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Applying for Primary School Places

Find out how to apply for a reception year school place in an infant or primary school, or a year three place in a junior school

Applications for primary school places, where a child is attending school for the first time, are managed to a national timetable. The admission process is known as the 'Normal Admissions Round' and is co-ordinated between local authorities across England.

The Admissions Guide

We produce an Icon for pdf admissions guide [23MB] for parents each year which details how to apply for a primary school place, and explains how each school will prioritise each application using the oversubscription criteria.



You must apply for a school place using the application form for the local authority where you live, even if you are applying for schools in a different local authority area. (Eg: if you live in West Berkshire, use our online application form, even if you are applying for schools in, for example, Hampshire).

If you're applying mid-way through a school year, there's a separate process that needs to be followed.

Before applying you should:

  1. Icon for pdf read the parent's guide [23MB] for the new school year (you should also read the relevant guide if you are applying for schools outside of West Berkshire)
  2. check whether you need to provide supplementary information or complete a supplementary form to meet certain oversubscription rules.
  3. Supplementary forms are available for: Icon for doc St Finian's Catholic School [59KB] , Icon for doc St Joseph's Catholic School [92KB] , Icon for doc St Paul's Catholic School [111KB]
  4. consider how your child will get to school. Free school transport is only available to your nearest school, which may not be in your catchment area. There are also distance criteria - full details are available in the Home to School Transport Policy

You can apply online from 12 September using our online application form:

Apply for a school place online

Applying online is the best route to take, as you'll get a receipt when you submit your application, and you'll find out which school has been offered on the offer day instead of waiting for the post. 

The closing date for applications is 15 January.

Delaying school entry until statutory school age

You need to complete the Icon for doc request form [107KB]  to delay entry to reception. The form also provides links to guidance and timescales for submitting the form and receiving a response.

When are school places offered?

Emails and letters are sent on 16 April and emails should be received by 5pm. The emails usually start sending from our system at around 5am.

We provide Icon for doc Primary [44KB]  and Icon for doc Junior [24KB]  information sheets that will answer many of your questions and include numbers on waiting lists and spaces available in schools.

If you applied online and haven't received an email, this might be because you selected to receive a letter instead. You can still log into your account to view the result. You can also find further information about this and previous years' allocations, here.


What happens after school places are offered?

School waiting lists

If your child does not have a place at your preferred school, you will be added to the waiting list. 

In all cases where a child is not offered the first preference, they are placed on the waiting list for the first and any other higher preference school that was not offered. Waiting lists are always ranked using the oversubscription rules and not the date the application was received.

Making a late application

You can submit a Icon for doc primary school application form [314KB] or Icon for doc junior school application form [312KB]  if you missed the closing date or would like to apply for a different school after the closing date. 

The timetable for processing late applications is detailed in the admissions guide.

Making an appeal

If your child is refused a place, you can appeal against an admission decision.

You should read all the information available before submitting an appeal.

Please be aware that some schools already teach in classes of 30 which is the maximum allowed. An appeal for such a school is classified as an Infant Class Size Appeal and will normally only be successful if it can be proven that a mistake has been made and your child would have been offered a school place if the application had been processed correctly.


Oversubscription criteria

Oversubscription criteria are used by schools where there are more applications than there are places available. The criteria help to decide which applicants can be offered by giving each application a priority. The priorities are based on a number of different things, such as School Catchment Areas and whether a child is a 'child in care' (or had been in care until adoption or child arrangements/special guardianship order).

The over-subscription criteria are explained in the parent/carer's guide for each school year.

It's important to make sensible and realistic decisions when choosing which schools to apply for. You should of course apply for schools that you prefer, but we advise that one of your preferences should be for a school that you have a reasonable chance of being offered a place in.

We provide detailed admissions data about the number of applications received for schools in previous years and the children that were offered places.

Please note that children who attend school nurseries have no priority for a school place in the linked school.


Apply for a school place online


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