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Primary Timeline for entry in 2020

1. Primary Timeline for entry in 2020

Children born between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2016 will be starting school in September 2020.

Children attending an infant school and born between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2013 will be moving up to junior school in September 2020.

 

2019

September to December 2019 - visit the schools

It’s important you find out about the schools you are interested in before you decide to put them on your application. You can list up to 6 schools when you apply.

Find my child a school place

Open events information is available on our school directory   Open events are the easiest way to see a school first hand. You may need to make an appointment.

4 November - Applications open

Apply

2020

14 January - infant to junior transfer

This is the last date to hand in a paper application to your child's infant school - 9am.

15 January deadline - Primary school applications close

 Buckinghamshire residents have until 3 pm on this date to submit their online primary school application.

If you are posting a paper application it must reach us no later than 3 pm on this date. All applicants must provide address evidence to accompany their application.

Submit your address evidence

29 January deadline - this is the latest date for moving into Buckinghamshire

The latest date for moving into Buckinghamshire (and providing evidence) for us to use this address when we consider your school preferences for the first round of allocations.

Please note that some Academies, Foundation and Voluntary-Aided schools, may have different deadlines - check their rules. What to do if you are moving house 

16 April - National Offer Day

Parents who applied online will be able to log in and view their offer. They will also be sent an email. We post letters to parents who applied on a paper form.


View your offer online

7 July - School Transition Day

Children visit their new school

September 2020 - start of new school year

The new school year starts and children attend their new school

2. How to decide which schools to apply for

 It is important that you make your application correctly, and on time, as this can affect your chances of being offered a place at the school you are interested in.

Check our timeline to get all the important dates for your diary.

Find the schools near you

Use our 'Find your child a school place' service to find information about the schools you are interested in including catchment areas, OFSTED report, admission numbers, and the admission rules used for entry in the previous year.

Visit the schools you are interested in

Schools have Open Events to give you the chance to look around and learn more about them. It is best to visit a number of schools, including your nearest/catchment schools. Even if you are not sure if a school might be right for your child, it is helpful to learn more about the school and to visit it in person.

Use our school directory to find open event dates for the schools you are interested in.

Think about how to get to school 

Think about how your child will get to school each day. Make sure you read and understand the School Transport rules. You can check whether your child would be eligible for free school transport. If being able to walk to school is important to you, ask whether the school has a School Travel Plan.

Decide on your preferences

You cannot choose a school for your child, but you can make preferences. You can put up to six schools on your application. Make sure you understand how we allocate school places.

Apply for a place

You must submit your primary school application by 3pm on 15 January 2020 at the very latest.

At the same time, send us evidence of where you live. The evidence you provide must be a copy of a utility bill (i.e. a gas or electricity bill in your name) which is no more than 3 months old and shows usage appropriate to your families need.

Please do not leave this very important decision until the last moment

3. Types of primary schools

Primary schools in Buckinghamshire are for children aged 4 to 11, and include the following types of school: 

  • Infant schools (4 to 7 years old)
  • Junior schools (7 to 11 years old)
  • Combined schools (4 to 11 years) Some combined schools admit additional children into Year 3. You can find out which schools these are here
  • Special schools - for children with an Education, Health & Care Plan (formally a Statement of Special Educational Needs)

Each primary school is classed as an Academy, Community, Foundation, Voluntary-Controlled, Voluntary-Aided or Free School.

Academies - are independent state schools and are established by sponsors from business, faith or voluntary groups, or as a result of schools converting in line with Government legislation. We will offer places on behalf of the governing body or trust, which sets and applies the admission rules.

Community and Voluntary-Controlled schools - are managed by the Local Authority (LA).

Foundation schools - the governing body sets and applies the admission rules.  We will offer school places on behalf of the governing body.

Free Schools -  are set up by local groups and have greater control of the curriculum, selection of staff and school conditions. They are funded directly from Central Government. Free Schools are not selective and are free for children to attend. We will offer places on behalf of the trust which sets and applies the admission rules.

Voluntary-Aided schools are managed by the Church of England or Roman Catholic diocese. The governing body of the school sets and applies the admission rules and we will offer school places on behalf of the governing body.

All schools have Admission Rules (criteria) which are used to decide which children should be offered places, if there are more applications than places available.

You can use the school directory to see which type each school is classed as, and which rules apply to each school.  Schools do have different rules, so you must check these before making your application.

When we talk about an Admission Authority, this is who is responsible for admissions for a particular school. 

For Community or Voluntary-Controlled schools, the Admission Authority is Buckinghamshire LA. For Academies, Foundation, Free and Voluntary-Aided, schools, this is the school itself. 

 

4. Getting the order of your preferences right

 

 If you live in Buckinghamshire, you can put up to six schools on your application. Make sure you complete your application carefully because this will give us the information we need to work out where your child will be on the list for each of the schools you have put down.

We use an 'Equal Preference Scheme' to decide which school we can offer your child. This means that when we are making decisions, we don’t take into account the order (1 to 6) that you have put the schools in on your application.  We list all children according to the admission rules for each school. It is as though you’ve made up to six separate applications.

We can only offer a child one school place at any one time. When we are allocating places, if we can offer your child more than one school, we will always offer your child a place at the school you have put higher on your application. This is why the order you put the schools in is so important and why you should always put them in the order you really want them. Details of previous year’s offers are available on our Statistics page How we allocated school places in previous years and in the Find my child a school place  Make sure you also understand the School Transport rules.

