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Starting school for the first time?

Parents in Kent have recently received their allocation of primary school for their nursery-aged children. Exciting times, if slightly daunting!

Reception classes herald the start of formal schooling under the EYFS framework. New learning and development abound in an active and creative environment. We may also feel alarmed at the speed of our children’s growth and how important it is to provide the right foundation for their future.

Most families will be pleased with their allocation. But what if you are not? Here are five things you should do now if you are concerned:

  1. Accept the place you have been offered. This does not affect your waiting list position in another school or influence any appeal process you may undertake. It does mean, though, that your child is guaranteed a school place for September.

  2. Research carefully your allocated school. Much information is available to you on the school website, in Ofsted repots, social media posts, and word of mouth from friends and neighbours. It is also reasonable to contact the school to ask to meet the Headteacher to understand future strategic plans.

  3. Apply for the waiting list at your desired school. You have until 1 May to make this application, so don’t delay. You would normally receive a response in early June.

  4. Lodge an appeal. You can apply for the waiting list and appeal at the same time (even to the same school). The deadline to appeal is 16 May, following which you will receive an invitation to explain your reasons for appeal at a hearing.

  5. Seek further advice. The local authority is here to help you. You can access further information on their website here, or email them directly at

You must feel confident that your child is in the right environment for them to thrive. Evidence shows that the foundations achieved in the early years have a significant bearing on future development. We wish all families the best at this important milestone in your child’s life!

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