School admissions is always a hot topic and with application deadline dates looming, there is understandable concern this year about how to make the right choice.
It has become routine for people to uproot their entire lives to move close to their school of choice and house prices are often significantly higher in areas with good schools. School places are in high demand in most parts of the country and the harsh reality is that you may not be offered a place at your preferred school and sometimes places are not offered at any of your preferred choices. That doesn’t mean, however, that you shouldn’t look at schools and try to find the best fit for your child, it means it is vital that you are realistic about the schools you choose and are informed about the admissions criteria. Different local authorities and schools with their own admissions policies will weight criteria in slightly different ways but the most common priorities include:
Some schools may require children to complete an entrance exam which will have a bearing on the offer of a place and all state funded schools must give top priority to Looked After Children (in social care).
Ordinarily when looking for a primary or secondary school for your child, you would attend an open event or at least take a tour of the school and meet the staff. So, at a time when all large gatherings are banned and the number of visitors allowed in schools are at a minimum, how do you possibly decide which school is right for your child? Like most people and businesses, schools have had to adapt their ways of working which includes how to showcase their school, their teachers, their facilities, and their successes. Most secondary schools are offering virtual visits available on their websites which will often include video addresses from the head teacher, other members of the senior leadership team, various teachers, and a number of pupils, as well as a tour of the school building and facilities. This is a fantastic resource and should give you a good feel for the school, its ethos and teaching style. But there are other ways you can gather information to help form an overall picture of the school. Whilst a number of primaries will also provide some form of virtual event, not all will have the resources to be able to offer that and almost certainly not to the same level as secondaries. Therefore, we have put together some suggestions of ways you can find information and recognise whether the school is right for your child:
If you are relocating, we would be happy to help and give advice on choosing and applying for a school. Please feel free to contact us to see how we can assist you.
0118 947 0029
Kalewa, The Warren, Caversham,
1 The Mews,
Gilston Park, Hertfordshire