School Choices

Howdy Peeps!

I want to have a little chit-chat about starting new schools. In good old Blighty, there are 3 or 4 times when children start or move schools and there are ways to apply for places and information to be gained…so I thought I’d show you where to look 🙂

There will be an application process for pre-school or nursery, but it will depend on the age of the child and whether you choose private, assisted or state childcare.


The state school route is as follows:

The first application for official schooling is for infant’s school places for the September after their 4th birthday.

If the Infant’s and Primary schools are amalgamated it may only be one application, otherwise, there will be another for them to go into Primary (year 3) separately.

You apply for these places through your Local Authority (County Council)… the process is explained here.

**If you are sending your child to a private school or academy there may also be an entrance exam.**

If your child is in the main feeder school into the next stage then they will probably send home letters about it, if not contact the school they hope to go to and arrange a visit.

If your child is in the main feeder school into the next stage then they will probably send home letters about it, if not contact the school they hope to go to and arrange a visit.

Open days/evenings or private visits are a great way to get to know their potential new school, there will be lots going on at different schools in the next month or so as the current year 6 pupils will have to put in their applications for secondary school around the end of October. (Yes, that soon!) If you have a child in year 5, I suggest you start looking around now.

If you are applying this year or next for a school place, it’s also a good idea to get their Ofsted report. These are publicly available and give a ‘quality control’ aspect of the schools. You can find any school’s Ofsted report on the school’s website or by searching here. Keep checking when your child is in the school too as the Ofsted inspectors never leave it longer than 4 years and can come several times in one year if necessary, so keep an eye open.

keep calm

Post 16 education is a little different, but basically, the pupil will be interviewed by the sixth form Coordinator or careers team at their school or by a separate post-16 college if they hope to go there. Offers will be subject to achieving the grades specified in the relevant exams so the place will be confirmed after GCSE Results Day. This can also be true of apprenticeship and vocational courses, so don’t think it’s just for A-levels.

Universities (and beyond) can be applied for directly or, more often, through UCAS applications. The form is a mixture of school and job applications. It is highly recommended that you visit several universities on the open days and again there will be an offer made on the understanding you meet entry requirements (these may not be exam results alone, so check what’s required early on). Then, Student Finance is arranged through the Local Authority (yes them again).

So all of the earlier experiences will help parents and students to be prepared for Uni application! Having said that, there are always people at schools, universities and the application offices (UCAS/LA) to help if you’re stuck…so just ask.

Good luck with your next move in the education world. 🙂

Anna x




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