Everything you need to know about applying for a primary school place
PUBLISHED: 10:14 17 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:52 20 November 2018
If you are a parent of a three or four year old you may have just recieved a letter about primary school places. But what do you do next?
Jan Scott, Senior Admissions Officer for Suffolk County Council, said: “Our admissions team have done everything we can to reach parents of children that are due to start school next September.
“We have sent out letters and put up posters at libraries and doctors surgeries.”
She added: “We have made a new website to make the primary school application for the 2019/2020 reception intake a simple process as possible for parents.”
Here we cover all the key questions about applying for Primary school places. We’ve also spoken to a local Primary school Headteacher who has given us her top tips for making your choice.
Picking the right primary school for your child
Emma Churchman, Headteacher at Martlesham Academy, said: “The most important part of deciding a school choice is how the school feels based on the quality of relationships between pupils, staff and children.
“A child will learn once they feel happy, safe and secure and you will only have an idea of this when you see a school in action.”
Emma told us that it is important “not to get bogged down with what others tell you about their experiences”.
“You know your child best and this will enable you to make the choice of the right school for your child to thrive.”
She added: “Remember no question is a silly one.”
How many schools should you put on your application?
When applying for primary schools you can apply for up to three schools in order of preference.
Suffolk County Council said: If you are not sure which are your nearest schools, you can find this information from our Nearest School Checker. Consider your options and think about transport links.”
Miss Churchman agrees, saying: “You have to consider how you will drop off and collect your children.”
Visiting potential primary schools
Many primary schools have already held open mornings and evenings for pupils that may be starting in September 2019. But you can still call them to arrange a visit.
Miss Churchman says: “We have had our open mornings but understandably some families couldn’t make it, I had two families last week that visited with their children.
“I would ensure that before you visit the school you write a list of questions that are important to you and try and talk to the headteacher.”
When is the deadline for applying for primary school places?
Suffolk County Council say all applications must be received by midnight on Tuesday, January 15 2019. There is no date preference given to applications, just make sure you have it in on time!
How do you apply?
The admissions team say: “By applying online parents will get a receipt of their application and are also able to change their preferences.”
Miss Churchman said: “It takes about 10 minutes to apply online and then you will be sent your offer by email.”
There is still an option to apply by post.
What happens if you move house during the application process?
This is something that commonly crops up in the primary school application process. If you are unclear on what to do all the information you need is on the Suffolk County Council Admissions website.
When will you find out what primary school you have been offered?
Nervous parents will find out which school their children have been offered on Tuesday, April 16, there is an appeals process if you are unhappy with the choice your child is given.
Where can you go for further information?
There is lots of useful information on the Suffolk County Council Admissions website, there is also a live chat facility available. Alternatively you can give the admissions team a call on 0345 600 0981 and they will be happy to help.