7 September 2020
I hope that the return to school for your son or daughter has gone smoothly and they are settling confidently back into school life and their final year at primary school. While there is still an exciting year ahead I write to you today about next year and the start of their secondary education. As you will no doubt be aware it is at this time of the year that schools hold their annual open day and evening events so that parents and students can make the preference for their new school.
In our locality this year there will be two schools serving the local community, Wildern and Deer Park. The purpose of this letter is to explain how, under the current COVID restrictions, the open day and evening events will take place and remind you of the application process.
The Application Process:
The new Deer Park Secondary School, run by Wildern Academy Trust, is opening in September 2021. In the first year of opening new schools usually organise their first admissions intake outside the main co-ordinated process organised by the local authority. There are a set of unique circumstances developing in Hedge End, where the second school is due to open its doors to its first intake in September and both schools are part of the same Trust with its outstanding history of providing secondary phase education for children in Hedge End. We are pleased that the Department for Education have agreed that applications for the new school will be processed as part of the usual process for children moving from primary to secondary school. There will be no requirement for parents to go through two application processes, one for Wildern and one for Deer Park. The following information will help you as you consider secondary places for your child now that Hedge End will have two secondary schools.
How to apply for a secondary school place
To apply for your child’s secondary school place in September 2021, you must apply through your home local authority. For Hampshire residents, you can apply from 14 September either online via the Hampshire County Council website or by using a paper form, available on request from the school. Full guidance about the application process is also available on the website
Non Hampshire residents should contact their home local authority for an application. The national closing date for applications is 31 October 2020.
Choosing your preferences
This year, Hampshire parents are allowed to name up to 4 schools on their application, in order of preference. Parents of children living within the catchment area of both Deer Park and Wildern School (the schools apply the same catchment area in their admissions policies) are strongly encouraged to name both schools on the application. Where more than one of your preferred schools can offer, the highest named preference will be allocated. If only one school is named and you are unsuccessful in gaining a place, and the other local school fills from on-time application, your child could be allocated a school some distance away. Naming both schools will give your child the best chance of receiving a local school place offer
We will be running a remote evening for Wildern. This will include a pre-recorded welcome presentation from myself and Mrs Oakley Headteacher, a copy of the presentation slides and a virtual tour of the school as well as some additional information about the school. This will go live on 30th September 7pm. We will regrettably not be able to hold an open morning or evening this year due to the COVID restrictions. We hope the presentation will cover the main questions along with the new Deer Park Secondary School.
Deer Park is brand new and the building will not be handed to us until the summer of next year so we will not be able to provide a tour at this stage. However, we do feel as we are not an established school we would like to hold some face to face open evenings with prospective parents. The school will be opening in the first year only to Year 7 and so the events will be for Year 6 parents only. We will be holding these over five nights in order to accommodate as many parents as we can, following social distancing rules. The evenings will be held between 6pm and 7pm at our Boorley Park Primary School. The flyer in the prospectus explains how a place can be booked for one of the evenings.
This is a very exciting time for the Trust and having provided high quality education in the local area for many years we are delighted that having an additional new school will support and accommodate all the youngsters within our community. We look forward to welcoming you either virtually for Wildern or face to face for Deer Park. We do appreciate there may be questions regarding both schools and on the Wildern Website there will be Frequently Asked Questions. For Wildern FAQ please visit firstname.lastname@example.org and for Deer Park FAQ please contact us at email@example.com.
Miss M L Litton