All you need to know about getting your child into your choice of primary school
- Credit: Archant
It’s the day you will find out which primary school your child is going to. Gordon Jones, Cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills tells you all you need to know about school places and travel
Today is Primary School National Offer Day.
This can be a nervous time for parents as they await the important decision of whether their child got into their preferred choice of primary school.
Every child has a fair chance of getting into their parents’ preferred school and Suffolk County Council works closely with schools to try and ensure that as many pupils as possible are allocated their first preference.
Suffolk has a good track record of offering places at preferred schools and this year is no exception.
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Our primary school admission figures show that 98.6% or 7,403 children have been offered a reception place for September 2019 at one of their parents’ three preferences, with 93.8% offered their parents’ preferred school.
Families who applied online will be able to view the outcome of their application by logging on to the school admissions portal on Suffolk County Council’s website.
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Parents and carers will also receive an email with the details of their child’s offer. However, if you applied using a paper application form then Suffolk County Council will send you a letter by second class post today with details of your offer.
If we were unable to offer your child a place at your preferred school, they will automatically be put on a waiting list for that school in case a place becomes available.
Names are placed on the waiting lists in priority order - this is set out in the school’s admissions oversubscription criteria. If a place becomes available at a school, it will be offered to the child who is ranked highest on the waiting list.
Places are not offered based on the date on which names were placed on the list.
You also have the right of appeal if your child has been refused a place at one of your preferred schools. You must submit your appeal form to the Education Appeals Office by Tuesday 21 May 2019. More information about waiting lists and making an appeal can be found at www.suffolk.gov.uk/admissions
This September also sees the implementation of a new school travel policy for 5 to 16-year-old children. The new policy assesses a child’s eligibility for SCC funded school travel to the nearest suitable school.
Therefore, children who will be starting a new school in September 2019 will be eligible for SCC funded school travel when they are over 2 miles (under 8 years old) or 3 miles (over 8) walking distance from their nearest suitable school that would have a place available for them.
The new policy is being phased in to protect travel arrangements for children who are already receiving SCC funded school travel under the current travel policy. This means your child can continue to have SCC funded school travel to their current school as long as they continue to live at their current address.
Parents of children who are eligible for SCC funded travel must also now opt-in by 31 May each year so school travel can be provided in the following school year. We are asking eligible families to now opt in is because research has shown that some families, although eligible to SCC funded school travel, do not use their seat. Consequently, we are funding seats which are unused.
If a child is not eligible for SCC funded school travel, it’s their family’s responsibility to make sure they can get to and from school, accompanying them as necessary and paying for any travel costs
A good primary school education lays the foundations for success at secondary school and beyond, so I will do my upmost as cabinet member for children’s services, education and skills to ensure every child has the opportunity to reach their potential from the moment they start their education.
Any parents or carers with a child born between 1 September 2013 and 31 August 2014 who have not yet applied for a school place should make an application immediately by downloading the CAF1 application form from our website www.suffolk.gov.uk/admissions or contact Suffolk County Council on 0345 600 0981.