Thousands of local families have recently found out, or are still anxiously waiting to hear, whether their child has got a place at their state school of choice.
Admissions days are anxious times for parents as they find out which local schools their children have been allocated to and, sadly, not every child is successful. However, it is important not to stress if you are unhappy with your child’s state school place as there are other options available including going private.
Why hasn’t my child got a place?
The Local Authority is in charge of offering school places. If there are more applications than the number of children the school admits, the council will offer places to children according to a list of rules. The rules are known as ‘oversubscription criteria’ and they may include how close you live to the school; if a sibling already attends or compelling medical or social reasons for a child to attend a specific school.
Am I running out of time?
Remember that your child is not starting school until September so there is still quite a lot of time for your situation to change and for you to explore other options.
What are my other options?
With independent school pupils three times more likely to achieve the top grades than state school pupils it is not surprising that many families opt to send their children to a good independent school. One of the most important factors that parents consider is the size of the school. Smaller, nurturing environments can offer a more personalised service. Places for these schools are not allocated in the same way as in the state and some may still have places available for September. Many also offer arrangements to spread fee payments.
Private schools have better pupil to teacher ratios with smaller class sizes, and the perception of improved standards of behaviour and opportunities for personal development.
Most independent schools should also take pride in how they communicate with parents and the best will aim for daily contact, albeit when handing over or picking up, and for regular emails, texts, newsletters, social media posts and accessibility through their websites or apps. An open door policy is crucial and teachers will be readily available for discussions about pupils’ progress.
Privately-Owned Independent Schools in Your Area
The Oak-Tree Group is made up of Braeside in Buckhurst Hill, Coopersale Hall in Epping, Normanhurst in North Chingford and Oaklands in Loughton. They all offer smaller, nurturing environments with a more personalised service and targeted support, each catering for between 200 and 300 pupils with average class sizes of between 12 and 18.
Even at the Early Years stage, from ages 2½ to 5 specialist teaching in a number of areas greatly enhances the curriculum. The Oak-Tree Schools use the seven national Early Learning Goals as the basic level and enrich the children’s experiences through a range of other activities including weekly Dance, French, Computing, Music and PE lessons together with assemblies, performances, trips and local outings.
Oaklands and Coopersale Hall are independent preparatory schools for boys and girls aged 2½ to 11. Alongside the extensive grounds, excellent curricula and individualised pastoral care, the schools’ successes are shown by the history of outstanding achievements by Year 6 pupils with multiple offers to top local independent schools.
The same excellent teaching and positive ethos continues from the Juniors into the Seniors at Braeside and Normanhurst. These schools offer thorough preparation for GCSE and beyond, with many successful applications to local sixth forms and colleges. The curricula are varied and challenging, enhanced by a wide range of trips and extra-curricular activities.
Choosing the right school for your child is difficult, and it is important to make the right decision first time, which can be tricky if you’re unhappy with your state school place. An Oak-Tree education has become the standard to aspire to in the area and the schools will help you to make the right choices.
For more information about joining the Oak-Tree Group in 2021/2022 visit www.oaktreeschools.co.uk.