Making an application

How do I apply for a school place for my child?

When making your application, you must name all of the schools where you wish your child to be considered for a place in order of preference. This includes any academy, foundation, voluntary aided, and/or any other neighbouring local authority maintained schools. For more information view the types of schools page.

Applying online.

The quickest and easiest way is to apply online. Online applications are best done on a PC or laptop.

You can apply online from 1 November 2017. The closing date for applications is 15 January 2018.

Online applicants will receive their offer via email on 16 April 2018.

Applying by post

Alternatively you can apply by completing a paper application form between 1 November 2017 and 15 January 2018.

Applicants who apply in this way will receive their offer by second class post after 16 April 2018.  The preferred method is online.

When can my child start school?

Your child can start full-time in a reception class in the September of the academic year when they are 5. For starting in September 2018 this would be for dates of birth between 1 September 2013 and 31 August 2014.

Your child can start school part-time until they reach compulsory school age if you wish. 

The date your child starts to school could also be later in the same academic year. In this case we encourage you to discuss this with the head teacher of the requested or allocated school.

Summer Born Children (children born between 01 April and 31 August)

Parents who choose not to send their child to school until they reach the compulsory school age of 5, have the right to apply for admission into Reception rather than Year 1.

You must make your application by 15 January 2018, supported by information that outlines why your child should not go into Year 1 alongside children within the correct age group.

Please note: we cannot keep a space available in the correct age group for a year if you choose not to admit your child at the normal age of entry (September after a child turns 4).

What happens if I don't make an application?

A place at either your catchment area school (if places remain available and there is one designated to your home address) or the nearest school with spaces available will be offered on 16 April 2018. This may not be your catchment school and travel assistance will not necessarily be provided.

What happens if I have not applied by 15 January 2018?

Late applications for schools for which Staffordshire is the admission authority, i.e. community and voluntary controlled schools, will be considered alongside those applicants who applied on time wherever possible.

If places have already been allocated, late applicants will only be considered afterwards. If one of your preferred schools is not a Staffordshire community or voluntary controlled school then the relevant admission authority may decide not to accept your application.

A late application does not affect the right of appeal or the right to be placed on a school’s waiting list.

How many schools can I apply for?

You are able to name up to three schools in your application and if you wish to apply for more you should let us know. No extra weighting is given for the number of times you include a school on your form.

The majority of parents and carers in Staffordshire get one of their preferred schools. You must still consider the possibility of not getting your school preferences. This is particularly the case if your preference is for a school that is not within your catchment area.

Consider how your child will get to school. We will not provide free travel to a non-catchment area school. Please view the school travel assistance policy for full details.

Which schools can I apply for?

You must name all the schools that you wish your child to be considered for in order of preference. This includes any Academy, Foundation, or Voluntary Aided Schools. See the types of schools page for more information.

Also include any schools outside Staffordshire you wish to consider. This is because we coordinate the admissions process with neighbouring authorities.

Do I have to apply for my catchment school?

If you do not apply for your catchment area school we will not consider your child for a place at this school. This may cause you problems if we cannot give your child a place at a preferred non-catchment school.

How can I find out the catchment school for a certain address?

You can check the catchment areas for various addresses online. Note - your nearest school may not be your catchment area school.

Can I apply for a non-catchment area school?

You have the right to express preferences for any schools you wish. You should be aware of the potential implications of attending a non-catchment area school.

There may be difficulties when your child transfers to the next stage of education, i. e. secondary school. Secondary schools allocations are in line with the relevant admission arrangements. It is not by reference to the primary school your child attended. Children attending a non-catchment area primary school may then move in a different direction from other children attending the same primary school.

Will I need to provide any additional information?

Some Staffordshire academies, foundation schools or voluntary aided schools may ask you to provide additional information or submit a supplementary form.

For schools outside Staffordshire, you must contact the relevant admission authority and complete any additional or supplementary information in line with any deadlines that they specify.

Please note: If you wish to provide evidence to support medical grounds or other exceptional circumstances you must obtain the necessary evidence as specified within the admission arrangements.  We will not seek to obtain this information on your behalf. Please email or post any additional information directly to the admissions team marked clearly with:

  • The name of the child
  • The school requiring the information
  • Whether the application was made online or by other means

If you have been asked for a baptismal certificate, please send a copy to the school admissions team.

How will I know that my application has been received?

If you use the online service your application will automatically be acknowledged once you submit your application.

What happens if I want to change my preferences after I have submitted my application?

If you apply online you will be able to change your preference up to the closing date of 15 January 2018.  Please remember to resubmit your application, otherwise the changes you make will not be registered.

Alternatively, you can change your school preferences by writing to or emailing the admissions team up to 15 January 2018.

If you wish to change your preferences to include schools not previously named or wish to change your preferences after the offer date of 16 April 2018 you will need to email admissions@staffordshire.gov.uk to make a late application. Your application will be administered in line with the late applications process.

Who can apply?

Anyone with parental responsibility can apply.

We expect parents to agree on school places before you make an application. We may request evidence from you that this is the case. We cannot intervene in disputes between parents over school applications. You must resolve these privately.

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