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Virtual open evenings to help parents and pupils decide on high schools

Open evenings will look a bit different this year at some high schools as they move their all-important open evenings for prospective pupils and parents on-line, with virtual tours and zoom-style q&a sessions.

Although some city schools will still be throwing open their doors to pupils and their parents for traditional open evenings, the current covid crisis means that others are understandably restricting the number of visitors to their schools, and so are unable to offer the usual campus tours and a chance to chat in person to teachers and existing pupils.

Instead, schools are getting creative and putting together a series of virtual open evenings that will allow pupils and parents to take a tour of schools they're interested in finding out more about, without leaving their own front door.

The deadline for applying for a secondary school place for next autumn is 5 pm on Monday 2 November.  

All families with children currently in their last year at primary school need to apply for a secondary school place for their child by this deadline to give themselves the best chance of securing a place at one of their preferred schools.

Parents are encouraged to list at least three school preferences on their application and also to rank their choices.  This is important because if places are available at each of the schools they name, an offer will be made for the school they rank highest. 

The easiest way to apply is on-line and parents should have already received a letter with a unique identifying number for their child to speed up the on-line process. Anyone who hasn’t received this can still apply on-line, the process will just take a few minutes longer.

The most important thing however is that parents get their application in on time and don’t miss the deadline.  

Councillor Garry Bridges, Executive Member for Children and Families, Manchester City Council, said: "Choosing a secondary school is a big decision and one that's important to get right.

"Whilst open evenings may look a little different this year at some schools, it's vital that parents and pupils make the most of the virtual opportunities they're offered to have a good look at different schools to help them decide which ones they think would be right for them.

"One big advantage of this year's online opening evenings is that it will almost certainly mean parents and pupils will be able to 'visit' more schools than they've been able to get to in previous years - so by the end of their school tour they should have a really good idea of what's on offer at different schools and be even better placed to know which schools sound right for them."

"The most important thing however when they've visited all the schools they're interested in - whether that's a virtual visit or in person - is to make sure they get their application in before the deadline."

Details of open evenings and virtual tours of schools can be found on individual school websites. 

To make an application for a Year 7 secondary school place and to find out more information on the application process go to manchester.gov.uk/admissions 

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