Primary schools: your questions answered

When do children start at primary school?

To apply for a reception class place for the 2018-2019 school year, your child must be born between 1 September 2013 and 31 August 2014.

What will happen if I apply for a place to start at a different time than my child’s birth date suggests?

The Camden policy does not allow parents to nominate an admission point other than the one their child’s birth date entitles them to. A place cannot be reserved until you wish to take it up.

How to decide which school to apply for

Camden has 42 primary schools, which participate in the co-ordinated application process. All are mixed gender schools, 20 of which are voluntary aided schools (13 Church of England and seven Roman Catholic schools), 19 are community schools, two are free schools and one is an academy.

Many of Camden’s primary schools are oversubscribed, meaning that they receive more applications than they have places available.

Choosing a school

Before deciding which schools to apply for, you should gather as much information about the schools as possible. Read the information in this booklet, get information from elsewhere, e.g. obtain the schools’ own information booklets, visit the schools and talk to your child’s primary school headteacher. Make sure you are clear which schools (usually voluntary aided schools) require you to complete an additional supplementary form and ensure that this supplementary form is returned to the school on time.
You can apply for up to six schools in any borough and these must be listed in order of preference. Please do not include special or independent schools.

Can I apply for a place before I move into the area?

You are welcome to make enquiries about Camden schools but your application will be considered on the basis of a current home address. For a change of address to be considered there must be some proof of renting or purchase to coincide with the application date.

If my child attends the nursery class at a school does this mean I will automatically get a place in the reception class?

No. Attendance at any nursery does not guarantee admission to the reception class at any school. Children who attend nursery education will still need to apply for a reception class place.

What if my child has a medical condition?

Where a parent states a preference for a particular school because of the medical, social or special educational needs of their child, they must demonstrate how this school meets the child’s special circumstances. Along with your application you should submit supporting evidence which sets out the particular reasons why the school is the most suitable and the difficulties that could be caused if your child has to attend another school. This will normally be in the form of a report from a suitably qualified professional, like a doctor.

Please see the individual school’s oversubscription criteria for further information on how this criterion will be applied.

What if my child has special educational needs?

Children who have a statement of special educational needs or an education, health and care plan will need to contact the SEN team on 020 7974 6500 in order to apply for a school.

Will schools be told my order of preference?

No, schools will not be told your order of preference. Councils will not pass on details of where the school was ranked and no school will be told about other schools a parent has applied to.

Do I live in the catchment area of the schools I have named?

The primary schools in Camden do not have ‘catchment’ areas (apart from Abacus Belsize Primary School, which is a free school). The area where children live who have previously been offered a place at a particular school can vary from year to year depending on the applications received. This is why in one year a child may be admitted to a school, but the next year a child living on the same road may be too far away to be offered a place.

What if I change address during the admissions process?

Please notify us immediately if you change address. If you move into or out of Camden after the applications deadline and have completed an application in your previous borough, you will need to contact both councils with details of your new address.

Your child’s permanent home address on the closing date for applications will be used to determine the distance to the school of your preference. If you move address after this date and are offered a place, you will be entitled to retain that place if you wish.

I want to apply for some schools in Camden and some schools in other boroughs. How should I do this?

You will only need to complete a primary application form from the borough where you live, naming all the primary schools you want to apply for. However, if you are applying for a voluntary aided school, you should check with the school whether they have a supplementary form to complete as well.

What happens if my child is refused a place?

If you are unable to find a place you should contact the school admissions team who will assist you in identifying a place.

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