Applying For A School
Applying For A School
Ralph Lucas (Editor, The Good Schools Guide) gives expert video advice on: How many schools can I apply for?; Will my child have to take a test to get into their preferred school?; What happens to my child's schooling if we move house? and more...
How many schools can I apply for?
It varies according to where you live. In London, it's six, more generally it's three. You're asked to rank them in order, the schools don't see what order you put them in, but that order determines the order in which the local authority will look at your application. It will give you your first choice first, if that's possible, and if not move on to your second.
Where can I get a schools application form?
You don't have to use a school application form. You generally use a common application form which has been organized by the local education authority. Some schools you have to apply for individually. That will all be set out in the local authority brochure. So, go from there.
When should I apply for a school place?
That would be set out in the local authority brochure. For state schools, there will be a particular date that you have to apply by. There's no advantage in applying early. If you apply late you're lost, so follow the rules.
Do I need to provide any material to support my child's application?
Generally no, if you are applying for a religiously selective school you will probably have to produce a letter from a priest or some other evidence that you belong to that religion. But mostly no, you don't.
Will my child have to take a test to get into their preferred school?
Some schools, yes. There are some schools that are still grammar schools, still selective, and they will be in competition with everybody else who has gone in for that test. It can get ridiculous in London. You can get 100 children applying for one place, and it's a question of whether they've got a cold on that day or not. Generally, though, there are no academic tests for English state schools.
What is a Parent Teacher Association (PTA)?
Parent Teacher Association is not something that you will come across much when you're outside of school, but within a school it is the core body that supports that, gets the parents together, and gets them working with the school, gets them supporting the school and gets the school interacting with parents to make sure that what it's doing is what the parent's want to happen with their children. So a strong Parent Teacher Association is a very good indication of a good school.
How can the PTA help me with my application?
I don't think they will as a body, but if you talk to individual members of it they will give you their own particular view on what the school is about. With a strong PTA, that's likely to be quite a clear and useful view to have.
What happens to my child's schooling if we move house?
You have to apply again on the basis of your new residence. You will hope that there are places available at all ages in the schools roundabout, but it's very much a matter of chance and you are more likely to get stuck with pulp luck. You can keep your child in the school where they are already at. Just because you moved out of the cachendary does`nt mean you have to move your child, but you will lose right to free shool transports so you will have to make sure you make transport corrections.