Changes to the way you enrol your child for Primary 1 for 2021/22 session being considered

Child sitting at table with crayons and pencils

Members of the Policy and Co-ordination Committee, taking place on 19 November, will be asked to give the go ahead to the Education Service to allow parents and carers to use an online process to enrol their child(ren) for school, for the 2021/22 session.

Covid-19 is impacting on all aspects of life, including the way you enrol your child for Primary one. Shelagh McLean, Head of Education & Children’s Services, said: “Usually parents would attend an enrolment session at their catchment school, where they would fill in the enrolment documents. However, because of the current pandemic and restrictions, and to make sure our schools, staff, children and parents/carers stay safe, face-to-face contact is being kept to a minimum. Therefore, we have developed a new system which will give parents and carers the opportunity to apply online for a new primary one place.

“Parents who would like to request that their child attends a school outwith their catchment area, commonly known as a ‘placing request application,’ will also be able to use the system.

“Parents and carers will be able to access the new system on their smart phone, personal computer or tablet and the step-by-step online form is quick and easy. They will also be able to upload photographs of documents to help the Education Service verify details.

“Any parents/carers who don’t have their own smartphone or personal computer can use the PCs in their local library. Alternatively, we can still email or post out a form and documents can still be verified by arranging a socially distanced appointment.”

It’s proposed that the Education Service trials this new system for one round of enrolments and then carries out a review to see what worked and where things can be improved.

Should this new online system be effective and efficient for parents/carers, a permanent change from the existing manual process, to an online one, may be considered the best way forward. However, wider consultation may be required and/or approval by a future committee before this happens.

Details of the new system, including a link to access it, will be made available in the New Year.

You can read the full report and watch the debate live on 19 November.