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Nursery Admissions - Advice Please


Moorgate
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Hi All,

 

I work in a Nursery Class in a Primary School. My question is - how does your school decide which children you admit to Nursery. Our authority now has a one point of enrty - so children are admitted in September. In the past it used to be different.

 

We are still taking children into Nursery according to their DOB, so if a child is a September birthday, they take precedence over a child who has a birthday say in July or August, even if the child who's birthday is in August has applied for a place well in advance of the other child. So our waiting list doesn't seem to be a waiting list? We have a child who has been on the waiting list for 18 months and still has not been offered a place because they are a July birthday.

 

I just wonder how we can be offering equality of opportunity if both of these children are due to transfer to Reception the following September???

 

If we fill up our places with autumn birthdays first, then the summer birthdays will not receive any Nursery education, despite the fact that all children will be of Reception age in September 2013. The eldest child will have had alot of Nursery experience the youngest child none unless parents decide to pay at a private setting.

 

All comments and advice would be very gratefully received and really helpful, before i talk to my Headteacher.

 

Thank you

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It's a tricky one. I prepare the register for the following year just after Easter, and it's deemed to be official at the next half term, when I notify parents of their places. Any alterations are addressed in that last half week of term, and we are good to go in September. This system shows the available spaces from fairly early on, and if there are none, there are none!

 

I have never known a year like it for chopping and changing however - it's been ludicrous this year, I'm glad it's not a paper register!

 

Edit to add, that to a large extent, if a parent has booked a place well in advance, then they should have some priority over someone who just turns up at the last minute, if both are eligible to attend now

Edited by Cait
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I can understand your concerns, and it is an unfortunate position to be in as it seems to go against supporting your Summer born children. Does your school do the nursery admissions then? I know that some LA's now do the admissions for the schools but that could be different if you are a Church School. Your school will have to follow its admission policy criteria, so it might be a good idea to see what that says and start your discussions from there. At the end of the day I think that places need to be filled rather than kept, and the funding will depend on bums on seats when they do the head count, so empty places are not cost effective. If places are held until the Summer then your funding could be much less. Not ideal is it, especially if younger children end up going elsewhere and then decide to stay at another school! Perhaps it is worth considering changing the way the Foundation Stage is organised to support these younger chlildren?

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Was the same for many when only getting paid for those attending, and caused issues every year, but for us it was the eldest who got the space , but if anyone was on a waiting list and able to attend they did get priority over someone coming later..we also loked at siblings attending and local school so that they did nto have to be in two places at same time.

 

that said they could go to another setting and not have to pay as they still would get the 15 hours funding a week.. the issue could arise if there is a direct link and priority for entering the school at reception year for those attending the nursery.

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Although not a school nursery, we operate on a school site and the school doesn't have a nursery. Our afternoon session is run for children I their pre-school year and the majority move onto reception of said school. We therefore give priority to these children over children attending different schools. This is for the benefit of the children and us. They will all move on together and we know we are not going to lose children too school nurseries part way through the year.

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As this is a school nursery, you could check if your LA has an admissions policy or guidance..I know ours does. We also have separate admissions procedures for schools, which are done centrally) and nursery classes, which schools do themselves. The criteria are usually something like:

Looked after children

Children under Child protection plans

Children with SEN or disability CAF in place

Children with families who have a disability

Children with other significant need

 

Distance from school.

 

This is based on the idea that children who have greatest need take priority. If you are a church school, there may be additional criteria eg membership of the faith group or church.

 

As long as there is sufficient other provision in the area, the children will be able to access childcare at other places using their EYE in the term after their 3rd birthday, so it shouldn't be the case they they have no nursery experience. If there is no other provision, then its up to the LA to provide it, and so parents should contact their local Family Information Service to find out what is available.

 

I hope that helps

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Interestingly our LA has this as the 4th criteria for maintained settings.

 

 

"Priority should be given to the ‘Rising 4’ cohort, in order to maximise the

opportunities for children to receive at least one year of nursery education beforestarting school. The majority of places will be allocated to this cohort of children. "

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Can these children not go else where? We feed into a Maintained Nursery School and they don't take them until the September after they are 3 which is the same as your Nursery, but children come to us to get their Free Entitlement from the Term after they are 3. So some children come to us for1/2/3 terms then go onto the School nursery. So presumably your children should be able to get their free entitlement in an other Pre-school.

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