Help at hand to apply for primary school

An admissions fair will take place on Tuesday, 6 December 2016 from 4-8pm at Ealing Town Hall. Parents and carers do not need to book and can drop in at any time to talk to the council’s admissions team who can give expert, one-to-one advice on how to complete the primary school application form.

Admissions officers will also be available for individual advice sessions which will take place in Perceval House, next to Ealing Town Hall on 7, 8 and 9 December from 10am until 4pm. People wishing to attend a session must book in advance by calling 020 8825 5522 or by emailing mainroundadmissions@ealing.gov.uk.

Changes to rules on how places are allocated for community primary schools came into effect for the first time last year. 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.

The deadline for primary school applications is Sunday, 15 January 2017 and the easiest way to apply is online at http://www.eadmissions.org.uk/.

All children who applied on time last year were offered a place at an Ealing primary school and more than 95% were offered a place at one of their top three choices.

Councillor Binda Rai, cabinet member for children and young people said: “Our team of experts will be ready and waiting to help parents and carers applying for primary school to avoid common errors such as returning the forms later, only applying for one school or making unrealistic choices.”

For more information on Ealing’s school admissions process, go to www.ealing.gov.uk/admissions or call 020 8825 5522 to talk to the admissions team.