Primary and secondary admissions prospectus
Apply for a primary school place
Most children start primary school in the September after their fourth birthday. This means they will turn 5 during their first school year.
You can learn more about the school starting age on the GOV.UK website.
Applications to start primary school in September 2023
If you have not yet applied for a Reception place for your child to start in September 2023, then you must contact us and we will send you an In-Year Application to complete and return to School Admissions.
Contact us if you have any questions or if you have not applied for a place for your child.
Applications to start primary school in September 2024
If your child was born between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2020, they will start primary school in September 2024.
You can ask to delay your place until September 2025 if your child was born between April and August.
We will send letters out in November informing you how to apply for a primary place for September 2024.
If you have not received a letter by the 17 November 2023 please contact the School Admissions Team.
As part of your application, you can choose your preferences. We recommend that you choose 3 different schools to give you the best chance of being offered a place at one of your preferred schools. If you are unsure which 3 schools to choose, arrange visits to individual schools to help you decide before the applications open. School contact details are available on our Find a school webpage.
Children born between April and August (summer born)
If your child was born between April to August there are some options available to you as noted below:
You have a right to defer your child's entry to school until the start of term beginning immediately after your child has reached compulsory school age. However, places cannot be deferred beyond the beginning of the final term of the school year for which the offer was made.
If you are considering applying for deferred entry, you should think about what implications this will have on your child and discuss your child's situation with relevant professionals. You may want to think about possible benefits of keeping your child in the early setting and balance these against the possible difficulties of your child joining an established group of children in a school reception class part way through the school year.
If you wish to defer your child's entry, when you are offered a school place for your child you must discuss their start date directly with the school.
When your summer-born child can start school
Parents of summer-born children (born between 1 April and 31 August) may request that they start reception a year later. This is called delayed admission. This is an important decision, and a number of factors need to be taken into consideration.
If you would like to apply for delayed admission you must still make an on-time school place application (where possible) and indicate on the form your wishes to delay your child's admission at the same time. We would recommend that you include your catchment or nearest school as one of your preferences.
In this situation, the school admission authority (this could still be LA or the Trust if the school preferred is an Academy) is responsible for making the decision on which year group a child should be admitted to even though it is you, the parent, who has taken the decision to delay their child's start at school. Paragraph 2.17A of the Code requires an admission authority to make a decision about which of reception or year 1 the child is admitted to on the basis of the circumstances of the case and in the best interests of the child concerned. The Code requires admission authorities to make decisions in the best interests of the child in any circumstances where the parent requests admissions outside the child's normal age group - this includes instances where the application is made outside of the authority's published deadlines.
Alternatively, by delaying your child's start until the September after their 5th birthday, you could still make an in-year application for a year 1 place for your child that year. In that case your child would miss reception year and be taught in their normal year group.
There is no statutory barrier to children being admitted outside their normal age group, but you do not have the right to insist that your child is admitted to a particular age group. This decision is for the admission authority - whether that is the Local Authority or the School/Academy Trust.
Parental requests to multiple admissions authorities
An admission authority is not required to honour a decision made by another admission authority on admission out of the normal age group. We would therefore encourage parents to make a request for an outside normal year group place at each school to which they intend to apply for a place. It is possible that different admission authorities may come to different conclusions and do so for good reasons. It is also possible that different head teachers who work for the same admission authority may disagree. Some schools may be more equipped than others to support a particular summer born child's needs if he or she starts school before compulsory school age.
Moving children to their normal age group
Once a child has been admitted to a school it is for the headteacher to decide how best to educate them. In some cases, it may be appropriate for a child who has been admitted out of their normal age group to be moved to their normal age group, but in others it will not. Any decision to move a child to a different age group should be based on sound educational reasons and made by the headteacher in consultation with the parents. In some primary schools, of course, children are educated in mixed age classes.
The decision making process
Parent contacts either a school or the LA School Admissions team directly and requests a delayed entry for their child into their chronological year group due to being a 'Summer born' child (date of birth 1 April to 31 August). The contacted school must inform the LA School Admissions team as soon as possible.
The LA School Admissions team informs parent of the process and issues Department for Education advice note to ensure the parent completely understand the process and implications of the decision to request a delayed entry for their child. Parent also advised that they must submit an on-time application, where possible, listing their preferred school(s) and encouraged to visit all schools. Read government guidance about school admissions for summer-born children.
Parent submits a main round application. Subject to the school(s) listed, the LA School Admissions team will either arrange a 'panel' meeting with the headteacher(s) of the school(s) listed within the application (only if community maintained schools listed). If the school(s) are academies, the application and request will be sent to the admission authority / headteacher of the academy school(s) listed to consider request separately.
LA School Admissions Team facilitated panel meeting takes place to consider request with preference schools.
Admission authority school(s) holds a panel meeting to consider request with preference school(s).
Where a parent's request for the delayed start has not been agreed, a letter will be issued giving the reasons for their decision and to explain the next steps, namely:
Where a parent's application for the delayed start is agreed, a letter will be issued to explain next steps, namely:
This does not guarantee a place in a particular school in the next school year.
We would advise you to begin conversations with these schools early and to apply for outside year group education when the child's original year group would be applying to transition to a new school.
Parents whose request for delayed entry is refused have no statutory right to appeal this decision.
If a parent is unhappy with the way a local authority or maintained school has handled their complaint, the parent may then refer their complaint to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
If a parent is unhappy with the way an academy has handled their complaint, they may complain to the Education and Skills Funding Agency..
If your child was born between April and August 2020
If your child was born between April and August 2020 and you want to delay their start date until September 2025, you need to complete an application for September 2024 and let us know in your application that you would like to delay.