How To Easily Navigate The Surrey Admissions Process!

Easily Navigate The Surrey School Admissions Process!

Do you have a child who will be starting school in September 2018?

If so, then you may be beginning to wonder where to start with the application process. I can hardly believe it is time to think about my son starting school, he seems too little, but having been through the experience already with my daughter I know he will be ready when the time comes!

I am confident that the decisions we made for my daughter two years ago during the application process have set the foundations for her to be the happiest she can be at primary school.

The decisions are much easier this time around as we will apply for our son to join his sister but I still remember how it felt to be going through the process for the first time.

I am pleased we were careful about the decisions we made and listened to our hearts when it came to choosing the school we thought she would be happy with.

Jump to details about the application process

Forming Opinions?

Before starting the application process I thought a lot about what I wanted for our daughter.

Before starting the application process, I thought a lot about what I wanted for my daughter.

It was easy to listen to what others were saying about the primary schools in the area and despite telling myself I would not take any notice of the views of others,  I found myself starting to form opinions about each school based purely on what others are telling me.

As a secondary school teacher I understand very well how different the school experience can be for each child. We are all different and our personalities and approaches to learning suit different school environments.

Whilst one child may thrive in a large school another may benefit from being in a smaller school.

You know your child and are therefore the best person to make the decision about where they will be happy.

In my view the most important part of the decision making process is to visit all the primary schools in your local area- even those you think you don’t want your child to go to.

It is very easy to read an Ofsted report and listen to what other parents are saying in the park but you will only know whether a school is right or wrong for your child when you spend time in the school environment meeting the staff and children and seeing for yourself what goes on.

On this visit the question you need to keep asking yourself is ‘Will my child be happy here?’

I thoroughly enjoyed visiting all the local schools last autumn and was honestly impressed by all they had to offer.

Visiting the School

When you visit a school, try and get a feel for what is going on.

If you can, go into the school to arrange your tour so that you can see what is going on during an average day. On your visit, ask if you can quietly venture into a classroom and see for yourself how the children learn.

Talk to the children if you can and ask them about their school and see how they react when you ask them about the targets they are currently working towards.

Do they happily tell you because they are excited about making progress?

Do you get the impression they enjoy going to school?

A school should have a happy buzz about it, where the children are making progress and the staff enjoy working there.

Ask about the extra-curricular opportunities and if childcare is an issue for you ask about after school clubs.

Logistics when you are a working parent are important.

You can choose up to four schools to apply for and it is a realistic possibility that you will be offered a place at the school you placed last in your list of preferences or didn’t’ list at all!

The number of children starting school each year varies and you cannot assume that you will be offered a place at your first choice school or the one you live nearest too.

You will feel much happier waiting for the results of your application if you are comfortable with what all the schools in the area can offer.

As a parent, you want to be able to help your child settle in to school life calmly and I think it is important that you are able to talk positively to your child about the school they will be going to.

They are never going to be happy at a school they think Mummy and Daddy don’t like!

This link takes you to an article written by a primary school teacher and is well worth a read if you are looking for further guidance.

http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/sep/23/choosing-primary-school-guide-teachers-guide-for-parents

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Applying for a Primary School place


As you can imagine there is a huge amount of detailed information available both on the Surrey County Council website and on each individual school site, to help you navigate throughout this here is a helpful mini-index for you to jump to the section you are interested in!

Do I need to apply this year?

Key Dates

The Application Process

Admission Criteria

Allocation of Places

Local School Admission Criteria

Other Useful Links

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Did you know we also list all of the local Kids Drop-In activities as well as all of the Pre-School Classes running locally?

Drop In and Soft Play Activities

Pre-School Classes

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Do I need to apply this year?

If your child was born between 1st September 2013 and 31st August 2014 you will need to apply for a school place this year.

The Surrey County Council website states:

“In Surrey your child is able to start school at the beginning of the school year following their fourth birthday, although they are not legally required to be in education until the start of the school term following their fifth birthday. You may ask for your child to start school full or part time or to defer entry until your child reaches the legal age but you cannot defer entry beyond the academic year. If you wish to defer taking up your child’s school place, you must still apply by the given deadline and must discuss this with the school’s head teacher.”

http://new.surreycc.gov.uk/schools-and-learning/schools/school-admissions/apply-for-a-school-place

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Key Dates

  • Primary school applications for September 2018 open on 31st October 2017.
  • The deadline for Primary school applications for September 2018 is 15th January 2018.
  • You will receive the outcome of your application on 16th April 2018.
  • You must accept or decline the school place you have been offered by 30th April 2018.
  • If you wish to appeal for one of the schools listed on your application form you will need to submit this by mid May 2017 (date yet to be published) to ensure your appeal can be heard before the end of the summer term 2018.

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The Application Process

The process of applying involves several stages:

 1. What School?

You can apply for up to four schools. It is recommended that you name as many preferences as possible to increase your chances of being offered a place at a preferred school. Surrey County Council must offer your child a school place but it does not have to be at one of your preferred schools or at the school closest to your home.

