Oxfordshire families with children due to start primary school next year are being urged to ensure they don’t miss the January applications deadline.
Parents or carers of children born between September 1 2011 and August 31 2012 are urged to visit the primary school admissions pages on the council’s website and apply online where possible before the deadline of January 15.
Primary or junior school applications also need to be made for children currently attending an infant school who were born between September 1 2008 and August 31 2009.
Stating three preferences
When applying parents are strongly advised to state three preferences and include their catchment school as one of these – even if it is their third preference school.
This does not in any way affect families’ chances of securing a place at their first-preference school. The council was able to offer first-preference places for almost 90 per cent of children starting primary school in Oxfordshire this year.
Apply on time
Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families Melinda Tilley said: “It’s important that parents ensure they apply for a school place for their child on time, as this increases the chances we will be able to offer them a place at a school listed among their preferences.
“Although there’s still a few weeks left to apply on time, many people will be pre-occupied over the Christmas and New Year period and it’s important for anyone who has yet to submit an application to do so before that time runs out.”
She added: “Understandably, many parents have strong views about which school they would like their child to attend, however, we would always urge families to state three preferences on their application form, and include their catchment school as one of these – even if it is their third preference.
“This does not in any way reduce the chances of securing a place at your first-preference school. All the information about how to apply can be found on our website.”
The council still accepts postal applications but recommends families apply online where possible, as this helps speed up the applications process.
Applying online also means families receive an automatic response confirming their application has been received and can be quickly notified if further information is needed.
Those who apply online will also receive an email on allocation day informing them of the outcome of their application, thus avoiding a delay in waiting for a letter to arrive in the post.
Postal application forms, as well as information booklets are available from all Oxfordshire schools and nurseries, and from reception at County Hall in Oxford. Reference copies of information booklets are also available from all Oxfordshire libraries.
The deadline for primary and junior school applications is 15 January 2016.
Secondary school applications
The deadline for ‘on-time’ applications for secondary school places in September 2016 has now passed, but any families who have yet to apply should do so as soon as possible by visiting the council’s secondary school admissions pages.