Deciding which schools to apply for
How to find information about schools
The Directgov website
This website provides a helpful starting point. To identify schools local to your home, visit http://schoolsfinder.direct.gov.uk/ and for general information about education, visit http://www.gov.uk/browse/education
Hampshire County Council website
To identify the catchment school(s) for an address using the postcode and house number to identify its location, you can use the School catchment finder.
To access an A – Z of all publically funded schools within Hampshire's administrative area you can visit: www.hants.gov.uk/schooldetails . For each school there are contact details, a location map, a catchment area map, and links to the school’s website, the school’s latest Ofsted report, the school’s admission arrangements and the names of the school governors.
The school’s website
This is an increasingly useful source of information, including a statement about ethos and values, the school’s admission policy, the school’s special educational needs policy, pupil absence rates, links to Ofsted reports and details of the schools latest Key Stage 2 or 4 attainment and progress measures. Secondary schools also include information about examination results and where pupils go after they leave school.
Visit the school
Each school is a community with its own special character. Schools welcome individual visits, but you will need to make an appointment to meet the headteacher and to look round the school during the school day. Many schools have open evenings or open days when you can visit and see the school in action.
The school prospectus
This is a paper version of the information published on the school’s website. You can request a copy from the school.
Use your preferences wisely: investigate schools, especially your catchment area school. Find out how many applications the school had last year compared to places available, and the final criterion used to allocate places. This may give you some idea of the likelihood of your preference being met.
Accepting a place at a school that is not your catchment school does not guarantee a place at the same school for other children in the family.
Attending a nursery attached to an infant or primary school does not give any priority for admission to the school.