Starting primary school

7. Admission criteria

Admissions criteria are the rules for who is given priority for places in each school. They are applied when a school is oversubscribed.

The published admission number (PAN), is how many children can be admitted each year. This is published in the area supplement booklets.

Additional children may occasionally be allocated places under fair access arrangements outside of the usual admission criteria. In addition, admission authorities may exceed a published admission number if they inform the Local Authority in time for effective co-ordination to occur.

How admission arrangements differ

There are several types of publicly funded schools and academies. They have different admission arrangements. 

Most schools cater for the age range 4-11 but some just for infants (4-7) or juniors (8-11). 

Also, there are the following categories of school:

  • Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools - for these schools Lancashire County Council as the admission authority, sets the admissions policy and allocates places. 
  • Voluntary Aided and Foundation Schools - these are Lancashire maintained schools where it is the Governors who are the admission authority. The Governors set the admission policy and decide which children to admit.
  • Academies (and Free Schools) - these are independent state schools not maintained by the local authority. It is the governing body who are the admissions authority, set the admissions policy and decide which children to admit.  Admissions are, however, co-ordinated by the County Council.  Free Schools may be exempt from co-ordination in the first year that they open.

You can view the full admissions criteria for Community and Voluntary Controlled Primary Schools on our website.

A summary of the admission policy for each Voluntary Aided, Foundation, Free School and Academy is provided in the area supplement booklets. The detailed policy for each of these is described on the school's website.

Some church schools will usually give applicants the option to complete a supplementary information form (SIF). Arrangements relating to the supplementary information form will vary and you are advised to contact schools and academies directly if you require further information about their form.

Area supplements

These booklets give information about local schools and academies including a summary of their admissions criteria and the published admission number (PAN).

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Apply online for a school place

Apply online

The deadline to apply for a primary school place for September 2021 is 15 January 2021.

Any applications received after the deadline will be classed as late.