Parenting on Female First

Parenting on Female First

Ed Rushton and Dominic Blackburn, who have just launched the school-checking service FindASchool, in collaboration with, are reminding parents to submit their primary school applications before the deadline on 15th January (today).

In 2014 Wiltshire, Hampshire, Essex, Brighton, East Sussex, and Poole were just some of the local authorities that saw an increase in the number of parents not getting their first choice of schools, with Hammersmith and Fulham, Lambeth and Kensington and Chelsea being the worst, with 38% not getting their first choice. Admissions experts Ed and Dom predict that due to the baby boom, and a lack of available primary school places, these numbers will increase again this year.

Schools with shockingly small admissions areas are not just a London problem. For example, there's a primary school in Birmingham that has a cut-off distance of just 108 metres, one primary in Swindon where you would have to live within 211 metres to secure a place, and a school in Plymouth that has a cut-off just 187 metres from the door. These are not isolated instances: FindASchool's data shows there are over 100 primary schools where you would have needed to live within 300 meters of the school to get a place last year.

Ed Rushton commented "It's not just living too far from the school that sees parents missing out on a place, the complexity of the admissions system can also cause problems. We believe we are the first organisation to review the admission arrangements for all schools in the country. We found a bewildering array of different approaches to allocating places at oversubscribed schools. These range from the very simple, through to the incomprehensibly complex. If a school needs more than a page to explain how its places are going to be allocated something has clearly gone wrong!"

"It's clear that more complex arrangements tend to favour parents who are able to get to grips with the system and ensure they meet the criteria, leaving many at a disadvantage. Equally, it can be very difficult to find the information you need to make an informed choice of school: sometimes it is buried deep within the local authority website, other times you need to phone the school."

Dom added "A recent survey by OnePoll found that 66% of parents find the UK's admissions system unnecessarily confusing and 57% say that the whole process of finding a school for their child is more stressful than moving home. This is where FindASchool comes in. We have designed this free service to help parents research the schools in their local area. Even if you have left it late and are only just starting the process, FindASchool is a great place to start, and will give you a good overview of the schools in your area and help you understand your chances of getting a place at these schools."

FindASchool by is the first service to show successful applicant areas, enabling parents to see where they would have had to live in previous years to secure a place, in addition to a wealth of information on all of the schools in their area, including exam results, class sizes, Ofsted scores and the all-important admission criteria.

For further information on FindASchool by please visit

by for