A. No. Parents do not have an absolute right to choose the school they want for their child. Parents have a right to state a preference for a school and the County Council and other admission authorities have a duty to comply with that preference except where it would prejudice what the 1998 School Standards and Framework Act calls ‘efficient education or the efficient use of resources’. If the County Council or governors of an admission authority school are unable to meet a parental preference, parents have the right to appeal to an independent appeal panel.
A. Schools take most of their children from the surrounding area, called the catchment area. To find your catchment school, check using the School catchment finder link below. Please note that your child’s permanent address determines your catchment school and it is this address which must be used on the application form.
A. From the school’s admission policy – published in its prospectus – you will be able to work out how high up the list of admission criteria your child will be. You can find information about the number of children the school can admit in September, as well as the number of children admitted within each admission category last year. For community and voluntary controlled schools this information can be found in the school details pages. For other schools you may need to contact the school. Schools will be able to give you an idea of the trend of applications and appeals. However, you must treat the information about previous years with some caution because circumstances can change from year to year. For example, if a new housing development opens in the catchment area of a small infant school, it may affect the number of out of catchment applicants the school can admit.
A. The County Council cannot guarantee places in any school. If you apply to your catchment school the chances are usually high that you will be offered a place, but this cannot be guaranteed. Changes in the pattern of parents’ preferences and changes in local population may mean that a few schools will be oversubscribed from within their catchment area.
A. The deadlines for applications are national dates and therefore will be the same for all local authorities, however, the procedures may vary. Hampshire is surrounded by nine other local authorities. If you intend to apply to a school in another authority, it is advisable that you contact that school to request a copy of their prospectus.
Residents in neighbouring authorities applying to a Hampshire school must use their own authority’s form and follow the advice given by their own authority.