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Apply now for school places
PARENTS whose children will be going to primary, junior or secondary school for the first time in September next year are being advised that they now need to apply for school places for them.
This year, the council was able to give 91 per cent of applicants their first preference for primary schools, and 99.7 per cent for secondary schools.
However, it is urging parents to make sure they put down a second and third choice of school when they apply, in case their first choice school is oversubscribed.
The closing date for secondary school applications is 31st October 2013, and the deadline for primary school applications is 15th January 2014.
The applications must be with the council’s admissions team by these dates. All applications received up to the deadline dates will be considered together using the same criteria – they are not dealt with on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
Applications received after the deadline may significantly increase the risk of the council being unable to offer places for any of the preferred schools.
Coun Fionuala Foley, cabinet member for Children’s Services said: “We have an excellent track record in providing school places and meeting parents’ preferences for where they would like their children to be educated.
"This year, we were the fourth most successful council in the South-west, and the fourteenth nationally, at meeting the first preferences for secondary school applicants, while 97 per cent of primary school applicants had one of their three preferences met.
“However, it is important that parents give us their second and third preferences, because it gives them the best possible chance of getting their children into a school that is the most acceptable to them if their first choice can’t accommodate all the applicants.”
Information about the entire process, including how to apply, and the application and oversubscription criteria, is available at www.swindon.gov.uk/schoolplaces
Alternatively, parents or carers can contact schools directly, visit the council’s One Stop Shop, in Beckhampton Street, or contact the council’s School Admissions Team on 01793 445500 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Applying online has the added benefit of providing applicants with a reply e-mail proving that the application has been received. Alternatively, parents can apply for a school place using a hard copy application form. These are available from schools, Swindon Direct or the council’s Schools Admissions Team.
Letters will be sent to parents and carers detailing the offer of a school place for their children on April 16 for primary and junior places, and on the March 3 for secondary places.