On your marks - Herts parents can start applying for next September’s primary school places from today

Plans have been approved to merge Arlesey Nursery School with Gothic Mede Academy.

Plans have been approved to merge Arlesey Nursery School with Gothic Mede Academy. - Credit: Archant

The process for applying to primary, junior and middle schools in Hertfordshire is now open, and parents and carers have been urged to make sure they don’t miss out.

Education chiefs say it is vital that they get their applications in before the closing date of January 15 next year.

The easiest way to apply for a place is to visit www.hertsdirect.org/admissions and complete the online application form.

Online applications can be amended at any time up to the closing date and the school offer can be viewed and responded to before allocation letters are received.

Last year 99 per cent of parents applied online and feedback indicated that they found the system quick, easy and secure.

The ‘Under 11s’ Introduction booklet is also available on the Herts County Council website and tells you all you need to know about the primary, junior or middle transfer process and advice on where to find extra help.

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Leaflets explaining how to apply will be distributed to families at the beginning of November. They will be posted directly to families with children coming up to reception age and distributed by schools to children in Year 2 in infant schools and Year 4 in first schools.

Before making an application, parents and carers are strongly advised to visit schools to help decide their preferences. Parents should contact schools directly to find out more.

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Councillor David Williams, County Hall’s cabinet member for education, said: “We want to make sure young people get a good start in life, and we have some of the best facilities for education in the UK.

“I understand that parents and carers want their children to attend the school they most prefer. Hertfordshire has a good track record and last year 95 per cent of applicants were offered a place at one of their four ranked primary, junior or middle schools.

“We are not always able to completely satisfy parental preference, despite working very hard to achieve this. I would urge parents to carefully consider the preferences they make, to make realistic preferences and to visit local schools before applying.”

In line with recent Department for Education guidance, parents of summer-born children (born between April 1 and August 31, 2012) who do not believe their child will be ready to start reception in September 2016 may instead apply for a place in September 2017 when that process begins next November.

A County Hall spokesman said: “We would encourage all families with summer-born children to discuss their child’s readiness for Reception with their nursery provider before making a decision and confirm before Easter 2016 whether they wish their child to remain in nursery for 2016/17 rather than move on to a reception class.”

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