A simples guide

Savings accounts for primary schools

If your child is starting primary school this September, you’re no doubt hoping for National Offer Day. It’s the day you’ll find out which primary school your little one has been assigned to. Good luck!


How do I apply for a primary school place for my child?

If you’ll be facing this process in 2017, it's worth getting a head start now, by researching the best schools in your area and following the steps below.

Find and research the best schools

Your local council’s website will have a list of all the schools in your area, and the admission criteria for each.  

Once you’ve chosen your favourites, do your homework. Check out the most recent Ofsted reports for each school, as well as their websites, and the school performance tables, which show exam results, details of the curriculum and financial records, among other things. The next step is to go to the open days of your shortlisted schools, and chat to teachers, students and other parents.

Admission criteria

The admission criteria are set by the school or council, and primary school places in particular are highly competitive.

Typically (but not always) priority is given to children:

  • Who have a brother or sister at the school already
  • Who live close to the school
  • Are from a particular religion (for faith schools)
  • Who do well in an entrance exam  (if applicable)

Admissions criteria can vary greatly, so read the information carefully.

primary school

Applying for a primary school place

A lot of parents think that if their child’s nursery is linked to a particular primary school, it’s a given that their little one will get a place. Not true. You’ll still need to apply for a place at the school that’s attached to the nursery. You can do this via an online application form.

When do applications open?

Applications open on different days in each council area, but it’s usually the autumn of the year before your child is due to start school. Check with your local council to be sure. When you fill in the application form, you’ll be asked to list the schools you’re applying for in order of preference. You must apply for at least three. The deadline for applications is 15 January.

Private schools have their own admissions procedures, and you can apply to them directly.

What day is National Offer Day and can I appeal a decision?

In 2016 National Offer Day is 18th April.

You’ll be sent a letter from your council with a decision, which you can appeal against if you wish. The letter will tell you how. But you must appeal against each rejection separately.

money and calculator

How can I prepare for the costs of further education?

You may not be thinking much further than April 18th at the moment. But once your child is in the school system, things can get pretty expensive. We’re not only talking about school uniforms, equipment and textbooks throughout primary and secondary school. At some point, your child may move on to further education. And with uni costs now higher than ever, it's a good time to start thinking about starting some kind of savings account for university. 

What are the different types of savings accounts?

  • Instant access savings accounts: Instant access accounts are great if you’re not sure when you’ll need access to your money as you can get at it instantly. They tend to be available from £1 but do often have lower rates of interest than other options.
  • Notice accounts: These tend to offer higher interest rates as you don’t have access to your cash instantly. You need to give you bank or building society a lot of notice – often between 30-120 days. This may be a good option if you can afford to put this money away and forget about it.
  • Fixed accounts: Fixed rate savings account can offer some of the better interest rates on savings accounts. This comes at the sacrifice of committing your money into an account for a set period of time. Some banks will offer you a higher interest the longer you fix the account for.  
  • JISA: If you’re specifically looking to save or invest money for your child(ren) then a Junior ISA could prove a good option. It provides tax free savings for your child(ren) to access once they reach 18.
  • Childrens savings accounts: Many banks will offer savings accounts for children, be they easy access accounts or regular savings accounts, and often offer good rates for young savers.  
  • Specialist accounts: Some providers offer special deals for the over 50s, and children - with different features to complement specific lifestyles and savings goals.  

How can I compare savings accounts?

Although your little one may only be 3 or 4 right now, it's a good time to start saving for university fees and expenses. Which savings account should you choose? Compare savings accounts quickly, based on interest rates and accessibility using our price comparison service. We’ll also show you accounts by provider, and minimum/maximum account balances. All our results are displayed in a simple, clear table for easy comparison and highlight the pros and cons of each account. It's as easy as learning your ABCs.

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