School admissions – apply online and in time

With the school open day season underway, parents are being urged to make sure they apply for school places online and in time.

Whether your child is starting school for the first time, or transferring to their next school, applications need to be made through the Somerset County Council’s website www.somerset.gov.uk/admissions

With a 31 October deadline, there are now six weeks left for parents to submit applications for secondary school places – for children moving from Primary to Secondary school or Middle to Upper school in September 2019.

For Primary school admissions – which includes children starting school for the first time or moving from Infant to Junior and First to Middle schools – the deadline is 15 January.

Although ‘chaser’ texts and letters will be sent to parents on the Council’s database who have not yet applied, the responsibility for getting applications in on time lies with parents and guardians.

Councillor Frances Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “At this time of year parents and their children will be visiting schools to find out more about them and help them decide on their three preferred schools.

“It’s an important decision and once they’ve made it it’s very important that they submit their applications before the deadline with their three preferences. If they don’t they risk missing out on a place they would like and it’s always best to include their local school as one of the preferences, too.

“October 31 is the deadline for secondary age children transferring school next year, and I’d encourage all parents and guardians with to start looking at what’s involved now.

“There’s longer for younger children as the deadline for primary admissions is 15 January.”

All schools have been reminded of the application deadlines and asked to send information to parents in school newsletters.

As well as linking to an online application form, the www.somerset.gov.uk/admissions web page holds a wealth of related information including a directory of schools, catchment areas and school admissions policy.

Last year, 93.8 per cent of 5665 children starting school in 2018 received their first choice primary school, a slight increase on previous years. 98.4 per cent of children were given one of their top three choices.

97.5 per cent of children were offered a place at one of their top three secondary school preferences, a slight increase on last year’s figures of 97.17. 93.5 per cent received their first preference, an increase on the previous year’s figures of 92.32.