Got a question about primary school?


This is the place to ask for help and advice on primary schools in your area or get info on education for 4-11 year olds like SATs.


What are people’s opinion of changing school from infant to junior? Is it disruptive to change schools and interrupt their friendships, or are they young enough to adapt. Our preferred Primary school is over subscribed so our lb is likely to go to a school which has a separate infant and junior. We are thinking of moving him to the preferred primary at the infant to junior change, but concerned he will be leaving established friendship groups and entering a school which goes straight through…thoughts?


There’s a great deal of movement from infant to primary school across the UK, and even small schools with established classes often increase their class size from, say, 30 to 34 (the maximum) in Year 3 (Primary). Just three or four new pupils in a class can dramatically change the dynamic – and sometimes for the better if it’s been, for example, a majority boy cohort.

It’s interesting because I speak to a lot of parents about schools and the general consensus seems to be that, while you think it’s the end of the world to move schools or make changes when they are little, it really isn’t. Big changes have big impact as they get older, and, even then, it depends on the child. So I hear parents say that they thought the entrance to Reception was a huge decision until they got the secondary choices and that REALLY WAS A HUGE DECISION! Sixth form can be even more crucial as it can affect their university or FE choices.

My advice as a parent would be that the cohort is key. If your lb is in a very strong cohort where he is settled and challenged then, yes, it will be a wrench to then move him. You might argue staying in a strong cohort in a less good (on paper) school is better than moving to a better school with a weaker cohort. When I say cohort I mean class group. This can very quite significantly from year to year; with some ‘good’ years and others less so.

If you can, research via Parent Reviews or school gate conversations what the cohort is likely to be at each option.

Hope that helps!


If you move to a new area, is the primary school closest to you obliged to take your child?


No – catchment areas and admissions criteria are complex and there is no guarantee that your closet school will offer your child a place, unless it admits children under the ‘closest school’ criteria.