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Time to get your school applications in

29 September 2016

Council leaders are urging families applying for their child’s school to make sure they fill in their application forms.

With a tight squeeze on places due to a rising population it is more important than ever that parents and carers complete and submit their forms on time.

Parents are being encouraged to make sure they fill in all three preferences in order to keep their options open. Parents are entitled to express up to three preferences but some parents choose not to. Putting down three preferences does not dilute the chance of parents getting their preferred option, but does provide alternatives should this school be over-subscribed.

Families are also encouraged to name their catchment school as one of their preferences as places cannot be reserved for catchment pupils where a positive preference for this school has not been expressed.

Sheffield City Council’s admissions team deals with thousands of applications for secondary and primary schools every year. The council is stressing families must make sure the forms are submitted before the closing date at the end of October so they can be processed and decisions announced on the national allocation date next year.

The closing date for transfer to secondary is October 31st but the online site is only open until October 21st.  Parents will find out the outcomes of their secondary school application on March 1 2017.

Families of primary school age children entering reception for the first time, or whose child is in Year Two at a separate infant school, have also begun to receive letters inviting them to apply for schools. Again, the same rules apply in order to secure a preferred place.

For entrance into reception and junior schools, the online site is open until December 5th 2016 but paper applications and telephone applications will be accepted up to January 16th.  The allocation date for this round is April 18th 2017.

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families said:  “All families deserve great schools close to where they live.  With birth rates rising we are seeing an increase pressure on school places.”

“I would encourage all parents and carers to fill in their application form for a school place as soon as possible and most importantly fill in all preferences.  If families need help with the form they should contact 0114 273 5790.”

To apply online visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/education/information-for-parentscarers/pupil-admissions

ENDS

The application form basics:

  • Children can start school full time in the academic year following their fourth birthday.
  • Forms are sent to the child’s home around a year before they are due to go to school.
  • Parents and carers will be told which their local catchment school is on this letter.
  • They are required to put down three preferences. Those applying for a faith school will have further forms to fill in.
  • Parents and carers are expected to apply to junior schools when their child is in Year Two at an Infant school. Just because a child has attended the feeder infant school is no guarantee of a place in the junior school.
  • The same criteria are applied to all school applications – with priority given to children in care, then catchment, then sibling and then feeder school.
  • Applications for secondary school are made a year before the child is due to start Year Seven. Again the same criteria apply and the forms should be filled in in the same manner to optimise parents’ and carers’ chances of getting the school of their choice