PARENTS of children starting their final year at primary schools should be receiving a reminder about applying for secondary places this week.
All the 1,800 Year 6 pupils will be given a leaflet to take home explaining the process — and how easy it is to do online.
Parents can make an on-line application at: www.thurrock.gov.uk/admissions and follow the instructions on screen.
By applying on-line parents or carers can elect to have the allocation of a place notified to them by email and will know the place offered by going on-line to their account from half-past-midnight on the morning of Thursday, 1 March next year nearly two days earlier than a letter notification.
Cllr Oliver Gerrish, the council’s portfolio holder for education, said: “I would urge all parents with children in Year 6 to get online and apply for their secondary school place as soon as possible.
“Too often people leave it too late, miss the deadline for applying and that causes major problems. It often means that because the application was late, the children have to be slotted in wherever there is space available. The parents then appeal and there is a drawn out process where the child’s future schooling is in the balance.
“We can never satisfy everybody, things just don’t work that way, but parents can really increase their chances of placing their child where they would prefer by applying now.”
Although paper copies of the admissions application are available, completing the forms online speeds the process for parents and for Thurrock Council.
The secondary school admissions went live on Thursday (1 September) and runs until 31 October. Applications received after the closing date are treated as late, meaning there will be far less chance of the children involved being offered a place at a parent-preferred school.