Primary school applications can be a scary prospect for parents. Applications first opened in September 2020 and closed in January. For many parents, a lot of thought has gone into deciding which school is best for your child and when is best to apply. But now the deadline has passed and the decision is looming – but when exactly will you find out if your chosen has gotten into their chosen school?
When is the application deadline?
In England, every parent must apply for a place for their child at a primary school – even if it is linked to your child’s current nursery.
If your child was born between September 1, 2016, and August 31, 2017, they will be able to apply to begin primary school in September 2021.
The closing date for primary school applications for beginning in September 2021 was in January.
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How do you apply for a school place?
You can apply for a place at a state primary school online here or by using your council’s application form which you can request here.
When you fill in the form, whether you apply online or on paper, you will be asked to list the schools you are applying for in order of preference.
You are required to apply for at least three schools.
If you are applying for a private school place for your child you should contact the school directly for information about how to apply.
The applications for September 2020 is now closed and the applications for September 2021 have not yet opened.
How do you decide which is the best school for your child?
Many factors can impact which school is best suited to your child.
Key deciding factors or most parents are the location, familiar children and quality of education.
In terms of the quality of education, you can find out how each school in England ranks using Ofsted reports here which compare school quality based on teachers, behaviour and academic outcome.
When must your child begin school?
Most children in the UK must start attending school full-time the September after they turn four years old.
However, if you do not believe your child is ready at that time, you can request for them to begin part way through the term.
Children who are born from April 1 to August 31 can begin the September after they turn five, but you will need to contact your local council if you wish for them to start later.
The council or school will then decide if your child should start in reception year or year one.
Legally all children in the UK must be in full-time education by December 31, March 31 or August 31 following the child’s fifth birthday, whichever date comes first.
If your child’s fifth birthday is on one of those dates then they reach compulsory school age on that date and should start school the following term.
What if your child has not got a place?
If your child has not got a place, do not panic.
You should contact your local council as soon as possible to get a list of schools with places.
You can also put your child’s name on a waiting list, which you can do by contacting the school directly or your local authority.
If your child is on a waiting list and the school offers you a place, the admission authority will send you a formal offer.
You can still accept the offer even if your child has already started at another school.