How to get your child into secondary school

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In the UK, primary schooling covers the first 11 years of their lives, divided into six school years.

Secondary school starts from year seven, when the child is 11 years old, and continues until either 16 or 18, depending on whether or not they choose to attend college.

These are vital points in a child’s life, and parents need to find the right school to support them.

How to get your child into secondary school

Most children will have an automatic right to join state-funded schools in the UK.

Staff cannot refuse children based on their ethnicity, country of origin, or immigration status.

The only exceptions are non-EEA children visiting the UK as tourists or visitors or those with study permission.

The latter status assumes that they are enlisting with an independent fee-paying school.

Migrants can attend UK state schools for free, as they are Government-funded institutions.

Terms start in the autumn, around September, and last for another eight to nine months.

They tend to vary, however, and may be shorter or longer depending on the council.

The Government provides a tool available here designed to help people find schools, their term times and more.

Each listing from ‘find and compare schools in England’ will show league tables and Office of Standards in Education (OFSTED) ratings.

These range from “inadequate” to “outstanding” and rate how effective a school is at aiding its students across several categories.

Elements they evaluate may include:

Standard of education expressed in grades

Performance around the four key judgement areas:

  • Quality of education
  • Behaviour and attitudes
  • Personal development
  • Leadership and management
  • Early years and sixth form provisions
  • The “spiritual, moral, social and cultural development” of students

Once parents have found a school they like, they should visit its website for further information and start the application.

Parents will need to supply the following:

  • Proof of address
  • Child’s passport
  • Admission application form

And the application is split into the following sections:

  • Child profile
  • Parent Information
  • Children’s background
  • School preference listings
  • Child arrival and admission information
  • Additional information
  • A signature, date, and application confirmation

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