COLUMN: Apply now for primary school places

With the festivities of Christmas and the New Year behind us for another year, it's now time for parents to think about applying for school places for their children.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 9th January 2018, 1:52 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th January 2018, 1:56 pm

The deadline for primary school applications is Monday January 15, and I would urge those parents who haven’t already got their applications in to make it a priority before next Monday.

If your child will be five years old between September 1 2018 and August 31 2019, they will be due to start school in September this year.

I’m sure you will already have given some thought to which schools to include on your application and it’s essential that you get your application in on time to be considered for these schools.

I’d also like to remind parents that if their child attends a school’s foundation unit, nursery class or early years’ group, it does not guarantee that they will get a place at the main school at reception age, and they must still complete an application for a full-time place.

Applying for a school place is straightforward and can be easily done online via the county council’s website at Parents who have no internet access can also apply by calling 0300 500 8080.

There are a few key things to remember when applying and it’s important to follow these steps:

• Use all four preferences;

• Check the admission oversubscription criteria for your chosen schools ;

• Include any other relevant information that is important to their application.

It’s also important that parents are aware that children currently in year two in an infant school will need to apply for a year three place in a junior or primary school for September 2018 as they do not automatically transfer.

The good news is that last year more than 98 per cent of families who applied for a primary school on time were offered one of their preferred schools.

Parents who apply online will get the decision by email on offers day, April 16. Letters will be posted to those who apply offline.