Starting or moving school is an important milestone in your child’s life and we want to make sure you have all the information you need.
Choosing your child’s school is a difficult decision. If you wish to choose a specific school or your child has a special need, you may need some help and further information to make an informed decision.
It is really important that you apply on time and include all the relevant information, as filling in the application form incorrectly could lead to your child not being allocated a preferred place.
Here are some things to think about
A child is of compulsory school age at the start of the school term following their 5th birthday. Parents have a legal duty to ensure their children receive suitable education, either by regular attendance at school or otherwise (this includes home education).
You will need to complete an application form to apply for a school place – it is not enough just to register your child’s details with a nursery or school.
Children with disabilities or special educational needs
The local authority has a policy that all schools will support those pupils with special educational needs or inclusion issues. Every school accommodates pupils with a variety of needs, they make provision and support children and young people within their schools.
I want to apply for a specific school
Application forms are always daunting, at the Portland Centre we will help you with these major decisions and completing all the forms.
Here are some things we will help you think about:
- You can list (in order of preference) up to three schools on your application. Many schools are regularly oversubscribed and there is no guarantee of a place at your catchment, nearest or preferred school, so it is important to think carefully about the schools you are applying for.
- Places are offered based on the school’s admissions policy, so your child’s chances of being offered a particular school are not increased by only naming one school on your application.
- Priority for a place at a particular school is given to those who have named the school as a preference on their application form. If you cannot be allocated any of your preferences, a school will be allocated by the admissions team at the end of the prioritisation process - this could mean travelling a considerable distance if all of the local schools are fully subscribed.
- If you apply for a school which is not your catchment or nearest school you are likely to be responsible for organizing and paying for your child’s travel to and from school for all the time they will remain at the school, even if your circumstances change.
- Living in or moving into a catchment area, having a sibling link or attending a feeder school does not guarantee a place at a local/preferred school. You need to be aware of any likely alternative schools which may be offered and the implications of this on your family if you move to an area where schools are full.
- If your highest preference(s) is for a school other than your nearest or catchment school, this becomes “parental preference” and you will be responsible for travel arrangements for your child. You should also be aware thatthere is no guarantee of a place for any sibling(s) you later wish to attend the school and no guarantee of a place in the future linked (receiver) school, so your child may not transfer with the other children in their year group.
As you can see, none of this is easy – come to the Portland Centre and we will help you navigate your way through the system, to achieve the best ‘mix’ to best suit your child’s needs and the best way forward for your entire family.
If you need help and advice on these or any other issues call us on 01305 824333 or e-mail us using our contact form or pop in to see a Portland Centre Staff member who will be happy to help you.