The Bristol Primary School Admissions Process Explained

I know only too well that choosing and applying for a primary school place for your child can be daunting. I was in the same position last year with my little boy.

Bristol school admissions

So, today on Bristol Mum, the Bristol school admissions process is broken down and explained by the School Admissions & Welfare Manager at Bristol City Council, Mike Wheeler. I hope this post helps parents and carers in Bristol.

1) How and when do I apply for a primary school place for my child?

Parents and carers should apply for a primary school place between 12th September 2013 and midnight 15th January 2014.
Parents and carers can make an online application on the Bristol City Council school admissions webpages. If parents have not got web access then they can request a paper copy of the application form, which should, once completed, be sent to the School Admissions Team.

2) Do I have to put three choices down?

Parents and carers do not have to put three preferences down, however we recommend you use all three preferences to maximise the chances of getting a school place of their choice.

3) What if I don’t like the primary schools in my area?

We recommend parents & carers visit their local schools. Do not rely on other peoples views. Look at Ofsted reports, the school website and talk to parents who have children at the school. Look at the ‘furthest distance in previous years’ fact sheet on the admissions website to find out if you may qualify for a school further away.

4) What date should I apply by?

Midnight 15th January 2014.

5) Does the sibling rule still apply throughout Bristol?

Yes it does.

6) When and how will I find out?

If you applied on time and online you will receive an email with your allocated school on the morning of 16th April 2014. You will also receive  a letter which details your offer on 17th April. If you applied using a paper form, then you won’t receive an email, but will receive the letter on the 17th April.

7) How are decisions of primary school places made?

All Bristol schools have published admissions criteria. Check the guide for parents – which is available on our website. The guide tells you all of the different criteria that schools use to decide who to offer places to. If you are applying for a faith school, make sure you also complete the supplementary information form, which is available from the school directly.

8) What do I do if I don’t like the school my child has been given a place at?

You can change your preferences, opt to go on the waiting list, or exercise your right of appeal.

9) How successful do primary school appeals tend to be in Bristol?

The majority of schools appeals for Reception are heard under Infant Class Size regulations. This is national legislation that states you cannot have more than 30 children in a class – except in exceptional circumstances E.g. for a child in care. The Independent Appeals Panel cannot take into account personal, medical or social needs. They can only look at if the published admissions criteria was applied correctly.  Therefore the likelihood of having an infant class size appeal upheld is small.

Did you find this article helpful? Or do you have more questions about the Bristol primary school process? Please do comment below.

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