Somerset 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
The deadline for parents to submit applications for secondary school places is 31 October – that’s for children moving from Primary to Secondary school or Middle to Upper school in September 2020.
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 2020.
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 Faye Purbrick, Cabinet Member for Education and Transformation, said: “At this time of year many parents and their children will be considering attending open days to find out more about their local schools. This can help them decide where they would like to attend next and which three schools they will include in their application.
“It’s an important decision and I would urge everyone to submit three preferences, including their local school as one of those preferences. In recent years, some applications have only included one preference for a non-local school.
“If demand is high for that single school, it can mean that students and parents have to wait longer for a confirmed placement at a different school, making the experience all together more stressful. Once you have chosen your three schools, it is essential that applications are submitted before the deadline to avoid risking missing out on a preferred place.
“October 31 is the deadline for those transferring to secondary or upper schools next year, and I’d encourage all students, parents and guardians to start looking at what is involved and which schools they are interested in now.”
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, nearly 98 per cent of Somerset children were offered a primary school place at one of their top three choices, the County Council’s school admission figures show.
Overall 97.7 per cent of the 5,664 applicants were offered a place at one of their top three primary school choices, and 92.17 per cent received their first choice.
And more than 97 per cent of the 4,535 Somerset children applying were offered a secondary school place at one of their top three choices with 94.18 per cent getting their first choice.