Help for parents choosing primary schools

Parents who want their children to start attending a Wandsworth nursery or primary school in September 2004 can find out more about the admissions process in an informative new council brochure.

The education department has produced a new brochure called Starting School in Wandsworth which gives detailed advice and information on how to apply to local primary and nursery schools.

The booklet gives simple and straightforward information about all aspects of the admissions policy of every single Wandsworth primary school and nursery.

It contains a map so parents can find their nearest schools, a timetable of important dates in the admissions calendar, details of local after-school care schemes and contact details to help find out more about other early years services in Wandsworth.

Copies are being distributed to schools and council information points and further copies can be requested by telephoning 020 8871 8265, visiting the education department's offices on the fourth floor of the town hall or by sending an email to

Copies of the brochure, as well as a wealth of information about local primary schools, can also be downloaded from

Parents applying to a Wandsworth primary or nursery school must do so by Friday, February 13, 2004. There is no limit on the number of schools parents can apply to.

The schools will announce their decisions on Friday, March 5. Parents who have successfully applied to more than one school must let each one know straight away whether or not they wish to accept the place.

Parents with firm offers of a place must tell the school whether or not they wish to accept the place by Friday, March 12. Failure to do so by this date means that those places could be offered to other children. Parents who apply after the February 13 deadline will be offered any remaining places at the school of their choice, but if the class is already full, the child's name can only be put on a waiting list. At this stage parents will need to secure a place at another school with available places.

Cabinet member for education Cllr Malcolm Grimston said: "We strongly recommend that parents find out more about a school before they apply. They can use the information in the council's booklet to contact schools for a prospectus or to arrange a visit.

"Some schools receive more applications that they can accept. The booklet explains the admissions criteria which are used to decide which children will be offered places. This will give parents an idea of whether or not their child stands a good chance of getting a place at the school they prefer.

"Unless parents are certain that their child will get a place at a particular school, they should apply to other schools as well.

"Church of England and Roman Catholic schools have different admissions criteria from other schools. Parents should contact these schools direct for more information."

28th October 2003

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