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Starting primary school

Apply to start school in Year R (Reception) if your child is born between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2016.

Apply to transfer from infant to junior school (Year 3) if your child is born between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2013 and attends an infant school.

If your child is in Year 2 in a primary school which runs from Year R to Year 6, you do not need to apply for Year 3, unless you wish your child to transfer to a junior school.

If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan or a statement of special educational needs you don’t need to apply through this admission process. Contact instead.


You have the right to appeal for any school named on your application that has not been able to offer your child a place.

You will need to complete an appeal request form. The form and details of where to return it to for each school will be published in the Next Steps Guide on offer day.

The deadline for submitting an appeal is Friday 15 May 2020.

Remember that:

  • you can only appeal for schools named on your application
  • you can appeal for more than one school at the same time
  • you must complete a separate request form for each school you're appealing for
  • each school will not know you have appealed for another school unless you tell them. The appeals for each school are completely independent of each other.

Appeals for infant classes

In reception, year 1 and year 2, the class size is limited by law to 30. Your application can be turned down if all the classes already have 30 children. This is known as 'infant class size legislation'.

You can still appeal and your appeal could be upheld if you're able to prove that:

  • the admission arrangements have not been properly followed
  • the admission arrangements are not legal according to the School Admissions Appeals Code
  • the decision to refuse your child a place was unreasonable

Appeal panels can only uphold infant class size appeals on one of these grounds.

After you submit your appeal

After you submit your appeal, a hearing will be set up and you will be invited to attend. You must be given at least 10 school days' notice.

You should be given a deadline to submit any further evidence you wish to provide.

Any evidence submitted after the deadline may not be considered at the hearing.

The hearing

Your appeal will be heard by an independent panel which has no connection to the school.

The panel will decide on whether or not to uphold your appeal and grant your child a place.

You will be invited to the hearing to explain why you think your child should be given a place and the school will be invited to explain why a place cannot be offered.

There will be a clerk present who makes sure correct procedure is followed throughout and keeps a full record of proceedings.

You have the right to bring a friend or family member to the hearing to support or represent you. However, this person must not have a connection with the school being appealed for (such as a member of staff from the school).

What happens at an appeal hearing

  1. The panel will decide on whether or not to uphold your appeal and grant your child a place.
  2. The admission authority will explain why they turned down your application.
  3. You’ll be able to give your own reasons why your child should be given a place.
  4. The appeals panel must decide if the school’s admission arrangements were properly followed and are legal according to the school admissions appeals code.
  5. If the arrangements are legal and were properly followed, the panel must decide if they were followed fairly and thoroughly.
  6. If the arrangements were not properly followed or are illegal, your appeal must be upheld.
  7. If your appeal has not already been upheld, the panel will decide if your reasons for your child receiving a place outweigh the school’s reasons for not admitting another child.
  8. The panel will send you and the admission authority their decision within 5 working days.

The decision

The panel will make their decision in private after all appeals have been heard.

The decision is final and can only be overturned by a court. If there’s a change in your circumstances which could affect the decision, you may be able to appeal again.

Full details of the appeals process and regulations are available in the School Admissions Appeals Code.