With Secondary School Applications Pending

We provide some general advice for making this important decision


State and Independent Schools In and Around Chiswick

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As is the case each year, the last two weeks of September will be fraught with parents and their Year 6 children visiting schools trying to assess which one is right for their child. Parents also have to assess which school their child might get into and then marry the two lists up and hope for some overlap.

Hounslow has a brochure on Secondary School Transfer which is available for download or at libraries. All children in Year 6 should also receive a copy to take home. This explains the procedure and goes through Hounslow's schools. Page 6 has the calendar of open evenings (mostly 21-31 September) and day time school visits (early October). Page 5 has the last distance offered in 2010, which shows how far away a child lived last year from the school and still got in. This can change considerably from year to year as popularity of a school changes. Distances now involve footpaths and a good estimate can be made on Google maps which shows you distance and path (by car or on foot) between two points.

Ealing lists its open evenings here and Richmond here. Some of these schools may be closer to you or more accessible than one in the borough of Hounslow.

The online closing date for applications is 31st October, with one form for all of London, although some schools for example Church of England or Catholic schools have additional procedures.

General advice for making this huge decision is as follows:

  • Go round all the schools you can
  • Take your child with you.
  • Listen to your child's opinion. S/he is the one going to school, not you.
  • If a secondary school suited one child, it may not suit a sibling.
  • Use your six choices.
  • Be realistic about applications. If you don't have regular church attendance, chances of getting into a church school are minimal. If you live twice as far as the last distance offered you probably won't get in either. Some secondary schools have feeder schools, others don't
  • Don't forget church schools have their own additional application form.
  • Look at the school league tables. But remember that numbers aren't everything.
  • Talk to parents with older children at secondary schools.
  • Think about bus journeys, times and travel routes.
  • Don't put a school down unless you will be happy to accept it (much harder to appeal against a school if you've applied for it).
  • If you want a single sex school, state so on the form as it will get you priority.
  • Read the form and fill it out correctly.
  • Visit the schools in the daytime as well as the evening
  • Don't judge any secondary school by what its students are like at 3.30pm

Application forms must be received by your primary school by Friday 22nd October although they will be accepted until Sunday 31st October at the London Borough of Hounslow. Apply online at www.hounslow.gov.uk/admissions

September 13, 2010