22/12/2017 13:12 GMT | Updated 22/12/2017 13:55 GMT

Primary School Applications 2018: Everything You Need To Know (Including The Deadline)

Not long now 📝

Parents whose children will start primary school in September 2018 have until 15 January 2018 to apply for a place.

You will need to fill out an application - either on the Government’s website or by requesting a paper form from your local council - so it’s best to get started before the deadline to ensure you have enough time to fill it all out. 

Once the application has been submitted online, an automated email acknowledgement will be sent to you to confirm it has been received.

How many schools can I apply for my child?

Parents should apply for three schools for each child, one has to be the catchment school in your area. You can mark which school is preferred. 

If you have two schools nearby, you can find out online which one is your catchment school, but you’re advised to contact the schools directly to ask. 

Steve Debenport via Getty Images

When will I find out if my child has got in?

Offers of primary school places will be released on 16 April 2018.  

At what age is my child eligible to start school? 

Children are eligible to go to school in the September after their fourth birthday, however the Government website states you can ask for your child to be held back a school year if “they were born in the summer (1 April to 31 August)” or if “you don’t think they’re ready to start in the September after they turn four”.

Parents are requested to contact the school’s admission authority to make a request. This is usually the school or local council.  

This is something schools minister Nick Gibb has recently spoken out about and he has proposed making an adjustment to the current system.

“The issue of summer born children is something that we are concerned about,” Gibbs said, speaking at the British Library on 6 December.

“I do accept there is a link between the month that your child is born and academic results, particularly in the early years of primary school and that’s why we want to give parents that option to delay when they start Reception.” 

What happens if I miss the application deadline?

If a parent misses the application deadline in January, they will need to complete an application form only available from their local council.

This could mean a child is less likely to get a place at their preferred school.  

What if I don’t get the school I want for my child?

Children may be turned down by their parents’ preferred coice of school for various reasons including: if the school is oversubscribed, if it is out of your catchment area, or if the school has certain requirements - e.g. requiring children who are christened at a Catholic school. 

Once you’ve found out the school your child has a place at, you might wish to appeal this decision. 

Your appeal could be successful if:

:: The admission arrangements haven’t been properly followed.

:: The admission criteria aren’t legal according to the school admissions appeal code.

:: The decision to refuse your child a place wasn’t “reasonable”.

How can I get help with the appeals process?

If you looking for advice or specific guidance on helping you with the appeals process, contact Coram Children’s Legal Centre.

To begin the process of applying for a primary school place, click here

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