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Primary school admissions overview

Here is an overview of key times in the primary school admissions process.

For more information on how to apply and the exact dates, visit starting school or moving up to junior school.

Open days

Open days happen from around September to December.

Primary schools will run open days either in person or virtually. This is your time to research schools you want to apply for a place at. Check school websites for more information.

Applications open

Applications for primary school places open at the beginning of November.

This is when you can start your application, provide any evidence required and submit it.

Summer Born Children – delaying your child’s school start

If your child was born between 1 April and 31 August you can decide if you want to delay their start by applying after their 4th or 5th birthday.

Children born at this time are known as ‘Summer Born Children’.

If you’re undecided, you can apply after their 4th birthday and later withdraw your application if you decide to delay your child’s school start.

Deciding what schools to apply to (admission rules)

When schools are in high demand there are ‘admission rules’ which help to prioritise places to pupils. Important factors can vary for each school but often include:

  • catchment (do you live in the school’s nearby area)
  • if a potential pupil already has a sibling at the school
  • religion if the school is a faith school

Use the find my child a school place tool to decide which schools you want to apply to. This tool will tell you if you’re in the catchment area and tell you more about how many students got a place there.

Application close

Applications for primary school places close in on 15 January at midnight. You need to provide your evidence such as address evidence and submit your application by this time.

If you’re moving into Buckinghamshire the application deadline is 15 January however, you might have until late January to provide your address evidence.

If you’re moving into Buckinghamshire after the January deadline, you should speak to your current council.

Find out which schools have offered your child a place

You’ll be able to see your offers on 16 April and you’ll get an email. The day this happens is called National Offer Day.

Offer letters are posted days later if you applied by post.

You will need to accept a school place by 30 April. If you don’t get a place at your first preferences, you should accept a place for now and join a waiting list for a preferred school.

Children visit their new schools

Children might visit their new school in the beginning of July. These are called School Transition Days. The school your child got a place at will contact you about their Transition Day.

Children start at their new school

The autumn term begins in September. This is when your child will start at their new primary school.