This link below will take you to a really useful Surrey County Council directory of schools in Surrey.

http://new.surreycc.gov.uk/schools-and-learning/schools/directory-of-surrey-schools

2. Completing your application

You can do this online at https://www.eadmissions.org.uk/  which you access via the Surrey County Council Website.  The form for this round of applications will be available from 30th October 2017.

Applying online is recommended (if you do this, you will be notified of the outcome of your application via a text message or the new parent comms app) but if you would like to apply on paper call 0300 200 1015 for an application form.

3. Are any supplementary forms required?

Some schools require these. The forms will be published on the schools directory for the schools that require them. The individual school websites will also detail any supplementary information required.

4. How is your School chosen?

The schools consider all applications and the local authority then assesses the highest offer that can be made based on your order of preferences on the application form. The school will not know whether you selected them as your first choice or fourth choice, if they are oversubscribed they simply assess your application based on their admission criteria.

5. Your Offer!

School places are offered on 16th April 2018 and you have until 30th April 2018 to accept or decline the offer made.

This summary is intended to be helpful to those unfamiliar with the application process but if any of your questions remain unanswered please ensure you contact Surrey County Council directly or speak to the school/schools you are interested in applying to.

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school-teacher

Admission criteria

A school will use its admission criteria to assess applications if the number of applicants exceeds the number of places available. All applications are then judged against each school’s admissions criteria. The criteria for each school will vary and I have summarised below key points worth considering for each school however I would recommend reading the criteria in full on the school’s web page for the schools you decide to apply to.

Other points worth noting:

Attending pre-school at a particular school does not have any impact on your application for a reception place.

You are advised to put as many school preferences as possible on your application form. If you choose just one school and it is over-subscribed you will not increase your chances of being offered a place because it was your only choice – the school will not know this and will just assess your application based on the set admission criteria.

Most schools admission criteria will include offering places to siblings as a priority but there is no guarantee of this happening.

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Allocation of places

For each school you intend to apply to, consider the admission criteria and how places have been allocated in previous years to allow you to assess the likelihood of your application being successful. The way in which reception places are allocated will vary each year because the number of children meeting each aspect of the admissions criteria will vary each year.

For example, one year a school may allocate a large number of places to children with siblings already on roll but another year have fewer applications from siblings creating more spaces for other children. Whilst you cannot predict who will be applying when you make your decisions it is useful to know how places have been allocated previously so you can make your own judgement about your chances of being successful.

The surrey county council website provides information about how places have been previously allocated. Go to the link below:

http://new.surreycc.gov.uk/schools-and-learning/schools/school-admissions/school-admissions-consultations

 

The distance used for the entry criteria is usually the straight line distance between your home and school. If a school measures distance differently it will be detailed in the admission criteria.

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Local Schools Admissions Criteria

We have included details below of our local primary schools in Hersham and Walton-on-Thames, f you are interested in schools in Weybridge, Esher or further throughout Surrey then you can find information about each of them on the Surrey County Council Website.

The directory of Surrey schools is very useful and can be found at the link below:

http://www.surreycc.gov.uk/schools-and-learning/schools/directory-of-surrey-schools

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ashley-school-cropAshley C of E (A) Primary School

Ashley Road, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, KT12 1HX
01932 227695
info@ashley.surrey.sch.uk
www.ashleyschool.org.uk/
Headteacher: Mr RJ Dunne

Link to Ofsted report:
http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/131052

Brief summary of Admission Criteria:

  1. Looked after and previously looked after children
  2. Exceptional Circumstances
  3. Children of staff on the school payroll- Max of 3 places.
  4. An applicant with a sibling on roll at the time of applying.
  5. An applicant who lives a distance of no further than 500 metres from the school- Max of 10 places.
  6. Priority is then given to applicants who attend St Marys or St Johns churches in Walton on Thames and the order in which you are considered depends on whether the applicant and parents are confirmed and attend church regularly. In addition to this you must live within the parish boundary.

More information can be found here:

http://www.ashleyschool.org.uk/admissions

Supplementary information required?

Yes if you are applying under criteria 5 or 6 (Evidence of being a regular at St Marys or St Johns churches)

Link to the supplementary information form: http://www.ashleyschool.org.uk/admissions/admissions-201617-consultations

Open Day/Tour information:
This information is not yet available. Check the schools website for details or contact the school directly.

 

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Bell_Farm_Junior_School_logoBell Farm Primary School

Hersham Road, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, KT12 5NB
01932 224009
Info@bell-farm.surrey.sch.uk
www.bellfarmschool.co.uk
Headteacher: Anne Cooper

Link to Ofsted report:
https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/125058

Brief summary of Admission Criteria

  1. Looked after and previously looked after children
  2. Exceptional social or medical need
  3. Siblings
  4. Children who have the school as the nearest to their home address
  5. Others by distance

More information can be found here:

http://bell-farm.co.uk/admissions/admissions-criteria

Supplementary information required?

