Deadline looming to apply for primary school places in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire

This post first appeared on Nottingham Post. Read the original article.

Time is running out if you want to apply for your child’s first primary school.

If you miss the deadline you could scupper your chances of getting a place at your preferred school, especially if it is popular.

The last day for admissions applications is on Monday, January 15, if your child is due to start in reception class in Nottingham or Nottinghamshire in September 2018.

Applications received after this date will only be looked at after all the other applications.

The county council said that a week before the deadline, 1,335 parents had still not applied.

What do I need to do?

Depending on where you live, you will need to complete an online application using either the Nottingham City Council or Nottinghamshire County Council website.

You need to use the one according to where you live, even if you want to apply to a school under the other council.

You can choose up to six infant or primary schools (four if it is through the county council), or up to three junior schools. But there are admission criteria to bear in mind, which may be different for community primary schools, academies or voluntary aided schools.

These may include whether the child is “looked after” (in local authority care), whether brothers or sisters already attend, if you’re in the catchment area or if the child has needs that can only be met at a specific school.

What if I am late applying?

You application will still be dealt with but after all the others. This means that your chosen schools may be oversubscribed and you could miss out on your first choices.

Where there are more applications than places available, “admission oversubscription criteria” are used to decide how places are allocated.

Can I appeal against the outcome?

Yes you can, and you may wish to be added to a waiting list for your favourite school.

Councillor Sam Webster, portfolio holder for business, education and skills at Nottingham City Council, said: “Choosing a school for your child is one of the most important decisions a parent can make.

"While we’ve made the application process as simple as possible, please read the requirements carefully, use all your available preferences and make sure we receive it by 15 January 2018."

There is guidance and an application form at the city council website.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s cabinet member for education, councillor Philip Owen, said: “I would urge parents who haven’t so far made an application for September not to miss the January 15 deadline.

“If they do miss it, their application for a primary school place will only be processed after all the on-time applications.

“Parents should be aware that, by that time, the schools they would really like their child to attend might all be full. In that case, the County Council will make an alternative offer of a place at a school which could be at a distance from the home address.”

The county council’s website also has information to help with the application process which contains useful information and advice.

Children who need to have a school place reserved in reception are those who reach age 4 between September 1, 2017 and August 31, 2018. If your child already attends a foundation unit, nursery class or early years group, this does not guarantee they will get a place at the main school, so you should apply as normal.

Those who reach age 7 between September 1, 2017 and August 31, 2018 and are in year 2 at an infant school will need to apply to transfer to a junior school so they can start in September, even if they already attend one on the same site.

Children in Year 2 at a primary school will stay at that school until they are 11.