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Portway Infant School

Portway Infant School

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have a right to a place at the school of my choice for my child?

Parents do not have an absolute right to a place at the school of their choice. Parents have a right to express a preference for a school and admission authorities have a duty to comply with that preference except where it would prejudice what the 1998 School Standards and Framework Act calls ‘efficient education or the efficient use of resources’. If an admission authority is unable to meet a parental preference, parents have the right to appeal to an independent appeal panel.


When can I apply?

You can apply via the Hampshire County Council website from 1st November 2023. Admissions closing date is Monday 15th January 2024.


When will I find out if I have a place?

The national notification date for on-time applicants is 16 April 2024. If a paper application was made then these offers will be posted on 16 April 2024.


How can I find out if I live in the school’s catchment?

Hampshire’s website has a catchment finder facility.

Check your catchment school


I live out of catchment what are my chances of getting a place for my child?

We are a very over-subscribed school, typically receiving over 200 applications each year.  However, year on year it is unpredictable how many catchment applications will be received. The last three years have seen us offering to out of catchment children in the first round of April offers. You can work out your child’s priority for a place from the list of admission criteria in the school’s admission policy. The admission policy will also tell you how many places there are available.


If I only put Portway as a choice does that increase my chances?

No, it simply means if you then don’t get a place at Portway it is highly likely you will be offered your catchment school (if places remain) or the nearest school with space which could be some distance away.


My child is a summer birthday, can they start part-time?

Yes. Full-time transition is offered to all children, however, many of our parents choose to start their child part-time. This can be reviewed and changed at any time reflecting how each individual child settles into school.  Full-time school is not compulsory until the term after a child turns 5 years old.


My child has been in full-time nursery since they were a baby, can they start full-time?

Yes. This is entirely a parental choice based on parents knowing their child best, we are always happy to discuss transition and advise parents as appropriate. 


My child has additional needs what support can you offer?

Whatever additional support a child needs to access and engage with everything school has to offer we will supply. For some children that may be tailored resources and equipment, for others it may be physical changes to the school environment, some children may need regular therapies, others may need additional adult support for some elements of their day. Whatever they need we will discuss it with you and plan it into their transition to school.


My child is a very fussy eater, can they bring a packed lunch?

Children in infant school are currently entitled to a free school lunch. They are able to choose from a menu of hot lunches or a cold packed lunch each day, either is available as a vegetarian or meat option. Menus are published termly to enable parents to help their child choose their lunch daily. If you would prefer to send your own packed lunch that is also an option. All the children eat together irrespective of if they have a school lunch or packed lunch from home.


Are all children taught the same?

Children are assessed on entry and the curriculum is then tailored to meet their different starting points. In most cases this applies to maths and English, for example some children may be in the early stages of learning to count, however, others may be starting to add and subtract. Some children may enjoy listening to stories and others may be ready to apply their early phonic skills to reading for themselves. Where learning is within a topic all children will enjoy the same activities although differentiated accordingly this could be all children learning about Elmer and some children decorating an elephant with a repeating pattern of two colours whereas other children may create repeating patterns using both shape and colour.