Today I am applying for Chloe’s primary school place . . . which seems utter madness.
In all honesty I’ve been a bit slack as I’ve had the forms to apply for Chloe’s primary school place for over a month and just not got round to it. As Ben is already at school and Chloe attends Nursery there, we haven’t got much of a decision to make this time – of course we want Chloe to attend the same school as Ben. We have to apply for Chloe’s place twice – once to the LEA online and once to the school as they have set admissions criteria if they are oversubscribed. There is a six point scale, when Ben was admitted he was on point 6 and it was just down to distance. Chloe, as she already has a sibling at the school, is on point 4 of the scale.
If you’re applying for a Reception place for next September here’s a few things to think about:
1. Ask around – speak to your friends, find out which school their children go to. Are they happy with it? What do they like about it?
2. Consider the practicalities – How will your child get to school? Who will be looking after them? Does your current childcare provider do drop offs at your chosen school? If Chloe didn’t get in to our chosen school we’d have to find new childcare provision for her . . .
3. Read the Ofsted report – Yes read the Ofsted report but don’t get bogged down in it. It is just a snapshot of the school, it’s results and data and it may even be years old. Yes it is important but it’s not the be all and end all. Of course we would all like our children to go to “Outstanding” schools but there is more to a school than it’s Ofsted grading.
4. Go and visit the school – This really is the most important thing. Lots of schools will hold set “open evenings” but try to visit during the day when the children are there to get a real feel for the place. Your gut reaction to the school is so much more important than data and results. You will know if its the right school for your child.
5. Don’t just put one school on the form – you might well feel there is “no other choice” and this is the “only” school you want your child to go to but your LEA might not see it that way! I’ve seen so many parents disappointed not to get their first choice school and then placed somewhere completely random as they hadn’t put second or third choice schools down.