Choosing a Secondary school
When your child is in Year 5, it is a good time time to start thinking about their next school. Every area in the country is different so you do need to talk to your Head teacher and the child’s class teachers to get advice. In some areas the transfer from junior education to secondary is completely straightforward. All the children automatically proceed to the secondary school in their area.
Voluntary aided/Church Schools
Three tier system of Education
Voluntary controlled schools
All of the schools in your area will have prospectuses and information for parents. They will also advertise Open Mornings and evenings both during this term…..the summer term …..and again at the start of the new school year in September/October. Parents with children in Year 5 need to see as many of the secondary schools in your area as soon as possible. It is advisable to visit as many different types of school as possible (and both selective and non-selective if available) so that you can make a judgement on facts, not on hearsay.
Making a decision
After seeing the schools parents should make a short list of the schools that they like and the reasons for this. Whatever schools you are choosing please read their prospectus and check with your Local Authority and Head teacher. If available, read the Booklet available to every parent with a child in Year Six and check your local County Council web site for available information.
Local Authority Booklet
This book has a full set of instructions:
This book is usually ready during the summer holidays…make sure that you get one. It will be available online or you can request a printed copy from your Local Authority.
This gives you definitive information about the schools such as:
It is difficult for some parents with children living in selective areas to make a choice. In some areas all children are entered automatically for the 11+ and parents can choose to opt their child out; in others, they have to opt in. Your child’s school will tell you if they think that your child will succeed and be happy at a Grammar school.
Children who are applying for a place at some schools need to fill out the school’s own entry form as well as the LA form. This will apply to the church schools so always check with the school and ask your Local authority if you are unsure. Please check that ‘the school of your choice’ has admitted children in previous years from your area ….sometimes different parts of a county have differing rules!
All schools have certain criteria for entry (the order of priority can vary). The main ones are:
If you are concerned about travelling and the costs incurred by this you should ask your Local Authority for advice. Please do this before you make your choice. Each Local Authority will have different rules for this. In general however if you choose a school which is not designated the nearest appropriate school your child will NOT qualify for free transport. If, however, the authority considers it necessary for your child to attend a particular school then they may provide free transport. The distance away from home to school is usually considered to be more than three miles for free transport.
Even if you select a school where testing is not a requirement you have to be aware of the entry criteria. If a school is over-subscribed and you live too far away, or they have enough children who live nearer to school than you, your child may not be given a place.Some schools state in their entrance criteria that they only accept ‘First choice’ candidates. This is because they know from previous years that they will be over-subscribed. Parents are aware of each school’s examination results, ethos, behaviour of the pupils and the standard of teaching and care that every child receives. This is very important and it is correct that it should play an important part in each and every parents’ decision.
Reallocation forms In some counties, reallocation forms will be sent to every parent where their child has not given their first choice school. This is a separate process to the process of ‘Appealing’ so you may do both together.
Detailed guidance on appealing can be found through the following link: School Admission Appeals
Please ensure that you have the latest information for the current year. Check: