Applying for a reception place (Year R) for Sept 2024
If your child was born between 1st September 2019 and 31st August 2020, they will be eligible to start school in the school year beginning September 2024.
Schools offer places to all children from the September following their fourth birthday
By law, children do not have to be in school until they reach compulsory school age.
Compulsory school age
Children reach compulsory school age the term following their fifth birthday:
- children born between 1 September and 31 December must be in full-time education by the start of the Spring term
- children born between 1 January and 31 March must be in full-time education by the start of the Summer term
- children born between 1 April and 31 August must be in full-time education at the start of the new school year
Starting school options
Most children start school full-time in the September after their fourth birthday. There are other options for parents of four year olds who feel their child is not yet ready for school.
Parents have the opportunity to:
- start their child in September on a full-time basis from their first day of attendance or
- allow their child to attend on a part-time basis until the start of the term after the child's fifth birthday or
- defer their child's entry to school until later in the school year. This must not be beyond the start of the term after their fifth birthday or beyond the start of the final term of the school year
You must discuss with the school how you would like your child to start school.
Parents of summer born children (those born between 1 April and 31 August) only can also:
- request to delay their child’s entry to school until the September after they turn five
Key dates for main round admissions for September 2024
The application round opens on 1st November 2023 and will close at midnight on 15th January 2024 and the notification date for on-time applicants is 16th April 2024.
If you applied online, you will receive an email on the morning of the notification date. You can also log in to the online system to view the outcome.
If you applied using a paper form, you will be sent a letter on the notification date by post. Please allow 2 to 3 working days for your letter to arrive.
Deciding which schools to apply for
It is important to find out about the schools you are interested in before naming them on your application. You can name up to 3 schools.
Each school's page includes:
a location map
links to school's website
latest Ofsted report
admission arrangements, including a map of the catchment area
2. Check your catchment school
Use the school catchment area finder to check your catchment school.
3. Visit the school
Most schools have open evenings or open days when you can visit and see the school in action. Look at the school website for more information or contact the school to make an appointment.
4. Read the school's admission policy
This sets out how many places are available and how places will be allocated if the school is oversubscribed.
5. Check previous years admissions data
Find out how many applications the school had last year compared to places available and the criterion of the last child admitted. This may give you some idea of the likelihood of your preference being met, however, please note there are no guarantees as cohort sizes and patterns of parental preference can change from year to year. See previous years admissions data.
How applications are processed
The Schools Admission Code requires that applications are processed under an ‘equal preference system’. This means that applications are ranked against the oversubscription criteria in the admission policy of each school named on the application. The order in which you name your preferred schools is not taken into account. In fact, schools are not told where they were ranked in your list of preferences.
How it works
- You can name up to three schools on your application, in order of preference
- Your child is added to a list for each of the schools you have named. Each schools list is then ranked in accordance with the published admission criteria for that school to determine whether they are able to offer a place
- If only one of your preferred schools can offer a place, you will be allocated a place at that school
- If your child qualifies for a place at more than one school, the one ranked highest on your application will be allocated
- If none of your preferred schools can offer a place, you will be allocated a place at the catchment school (if places remain) or the nearest school (measured as a straight line) with a place available. You will also be advised of the arrangements for placing your child on the waiting list and your right of appeal
You apply for three schools in the following preference order:
All three of your preferred schools are able to offer a place. You are therefore allocated a place at School A. Your second and third preferences are discarded on the basis that you were allocated your highest preference school.
You apply for three schools in the following preference order:
School A is unable to offer a place but School B and School C can offer. You are therefore allocated a place at School B. School C is discarded because you were offered one of your higher preference schools. You are refused a place at School A and advised of the arrangements for placing your child on the waiting list and your right of appeal.
Changing your application or making a late application
Making a change to your application after the deadline
You cannot change your application after the deadline unless there has been a significant and material change in your circumstances. For example:
- a change of address
- a sibling has started, or has an accepted offer of a place, at your preferred school (or its linked infant or junior school, for primary phase applications)
Such changes must be notified in writing to the Admissions Team by:
5 January 2024 (for Year 7 applicants), or
9 February 2024 (for Year R and Year 3 applicants)
No changes can be made after these dates.
If you wish to change your application for any other reasons, you will have to make a late application.
Making a late application
Applications received after the closing date (see key dates) will not be processed until after all on-time applications have been considered.
Please note that if we can offer your child a place at a school named on your late application, any previous offer will automatically be withdrawn. If you are happy therefore with your current offer and wish to be removed from other school waiting lists, you must contact the Admissions Team.
Year R applicants that have taken in their evidence of address and date of birth to a school that has already been offered from an earlier application will need to contact the Admissions Team to advise if they no longer wish for a late application to be processed. Taking the evidence into the school does not indicate that you no longer wish for a subsequent application to be processed.