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When will my child start primary school?

Your child will usually start full-time in a reception class in the September prior to their fifth birthday.

  • September 2018 - children's dates of birth from 1 September 2013 to 31 August 2014

  • September 2019 - children's dates of birth from 1 September 2014 to 31 August 2015

  • September 2020 - children's dates of birth from 1 September 2015 to 31 August 2016

Reception class forms part of a child's entitlement to the "Early Years Foundation Stage".

Children are not classed as compulsory school age until the term after their fifth birthday and therefore legally do not have to be in full time education until this time.

I have just moved into the area, how do I register my child at school?

You will need to complete an in-year application form.

All sections of the application form must be completed.

The form should be returned directly to your preferred school. The school will then notify you of the outcome.

Is it possible for my child to start in Reception earlier than they should?

We can consider early admission applications at a community or voluntary controlled school if:

  • you make the application at the normal time
  • provide relevant supporting information

We will consider the evidence provided and consult with the headteacher at the preferred school(s). We will notify you in writing when the offers are made for Reception places.

Note: if your request is successful, there is no guarantee your child will remain out of year the whole of their time at school.  The most appropriate placement for your child will be reviewed by the school on a regular basis.

Is it possible for my child to start in Reception later than they should?

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

The date your child starts school could also be later in the same academic year. In this case we encourage you to discuss this with the headteacher of the preferred 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 2019, supported by information that outlines why your child should not go into Year 1 alongside children within the correct age group.

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). 

Where can I find information about schools in Staffordshire?

You can find this by using the school guide.

How can I find out more about a particular primary school?

You can contact the school and request a copy of the school's prospectus, OFSTED reports or access the school web site for further information. We would always encourage parents to visit the school that they are interested in before making an application.

I have already put my child’s name down at the school I want. Do I still have to apply? 

The school will have made a note of your interest for your child to start at the school. This does not mean that you have applied. You must still make an official application.

I know which school I want my child to go to, why should I have to list other preferences?

If you live in Staffordshire and you only list one school and your child cannot be offered a place at that school, a place will be offered at the nearest school with a space available. There may well have been other schools that you would have preferred your child to go to.

If I name the same school three times will this give me a better chance of being allocated a place?

Extra weighting is not given for the number of times you include a preferred school, each school is only considered once.

If my application is unsuccessful, what are my options?

Independent Admission Appeal Process

You have the right to appeal against the decision to refuse your application to an Independent Appeal Panel

Waiting List

If we have not offered you a place at your most preferred school(s) we will put your child's name on a waiting list. We will also offer you the right to appeal.

Waiting lists are held in line with the relevant admission arrangements until the 31 December in the year of admission, except where infant class size legislation applies.

My child already attends the nursery class at my preferred school. Will I still have to apply? 

Yes, you must make an application.  Attendance at nursery does not give any priority for admission into Reception. Your application will be considered alongside all others and places will be allocated in line with the relevant admission arrangements.

I already have an older child attending my preferred school. Do I still have to apply?

You must still make an application for your preferred school. Available places are then allocated using the relevant admission arrangements.

My child is in Year 2 at an Infant school in Staffordshire, what do I need to do? 

You need to make an application by 15 January 2019. You must still make an application even if you want your child to attend the affiliated junior school.

Is the process different if my child has a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care plan?

Discussions about starting school should take place during their assessment or the previous annual review. If your child requires a special school or unit placement there is time to plan the admission arrangements.

If you wish to appeal against the school named in your child’s statement, you need to submit the appeal to the Special Needs and Disability Tribunal.

Admission to school for children with special needs but without statements will be treated in the same way as all other applications. Applications for admission will be considered against the school’s published admission criteria.

Schools cannot refuse an application because it considers it is unable to cater for the child’s educational needs. Nor because the child does not have a statement of SEN or is being assessed for one. It is also unacceptable for a school to refuse a child thought to be disruptive or who exhibits challenging behaviour on the grounds that the child ought to be assessed for SEN.

For more information please call 0300 111 8007 or email sendreferrals@staffordshire.gov.uk

How can I find out about whether school transport is available?

Find out more about home-to-school travel assistance.

How can I contact the School Admissions and Transport Service?

Please contact us if you need further information or help.

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