Will your child get a place at your preferred primary school? Offer Day to go ahead despite lockdown
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Families in Suffolk and North Essex will learn this week whether their children have got into their first-choice primary school.
Suffolk and Essex County Councils both confirmed that the admissions process is going ahead as usual, despite the coronavirus crisis, with the Primary School National Offer Day taking place on Thursday, April 16.
If you applied online, you will be able to log on to your council’s school admissions portal on Thursday, to find out what school your child has been offered.
If you used a paper form, you will be sent a letter confirming your child’s place, but this will not arrive until after National Offer Day.
In 2019, 93.8% of parents in Suffolk got a place at their first-choice primary school, with 98.6% receiving an offer from one of their top three choices.
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In Essex, 89.38% of parents were given their first option, with 95.5% of children being offered one of their top two schools.
If you are not happy with the school place your child is offered on Thursday, your child will automatically be added to your preferred school’s waiting list.
MORE - All you need to know about primary school admissionsYou can appeal the decision and another option is to apply for a different school.
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A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said previously that staff were working hard to prepare for National Offer Day, and added: “The appeals process is a statutory process and we are awaiting further guidance from the DfE on how to deliver this during the current crisis.”
Schools are currently open only for children of key workers. Amid uncertainty over when they will reopen as normal, they haven’t been able to make their usual arrangements for visits by children who are due to start this year.
Children will also have missed out on nursery sessions which usually help them to prepare for “big school”.
MORE - See all the latest coronavirus stories from your area hereHowever, schools are finding other ways of communicating with families and children to help them get ready.
Sarah Gallagher, headteacher of Snape Primary School, said: ”We normally have meetings with children and they come in for three little visits.”
Although that isn’t possible this year, she said: “We will be writing to families and we are emailing things like pictures for the children.”
Mrs Gallagher said she would be talking to other members of staff and they would be organising things like online craft activities, such as making a “rainbow in a pot”, and chats via Zoom, to help children prepare for school.
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