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How are school places allocated? September 2023 Intake

It's that time of year again when parents of children due to start school in September 2023 need to start looking at Primary Schools (for Reception Class entry).

Every year parents ask us if we know how their child's Primary School place will be allocated and if there any short cuts or hacks which can help them get the Primary School of their choice.

In short there aren't any real hacks or shortcuts, and moving your child into a school to take up a Nursery place (pre-reception class) does not make any difference to which school you'll be allocated when it comes to Primary School allocation.

Apple Daycare employs two fully qualified Early Years Teachers, who have developed our curriculum, which is taught throughout our group. So if the thought of sending your child to school is too much, & possibly too soon, remember they can stay at Apple Daycare until the school term after their 5th Birthdays.

As an early years expert, I have read just about every research article written in the last 30 years relating to the advantages of early formal schooling and there really isn't any evidence to support early entry to formal school. In fact the best we can say is that UK children who start their formal education at 4 rising 5 years old, are slightly ahead of their European counter parts up until GCSEs, after that their European cousins enjoy far greater academic success.

However the benefits of an excellent pre-school experiences are well documented and in the United States studies have show that for every $1 spent on Early Years Education (before a child reaches the age of five) saves the US Government $13 in later life. The key is for children to enjoy their experience of learning, learning must be fun and child centred, which is exactly what it is at Apple Daycare.

It is important to say that, as a parent if you choose the school route, you can relax, because this part of Hertfordshire has some fantastic Primary Schools, so whichever school you are allocated it is very likely to be an excellent school. That said, there are some school characteristics which as a parent you may wish to prioritise, for example a faith school or a particular location.

You may also have based your opinion of a school on friends and families historical anecdotal evidence. Schools change so it is important to go & view schools now, because a new Headteacher can make a big difference in a very short period of time. You might be ruling out a school based on old intel, or choosing a school based on the merits of a Headteacher who has recently left or due to leave the school.

Your biggest challenge as a parent is matching the right school to your child. Not every school suits every child and at three or four years old your child's personality, likes and dislikes aren't fully formed. So to some degree there will be an element of chance associated with making the right choices, remember happy children learn well, happiness is the most important factor when choosing a school.

Finally, the Local Authority or the School Academy Trust select your child's school place based on their criteria, taking into account your preferences where possible, so check your preferred school's admissions policy and make sure you meet their criteria, there isn't any point in choosing a school where your application is really unlikely to be considered, it will be a wasted choice.

See the Local Authorities Guide below :) and good luck... if you want to discuss anything in this blog please contact Helena to make an appointment so see one of the Sams or Lawrence.

Under 11s 2023 Guide to School Applications
Download PDF • 4.89MB

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