Time to Act for Primary School Places


Parents and carers are being reminded that Registration Week begins on Monday (7 November) for prospective primary school children who will start school in August 2017.

All children due to begin P1 then must be registered by their parents/carers next week (Monday 7 to Friday 11 November).

If a child’s birthday is between 1 March 2012 and 28 February 2013, they must be registered at their preferred catchment school.

Last week the Council held their successful Primary Schools Open Day event to encourage families to send their children to their local catchment school as primary rolls across the city increase.

At the start of the 2015/16 session there were 28,804 primary school pupils however this is predicted to rise to 31,300 pupils by 2020 and then increase further to an estimated 35,400 pupils by 2030.

Last year the number of appeals put forward by parents requesting a placement at an out of catchment school fell to a record low of 152.

Parents are also urged not to use false details to try and get a place in a popular school as last year 11 families had their placements withdrawn after providing false information.

Councillor Cammy Day, Education Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said parents should register their child at their local catchment school rather than expecting to get them into another school in a different part of the city.

He said:

I’d encourage everyone to register their child at their local school and support their local community. We want to see thriving local schools at the heart of the community, so instead of making an out of catchment request I’d encourage parents to work with their local school.

Our rising primary school rolls, with the number of pupils expected to peak at nearly 35,000 by 2030, mean there are fewer spaces available at schools across the city.

Last week head teachers opened their schools up so parents were able to see first hand the benefits of sending their children to their local school – not just for the families involved but for the community where they live.

We will also be carrying out checks on people registering their children to ensure they are not fraudulently trying to get their children into popular schools.

Registration has to be in person and everyone should contact their local school to find out what time they can register and bring along their child’s birth certificate and proof of address.

When deciding the school parents want their child to attend, there are a number of important points that need to be taken into account:

  • Placements are allocated to children based on their residence at the time of allocation. All parents must provide proof of residency for a catchment place when they register their child for school.
  • A child is only entitled to a place in the primary school where they attend nursery if they live in the catchment area.
  • Where a denominational Roman Catholic school is oversubscribed, priority will be given to catchment baptised Roman Catholics.
  • If a placing request is successful for one child, this does not guarantee that requests for younger children will be successful.  This could mean that younger children would attend a different school to their older siblings.
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