County’s most in demand schools revealed

The most in-demand schools Essex parents tried to enrol their children into can now be revealed.

Parents of children starting primary school in the academic year starting in September 2022 are now able to apply online for their child’s reception school place.

Children are entitled to start primary school in the September after their fourth birthday so parents and carers of children born between September 1, 2017, and August 31, 2018, need to apply to Essex County Council.

Parents and carers can apply for their child’s school place online between November 8 2021 and January 15 2022.

Applications received after the January 15 deadline will only be considered once all on time applications are determined.

The hardest primary school to enrol a child into this year is Beehive Lane Community Primary School in Chelmsford which last year received 70 first place preferences – even though the school has a maximum intake of 30 children in reception.

In its last Ofsted inspection the school’s headteacher was praised for providing “outstanding leadership”.

In the event of over subscription, places will be allocated using the criteria in the order of looked after children and previously looked after children, children with a sibling attending the school., children living in the priority area and all remaining applicants.

The school has warned that there is no guarantee of a place for children living in the priority area.

In 2020 the last child was admitted under criterion 4.

St Peter’s CofE Primary in South Weald, Brentwood, was 108 per cent oversubscribed with 94 first place preferences for just 45 places.

Up to ten places are awarded to children whose parents are regularly attending worship at St Peter’s Church, South Weald. In the event of over-subscription, applicants who meet the minimum attendance criteria will be ranked in order by the length of time they have regularly attended the church.

After that places are reserved for parents who meet the worshipping criteria but who are not in the first ten places and have other children attending the school at the time of application.

More places are reserved for children with siblings followed by teaching staff with children.

In 2020 the last child was admitted under that last criterion.

The top 10 hardest schools to get your children into in Essex:

  1. Beehive Lane Community Primary School, in Chelmsford
  2. St Peter’s CofE Primary in South Weald, in Brentwood
  3. Kendall CE Primary, in Colchester
  4. Quilters Infant School, in Billericay
  5. Hockley Primary School, in Hockley
  6. Hamilton Primary School, in Colchester
  7. Chipping Hill Primary School, in Witham
  8. Lyons Hall Primary School, in Braintree
  9. White Notley CE (VC) Primary School, in Witham
  10. Lee Chapel Primary School, in Basildon

The county council has added that applying late could reduce your child’s chance of getting their preferred school place.

Cabinet Member for Education Excellence, Life Long Learning and Employability, Cllr Tony Ball said: “Starting school for the first time is an exciting milestone in a child’s life so it’s important to get the application process right.

“It is vital parents apply on time and use their four preferences to ensure their child gets the best possible chance of a place at a preferred school.”

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter