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How to Choose a School


How to Choose a School

Choosing your child’s school is probably one of the most important decisions you will have to make and there are many factors to consider before making such a verdict.

Taking your time to research your local schools may help you make the final decision.

Priority Admission Area (PAA)

2012 has seen a change in how a child is admitted into a primary community school within many London Boroughs. Changes are to stay in line with admissions into secondary school which don’t use catchment areas. Originally a Priority Admission Area (also known as a catchment area) surrounding the school would determine who was more likely to get in, but now everyone who wishes to apply to the school can. With each school only able to offer a certain number of places the council has a priority list of who will be admitted first and once accepted, move down the list.

The priority list usually consists of the following :

  • Children in public care (in and outside PAA regardless)

  • Children who have exceptional medical or social circumstances(in and outside PAA regardless)

  • Children who have a brother or sister attending that school (includes blood, step, foster). Proof is required they are living at the same address  (in and outside PAA)

  • Children proximity to the school (the nearer you are to the school the greater chance you have of getting in) – within PAA

It is a gamble when applying for a school, especially a popular one as each year have different ratios – one year a large number of siblings will be offered, leaving a few places free for families living closer to the school, while other years a low number of siblings may apply and children from the surrounding boundaries may be offered a place.

It is impossible to predict until all the applications have been submitted and the priority list formed. However your Local Educational Authority should have a brochure about their policies, what schools are available and what the intake is for each school (usually the numbers from the previous year).

You can refer to our school catchment area as an idea of number of class entries, ratio of pupils p/teacher on www.chiswickschools.co.uk

Related Forum Topics

Forum: Education

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