No

Open Day/Tour information:
This information is not yet available. Check the schools website for details or contact the school directly.

 

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burhill-school-cropBurhill Community Primary School

Pleasant Place, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, KT12 4HR
01932 225836
office@burhill.surrey.sch.uk
www.burhill.surrey.sch.uk
Headteacher: Mrs Sally Hewlett-Taylor

Link to Ofsted report:
http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/125055

Brief summary of Admission Criteria

  1. Looked after and previously looked after children
  2. Exceptional social or medical need
  3. Siblings
  4. Children who have the school as the nearest to their home address
  5. Others by distance

More information can be found here:
http://www.burhill.surrey.sch.uk/about/admissions

Supplementary information required?
No

Open Day/Tour information:
This information is not yet available. Check the schools website for details or contact the school directly.

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cardinal-newman-cropCardinal Newman Catholic Primary School

Arch Road, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, KT12 4QT
01932 222536
office@cardinal-newman.surrey.sch.uk
www.cardinal-newman.surrey.sch.uk
Headteacher: Ms GM Keany

Link to Ofsted report:
http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/125237

Brief summary of Admission Criteria

  1. Baptised Catholic looked after children or previously looked after children
  2. Baptised Catholic children with a sibling at the school at the time of admission. Evidence of baptism will be required
  3. Baptised Catholic children  resident  in  All  Saints,  Hersham  and  St.  Erconwalds,  Walton-on-Thames  parishes. Evidence of Baptism will be required
  4. Other baptised Catholic children. Evidence of Baptism will be required
  5. Other looked after children or previously looked after children
  6. Other children with a sibling at the school at the time of admission.
  7. Children who are members of Eastern Orthodox Churches. Evidence of Baptism will be required
  8. Children  of  families  who  are  members  of  other  Christian  denominations  that  are  part  of  Churches Together  in  England. Evidence  of  Baptism  (or  dedication)  provided  by  a  priest  or  minister  of  a designated place of worship will be required.
  9. Children who are members of other faiths. Evidence of membership of the faith provided by a priest, minister or religious leader of a designated place of worship will be required.
  10. Any other children.

More information can be found here:
http://www.cardinal-newman.surrey.sch.uk/page/?title=Reception+Admissions+2016-2017&pid=373

Supplementary information required?
Yes – This is a link to the form that must be completed and submitted with proof of address and a copy of your child’s baptism certificate

http://www.cardinal-newman.surrey.sch.uk/_site/data/files/Admissions/DEA0D432841F2EBF7B89F35A004399B5.pdf

Open Day/Tour information:
Visits can be arranged by appointment and you should contact the school directly.

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grovelands-cropGrovelands Primary School

Terrace Road, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, KT12 2EB
01932 227816
info@grovelands.surrey.sch.uk
www.grovelands.surrey.sch.uk

Headteacher: Liz Nichols

Link to Ofsted report:
http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/125056

Brief summary of Admission Criteria

  1. Looked after and previously looked after children
  2. Exceptional social or medical need: 0
  3. Siblings
  4. Children who have the school as the nearest to their home address
  5. Any other children:

More information can be found here:
http://www.grovelands.surrey.sch.uk/admissions

Supplementary information required?
No

Open Day/Tour information:
This information is not yet available. Check the schools website for details or contact the school directly.

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Walton-Oak-cropWalton Oak School

Ambleside Avenue, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, KT12 3LN
01932 259604
office@oak.surrey.sch.uk
www.oak.surrey.sch.uk
Headteacher: Mandy Watts

Link to Ofsted report:
http://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/134557

Brief summary of Admission Criteria

  1. Looked after and previously looked after children
  2. Exceptional social/medical need
  3. Children who will have a sibling at the school
  4. Children for whom the school is the nearest to their home address
  5. Any other children

More information can be found here:
http://www.oak.surrey.sch.uk/Our-School/Admissions/

Supplementary information required?
No

Open Day/Tour information:
This information is not yet available. Check the schools website for details or contact the school directly.

 

Other useful links

The more you read about how to choose a primary school the more comfortable you will feel about the whole process. I know I feel better after doing this research. However, in my view, the key factor in choosing a school is still happiness. A  child who is happy to go to school will always make good progress.

https://www.gov.uk/schools-admissions/choosing-schools

https://www.goodschoolsguide.co.uk/help-and-advice/choosing-a-school/choosing-a-state-primary

http://www.findaschool.info/blog/2013/08/10/choosing-a-primary-school-some-advice-for-parents/

http://www.familylives.org.uk/advice/primary/

http://www.madeformums.com/school-and-family/10-questions-to-ask-when-visiting-a-primary-school/19135.html

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AlleyCatz-logo-webhttp://www.alley-catz.co.uk/
AlleyCatz are a great local company based in Hersham specialising in:

 School Uniform, Schoolwear, Sportswear & Teamwear for schools & sports clubs.

They also sell School/sports bags & school swimwear.
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