It’s that time of year. Parents of children set to begin Primary School this September have been informed which school their child has been allocated. Many won’t get the 1st choice on their list unless they fit the main criteria which will include location, whether they have siblings and in some cases whether they are Catholic. It gets harder yearly with the population continuously growing in cities but provisions in regards to schools and hospitals not being adjusted to allow for this.
Not happy with the school your child has been allocated? Don’t fret. There are still options available to you.
Get on the Waiting List
The first thing you need to do is to get onto the waiting list. Fortunately, this is automatic for all which makes it easy. We were allocated our second choice so have been added to the waiting list for our first. Your child will not be on the waiting list for any schools lower than the allocated school.
Next, keep an eye on your position on the list. The position will not be available just yet as parents still have until the 30th of April to accept places they have been offered. After this, the local councils will have their hands full for a short time after with concerned parents checking to see how high or low they are on the list. A word of caution, avoid phoning too regularly as you don’t want to annoy these guys for obvious reasons. Waiting list positions will change. It is important to remember that waiting list places are not guaranteed. For example, if someone else applies that has a sibling already attending the school or lives closer they will automatically take a space above yours.
On National Offer Day which fell on the 16th of April this year, emails and letters were sent out to anxious parents. Within the letter is information about appeals. On reading this it seems that it is very unlikely that an appeal will be successful. But, if you don’t try you haven’t got a chance. Check the catchment they have quoted that has been calculated. For instance, if you are well within this it could subsequently provide a foot in the door.
Consider Local Schools with Places
On the letter that you will have received is a list of local schools that had places available on National Offer Day. Check their location and do research into the school. After that, if you find a school you are happy with then contact the local council and get your child allocated a slot before they fill up.
Still No Luck?
Reconsider the school options. Look again and see if there are any others that would suit that you didn’t apply to. The option here is an in-year admission. The application is made directly with the relevant council. Applicants are placed on a waiting list and will be offered a place depending on location, siblings etc.
If you can afford to, go private. Private schools are generally 3-4 months ahead in terms of teaching so this could give an academically inclined child a better start. Don’t get me wrong, many state schools are good but most are further behind in teaching than private schools.
Not for everyone I know. I did briefly consider this when we first applied for a Primary school for my eldest and had a nightmare of a time trying to get her into a decent school. This idea was short-lived however thanks to her younger sister.
There is still a chance for children to be allocated spaces in the school that you are after. It’s now just a matter of time before we can take further action. You may still get a place in the school you want after the 30th of April.
Do you have any suggestions for parents that haven’t been allocated a school they are happy with for their children?
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