Somerset parents are being urged to 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 Somerset County Council’s website: www.somerset.gov.uk/admissions
The deadline for parents to submit applications for secondary school places is Saturday, 31 October 2020. This applies to all children moving from primary to secondary school, or middle to upper school, in September 2021.
The deadline for primary school place submissions is Friday, 15 January 2021. This applies to all children starting school for the first time in September 2021, as well as those moving between infant and junior or first and middle school.
Although reminder text messages 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 at Somerset County Council, said: “Due to Coronavirus, many schools are holding events or promoting information online rather than traditional open days. I urge parents and carers to check schools’ websites or social media for further information. This can help them decide where they would like to attend next year 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 must 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.
“31 October is the deadline for those transferring to secondary or upper schools next year and 15 January for those starting primary school for the first time. 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 within newsletters. As well as linking to an online application form, the webpage www.somerset.gov.uk/admissions holds a wealth of related information including a directory of schools, catchment areas and admissions policy.
Last year’s school admissions figures show that 98.27 per cent of the 5,660 Somerset children who entered primary school were offered one of their top three choices. 93.07 per cent received their first choice. 98.19 per cent of the 4,595 Somerset children going to secondary school were offered one of their top three choices. 93.56 per cent received their first choice.