Step 1: decide on a preferred school
Decide on a preferred school
There are 5 different types of schools in Rochdale and each has its own arrangements for managing in-year applications. We're only responsible for processing applications for community and voluntary controlled schools.
The 5 types of school are:
- Community and voluntary controlled. These are set up and maintained by us. Religious education covers all religions and follows a syllabus agreed by us. We employ the staff and allocate school places.
- Voluntary aided. We maintain the schools, the governing body employs the staff, controls religious education and has different financial responsibilities. The governing body allocates school places.
- Foundation. The governors are responsible for running the school within the local authority framework, the governors allocate school places.
- Academy. The governing body or trust is responsible for running the academy. The academy is funded directly by the Department for Education. The governing body or trust allocates school places.
- Free school. Free schools are funded by the government but are not run by us. They have more control over how they do things. They set their own pay and conditions for staff and admission criteria and they do not have to follow the national curriculum.
For voluntary aided, foundation, academy or free schools, you may be required to submit your application to the school directly or they may opt into our coordinated admissions scheme. Further information about this is available in Step 2 of this process.
Researching your preferred school
We don't recommend moving a child from one school to another, even if the child is experiencing particular difficulties. If you are thinking of changing your child's school, you should consider this decision very carefully, bearing in mind that other schools may be full and the upheaval may be damaging to your child's progress. If your child is in Year 10 or 11, a move could have a detrimental effect on your child as the school you wish to transfer to may not be able to offer your child the same subject options as their current school.
If you're having problems with your child's current school such as bullying or if you are concerned about your child's progress you should try to resolve the issues to help avoid a potentially unsettling move. Try speaking to your child's teacher or head of year. If you still can't resolve the issues, you can escalate it to the headteacher or governors. Although schools can be different, they are also very similar and children who move schools often face similar issues at their new school.
You'll probably already have an idea of some of the things about a school which are important to you and your child, so try to gather as much information on the school you're interested in. You should also:
- Read the school prospectus. This will contain basic information about the school and the way it provides for the pupils at the school. They're available from schools directly and are usually published on the school's website.
- Read the school Ofsted inspection reports. Ofsted gives schools a score based on the quality of education observed during their inspections.
Other things you might want to consider are:
- The size of the school and how many pupils are admitted in each year group and if there are any places available.
- Whether the distance to the school will be a problem if your child takes part in after school activities.
- How your child will travel to school.
Looking for a school place in another local authority
If you want to apply for a school place in another local authority, check with them or the school directly as their application process might be different. You should not name a school in another local authority as a preference on the in-year admission application that you submit to Rochdale.