Choosing A School

Choosing a Primary School

Choosing a primary school is one of the most difficult decisions a parent will have to make and often, challenges can arise that mean your child will not be able to attend the school you want them to. Unfortunately, recent press and media has exposed a huge overpopulation problem in the school system which leads to many children falling victim to a postcode lottery during their primary application process. Many parents become distraught during this time facing their child having to travel hours to get to school and becoming separated from their local friends. It is an extremely difficult process which can sometimes lead to parents moving house in order to get their child into their chosen school.
Here are some useful tips for when you are going through this difficult application process;

How do I get information about the primary schools local to me?

You'll need to initially approach your local authority to find out about the local primary school offerings, even if you've chosen your number one choice you'll need to find out about all your options as it is unlikely these days that your child will be automatically accepted into your first choice. You can find lots of relevant information on the following link; http://schoolsfinder.direct.gov.uk/.
You should also consider visiting the schools to find out what they have to offer, talking to teachers and attending any open days the schools may have.

Are League Tables relevant?

Although you'll want to take League Tables into consideration you should make sure they don't completely affect your decision overall as they are very much a small picture of overall school performance and they are extremely changeable depending on school funding, staffing levels and population changes.

Are there different types of primary school?

There are different types of primary school and the key differences may affect your final decision when you're filling in those all-important forms.
The different types of primary school are;

  • Community Special/Foundation Special; A school attended by children who require a large amount of educational assistance who have a severe disability and need for special education.
  • Voluntary; A school that has become much more common in recent years with parents taking education into their own hands. Expect LEA involvement overall in combination with voluntary aid.
  • Voluntary aided; This is where the school will be more independent of LEA authority, these schools are usually religious.
  • Foundation; This is where the school and it's grounds tend to be owned by the local authority or governing body but the school has achieved grant maintained status.
  • Community; The most common form of primary school where it is wholly owned, staffed and run by the local authority.


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