Parents who need to start thinking about which primary schools they want their children to attend next year have some great options to choose from if they pick a Wandsworth school.
There’s never been a better time to be taught at a local primary school, with children in the borough achieving higher academic standards and better test results than children in most other parts of the capital.
Last year Wandsworth’s primary schools achieved the fourth best combined Key Stage 2 English and maths results in England and Wales.
On average, more than 90 per cent of primary school children in the borough progress by at least two levels in English between Key Stages 1 and 2. Wandsworth is now ranked second best in the country for pupils’ progress in this vitally important subject.
And at both primary and secondary levels, school standards watchdog Ofsted currently rates 92 per cent of Wandsworth schools as good or outstanding. In comparison only an average of 74 per cent of schools in other parts of the country, and 80 per cent in London, have been given the same quality rating by Ofsted inspectors.
Parents of three and four-year-olds who want a reception class place next September are being advised that they must apply by Wednesday, January 15. This deadline applies to all children born between September 1, 2009 and August 31, 2010.
People can apply for a place at up to six state-run primary schools, including all the borough’s new free schools, listing each one in order of preference. These schools can either be in Wandsworth or another borough, but parents must apply to the town hall of the borough in which they live.
Since 2010, 25 extra reception classes have been opened at some of the most popular and highest achieving schools to meet the growing demand from parents for a place at a Wandsworth school.
And there is also much greater choice and diversity on offer for local parents with the launch of three new free schools, which all opened their doors at the start of the current academic year.
Places are available at the Tooting free school in Franciscan Road which is sponsored by the hugely popular Graveney School – with its long standing reputation as one of the country’s best state schools. This new primary aims to “develop a robust, creative curriculum that will give children the opportunity to learn key skills in all academic areas, develop a growth mindset and a ‘can-do’ attitude towards life and learning”.
Another new free school has opened in Balham – Rutherford House – a non-selective, non-denominational, co-educational school set up by the Place education consultancy and sponsored by the Bellevue Education Group, which runs nine preparatory schools in the independent sector. It is committed to “providing a broad and exciting education in a happy environment and doing everything possible to make sure that pupils achieve everything that they are capable of”.
The third new free school is the Mosaic Jewish primary school, which admits half of its pupils on non-religious grounds and wants its pupils “to become lifelong learners inspired by a love of ‘learning for the sake of learning’ through a rigorous, comprehensive academic programme of general and Jewish studies which places a priority on critical, independent and creative thought and expression.”
Education spokesman Cllr Kathy Tracey said: “This is the time of year when parents are thinking long and hard about which primary schools they would like their children to start attending next September.
“To help them make these important decisions, the council has produced a brochure that contains lots of useful information about local schools and a simple step-by-step guide to the admissions process. I would strongly urge mums and dads to read a copy so that they fully understand what they need to do and when.
“Parents in Wandsworth are in the very fortunate position of having a lot of really fantastic schools to choose from. Our schools continue to strongly outperform others across the whole of the country, including London, and this is testament to the inspired work of headteachers, teachers, teaching assistants and governors to deliver the best possible education to our young people.
“Local parents can now also choose from the borough’s three new exciting free schools which are already proving massively popular and are offering new and innovative ways of teaching and learning.
“This rich variety of choice and diversity and the very excellent standards of education now available at schools in every corner of the borough are qualities that parents in other parts of London can only dream about.”
Copies of the council’s brochure for parents – Choose a Wandsworth Primary School – are available from schools and nurseries and can be viewed online at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/admissions.
Once they have made their choices, the easiest way for parents to submit their application is to do it online at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/admissions. Alternatively they can fill in the application form that’s contained in the council’s brochure.
Anyone who wishes to apply for a place at a church or faith school will need to study that school’s admission criteria carefully to make sure they will be eligible for a place.
And parents are being reminded that even if their children are already enrolled in a nursery class at a local primary school, they must still apply for a place in a reception class. Attending a nursery class does not automatically mean their child will be eligible for a place in the reception class or that they will be offered a place at the same school.
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