Most parents are aware of the deadlines for state school application – Year 7 transfers needed to be submitted by 31st October in England, Reception and Year 3 (junior school) applicants by 15th January of the new year.
However, some families, often because of work commitments, have to move home after these deadlines.
What happens then?
If you apply after the deadline, your application is deemed a “late transfer”. This means that it will be processed by the local authority, but not until the first “wave” of on-time applications have been handled. This means that the late transfer pile will not be touched until March at the earliest.
Places at the better schools in many areas, especially in urban environments, will be filled by this first wave of applications.
So how do relocating families give themselves the best chance of gaining a place in their preferred school:
1. Remember that waiting lists are prioritised on the admissions criteria of an individual school not on a first-come, first-serve basis.
2. One of the key elements that remains in your control is where you live. Live close to the schools and you will tend to be placed higher up the waiting list.
3. Read the admissions criteria of the school carefully. If preferences exist for church attendance, particular aptitudes, or if a school gives priority to children from feeder schools, think deeply about how that will affect your waiting list place.
4. Keep communication channels clear with schools and local authorities.
5. Consider if you have the basis for appeal – unlikely unless the local authority or school has mishandled your application.
Finally, don’t give up and be patient. It is surprising how much movement takes place in school lists, especially over the summer. It is also common for children not to show up on the first day of school in September.
Labels School Admissions.