Parents urged to apply for secondary places before it’s too late
Parents who have children due to start secondary school next September are being urged to apply for their child’s place before the end of this month to get the best opportunity to be allocated a preferred school.
Parents and carers are being encouraged to visit Leeds City Council’s website – www.leeds.gov.uk to complete an online application for their child’s secondary school place, before the closing date of 31 October 2015. For those applying online, offers will be emailed on 1 March 2016.
Previous years have shown that those who apply late have over a 30% less chance of getting a preferred school place, which can be upsetting for both parents and children.
Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member responsible for children and families, said:
“Deciding which school is best for your child is an important decision and, with so many good schools in Leeds, is not an easy one to make. A lot of work has gone into making the admissions process as straight forward as possible and the online form is quick and easy to fill in.
“Unfortunately every year there are disappointed parents and children who we are unable to offer a place to at one of their preferred schools because they apply after the deadline. We want to give everyone a fair opportunity by encouraging everyone to apply on time.
“It is very important that families list five schools they wish their children to attend – in order of preference, to give them the best chance of attending a preferred school. We also strongly advise parents to include their nearest priority school to maximise their chances of getting a local place.”
The online application process is easy and secure, however people who would prefer to fill in a paper application form, can obtain one from the ‘documents’ section on the admissions pages of the council’s website or from any school and return it to: Leeds City Council, PO Box 837, School Admissions, Leeds, LS1 9PZ or hand it in at any school office. People who apply using a paper form will be posted their offer by 2nd class post on 1 March 2016. These can take up to a week to arrive.
To help parents and carers make their preferences, a range of information is available both directly from schools and from the council. Schools will provide information about their own admissions policy, transport and uniform information. The admissions pages of the council website provides details about previous allocation rounds including maps showing furthest allocation distances, links to OfSTED reports and information and links to each school as well as further details about admissions policies. This information is provided to help parents to submit preferences for schools where they have a realistic chance of being offered a place.
To find out their nearest priority school or for any other help and advice parents can call the admissions team on 0113 2221414.
Parents are also reminded that they must apply for a school place using the address where their child lives for the majority of the time.
Increasing pupil numbers across the city will start to have an effect on secondary school places by 2018, when there will be around 875 more pupils starting year seven than there is this year and a further one thousand more by 2022. The council’s school places team is already hard at work negotiating with existing schools and other providers to develop solutions to ensure there are enough good quality school places in the right areas.