Starting primary school (reception)

Information for parents about applying for reception places for September 2024.

16. Appeals and waiting lists

If you are unhappy with the outcome of your application you can find out about the appeals process or add your child's name to waiting lists for other schools.

The situation will change for many families as the reserve list and appeal processes roll forward.


Governing bodies of voluntary aided, foundation schools, academies and free schools and the Local Authority will do everything possible to meet your wishes before an appeal becomes necessary.

You will be informed about other available places. It would be helpful if you visited the offered school if you have not already done so.

However, if you are still dissatisfied, you have the right of appeal to an Independent Admissions Appeal Panel, whose members played no part in the original allocation of places.

You will be informed how to appeal in writing. Appeal hearings will take place throughout the summer term. You can appeal for a place at any school or academy.

If a place has already been refused at appeal, the admissions authority will only consider a second appeal for a place at the same school or academy in the same academic year if they consider that there has been a relevant, significant and material change in the family's circumstances (since the original appeal hearing). If this is the case a second appeal hearing may be agreed. Individual admissions authorities will decide in relation to re-appeal requests.

If your child has an education, health and care (EHC) plan, arrangements are different for appealing against a place not being offered. You should contact your local Inclusion Service area team.

Waiting lists

You will be able to put your child's name on a waiting list. This list is kept in priority order using the original admission criteria. If places become available, they will be offered strictly according to the waiting list. The order of the list may change as children move into and out of the area or accept other places. You do not need to appeal to be placed on the list.

If you want to know your approximate position on the waiting list, telephone the area education office.

Lists will be kept at the area education office until the end of August immediately prior to schools starting. After 31 August, individual admission authorities must keep a waiting list for one full term into the new school year. Parents who want a pupil's name to remain on the waiting list for a voluntary aided, foundation, free school or academy must contact the school direct early in the new school year to confirm that this is the case. Parents may place their child's name on lists for schools or academies which they did not originally apply for.

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Apply online for a school place

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The deadline to apply for a primary school place for September 2024 is 15 January 2024. Any applications received after the deadline will be classed as late.