherwise, you risk being offered an undesirable, under-subscribed school some distance away.

Claire advises that it’s worth listening to people’s recommendations and reviews. She also reflects on her own experiences and says “if you have questions to ask, write them down and take them with you as your head will be overloaded with information!” advises parents to ignore the school gate myths and take on board some admissions facts:

  • Local authorities do NOT ‘have to’ give you a place in a school on your list.
  • If none of the schools on your list can admit your child under their admissions criteria, you won’t get a place and will be allocated a ‘leftover’ place – which by definition are ones which fewer people have wanted.
  •  DON’T choose only one school or list your preferred school in every place on the list. This doesn’t increase your chances of getting  a place at that school – you might end up with no place at all.
  • Putting a school first does NOT make it more likely that this school will offer you a place. The schools do not know where on the list you put them. If you really want a school by all means put it first, but if a school can select students according to their criteria, it will make no difference where on your list that school was.

Hopefully this blog has given Year Nursery parents some insightful information ahead of tackling the primary school admissions process.

Nursery managers Claire and Sam say “listen to your child when making your final decision…making your child feel part of the process really helps.”

Blog written by Nicky Hopper, Director, with contributions from managers Claire and Sam at Startel and Jancett Day Nursery’s. 


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