Apply online apply in time

Somerset County Council are appealing to parents across the county whose children need school places next September. This effects three groups of children:

  • Children who are due to start school for the first time,
  • Those moving from Infants to Juniors
  • Those moving from First to Middle schools

If your child is in one of those three groups then you have until 15th January to get your application in. SCC is not surprisingly trying to persuade everyone to use computers and apply online.

What SCC seem to have forgotten, is that many of the less well off families in the county will not have access to a computer. That access is made worse for those in Highbridge and the Sunningdale area of Yeovil as the local library is closing.

So those whose children arguably have the greatest need, will find themselves at the back of the queue. Paper options are of course available, but you are then at the mercy of the Christmas post. You have to have a sense of humour here. SCC in their wisdom tell us that the paper forms can be requested by calling Somerset Direct on 0300 123 2224 or downloaded from the website. Perhaps it might occur to SCC that those most likely to need paper forms are those who cannot access the website. Still if you call them SCC will post you the forms and you can post them back.

Hopefully that will ensure your application will make it by the 15th January deadline.

Confirmation of places will be sent by email on 16 April.

However anyone using paper application forms will receive their confirmation of places by post which will arrive several days later than the emails sent to those who have applied online. Just to make sure you understand what a second class citizen you are.

Let’s end with some better news though. Of the 5,665 children starting school in 2018, 93.8 per cent of received their first choice primary school, a slight increase on previous years. 98.4 per cent of children were given one of their top three choices.

So if you need paper, start early and you’ll still have a good chance of getting your child the school of your choice.


  1. Elaine Banks Reply

    I usually enjoy Leveller stories, but surely this ranks as a non-story?
    What other action could SCC take, I wonder?

    1. Andrew Lee Reply

      Well yes Elaine – but the main point of the story was to alert parents to the need to apply for a place for their children. We simply note in passing that once again the poorest families without computer access are left disadvantaged. Maybe that isn’t a big story, but in our view it was worth mentioning. I guess we can’t get it right every time.

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