Parents of children due to start primary school in September are reminded the deadline for applications is this Sunday, January 15.
If you’re not sure, children born between September 1, 2012 and August 31, 2013 should start primary school in September 2017.
If you return your application after the deadline it greatly decreases your chance of being offered a place at your preferred school.
The easiest way to apply is online at www.eadmissions.org.uk
Advising parents, Ealing Council says paper application forms are available from Ealing primary schools or by contacting its admissions service.
There will then be a single, national offer day on Monday, April 17 when parents across the country will find out where their child has been offered a school place.
Ealing Council says changes to rules on how places are allocated for community primary schools came into effect for the first time in 2015. Following a public consultation held in 2014 priority is now given to siblings of children already at the school. This change was introduced because previously, growing demand meant that some families were unable to secure a place for a younger child at their older sibling’s school.
Schools no longer have priority areas, more commonly known as catchments. Instead applications will be assessed on straight-line distances from schools. This removes the anomaly where families sometimes could not secure a place at a school they live close to, because of where the catchment boundary fell.
In addition, the criterion of exceptional medical and social circumstances has been removed but this will not affect applications from children with a special educational needs statement or education, health and care plan. Appeal panels will still consider exceptional medical and social needs as part of the appeals process.
Faith schools, foundation schools, free schools and academies have their own admission criteria and parents should read them carefully.
Councillor Binda Rai, cabinet member for children and young people at Ealing Council, said: “Missing the applications deadline reduces the chances of your child being offered a place at their preferred school and I would urge parents to ensure they apply by January 15.
“Our admissions team also advises parents to avoid only listing your first choice of school because many schools do not have places for everyone who applies to them. We therefore need to know where else you might like your child to attend.”
Help and advice is available from the council’s admissions service on 020 8825 5511 (9am-noon) or by going to www.ealing.gov.uk/admissions
Remember, you can apply for up to six schools. Even after you have researched the schools and you have decided where to apply, you should not assume that your child will be offered a place. You should also consider other schools where you know you will have a good chance of gaining a place. Naming other schools will not affect your chances of being offered a place at a higher preference school. Schools are not informed of other preferences you have made or the order in which you place them.
Councillor Danny Chalkley, Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said: "September may feel like a long way away, but the deadline for primary school applications is this Sunday. Applying is easy, although I urge all parents to thoroughly research the schools you might like to send your child to so you are aware of the application conditions and options available."
"Our schools are consistently among the highest performing in the country and with 97% of our schools rated Good or Outstanding there is no better time to be sending your child to a Westminster Primary School."
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