Enter your school preferences carefully – some schools have similar names.  We will not question preferences as parents may have a strong preference for a school that is a significant distance from their home as they work close by or are moving to that area.

You do not have to include a catchment school but it is a good idea if you want a local school. You have a greater chance (but not a guarantee) of being offered a place at your catchment school if you have included it as a preference. You should list your preferences in the order you would like them to be considered.

It is important that you tell us if your child has a brother or sister at any of the schools you have put on your application. If you have more than one child at a school already, always tell us about the younger child. There is space on the application for you to do this.

Some schools also consider siblings at a linked school. Make sure you check the rules of the schools you apply for.

Some schools have a medical or social rule that applications can be considered under. You can see from the admission rules if a school has this rule and the priority it is given.

Here are some examples which show what might happen if you don’t include your catchment school or if you do not fill out the application form correctly

We don’t tell schools where you ranked it on your application before we offer places.

Other things to remember

  • Make sure we receive your application by the deadline of 15 January 2020. If an application is late we will not look at it until after all those that we received on time. The only exception would be if we received your application by 29 January 2020 and you have included evidence which we agree shows why you could not apply on time.
  • Each school has an Admission Number (AN) which is the number of places that we can offer. You can see the AN for the schools you are interested in by checking the school directory.
  • If your preferred school, or schools, has more applications than there are places available, then we may not be able to offer your child a place. This will be because other children had a higher priority for the places available. We use the admission rules to put children into order and then offer the number of places we have available.
  • If we can’t offer any of your preferences, and your child lives in Buckinghamshire, we offer a place at the nearest Buckinghamshire school that has a place available. This may not be your catchment school.
  • Remember that we cannot guarantee that your child will be offered a place at your catchment school, or any of your preferred schools.

5. School Transport options

Parents are responsible, in law, for ensuring their child attends school so you should consider the daily journey when applying for schools. If it is not possible to walk to school because of the distance involved, you could consider using public transport or car sharing. Most schools have school travel plans and are working with parents to reduce their car use.

Travel assistance for primary age pupils is generally provided where the school attended is the nearest suitable school and it is more than two miles from your home address for a child who is under eight and three miles for those who are over eight . Most children do not qualify for help with home to school travel assistance and parents are responsible for making the travel arrangements and meeting the cost.

In all cases children are only entitled to transport in the term following their fifth birthday. This is when they become statutory or compulsory school age. If a child starts school before they are statutory school age it is the parent’s responsibility to get their child to and from school each day

Please bear in mind that the order of your school preferences can have an impact on whether free school transport assistance is available.  If you do not express a preference for your nearest school you are unlikely to be eligible for free transport to a school further away.

For full details of Home to School Transport including further guidance and policy document please see our web page

 

6. How we allocate school places

Once you have submitted your application we start the process of finding your child a school place according to our Scheme and each schools admission rules.

Step 1 - We look at the preferences made by our parents.

Step 2 - We tell other Local Authorities (LAs) about applications for their schools made by our parents.  Other LAs tell us about applications for Buckinghamshire schools made by their parents.

Step 3 - We put your child on the list for the schools on your application, in admission rules order.

Step 4 - We allocate places up to the Admission Number (number of places available)  for each of our schools.

Step 5 - We tell other LAs which of their children can be offered places at our schools.  Other LAs tell us which of our children can be offered places at their schools.

Step 6 - It will be possible to allocate more than one place to many children, so we keep the allocation for the school you listed higher on your application. Any other places are freed up for other children. 

Step 7 - Steps 4, 5 and 6 are repeated over and over again until we have allocated everyone the highest preference that we can.

Step 8 - On 16 April 2020 we let our parents know which school has been offered for their child. Other LAs will write to their parents. Where we cannot offer a place that preference will be refused.

 Important information for Buckinghamshire residents

If we can't offer any of your preferences, we offer a place at the nearest Buckinghamshire school with spaces.  This may not be your catchment school. 

 

7. Admission rules

Admission rules are used to decide who we should offer places to when we have more applications for a school than there are places available. 

We use the information from your application to work out which rule to list your child under.  Once we have listed all children in admission rules order we can then see who can be offered a place.

For each of the schools you would like to put down on your application, you must read their admission rules carefully.  It is important to do this because schools use different rules to decide who will be allocated a place.

Below are the admission rules for all Buckinghamshire community and voluntary controlled schools, but other schools such as academies, foundation schools and voluntary-aided schools might have different rules.

Once places have been allocated to children with an Educational Health Care Plan are admitted the remaining places will be allocated in the following order:

Rule 1 – Looked after and previously looked after children.

Rule 2 - Children who appear to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted

Rule 3 – Children who have exceptional medical or social needs, which can only be met at that school, supported by written evidence from an appropriate professional person.

Rule 4 - Children of staff where either:

 

  1. The member of staff has been employed at the school for two or more years at the time at which the application for admission to the school is made,

 

and/or

 

  1. The member of staff is recruited to fill a vacant post for which there is a demonstrable skill shortage

 

Rule 5 – Children living within the catchment area of the school.

Rule 6 – For the main point of entry: Siblings of children who are attending the school or a ‘linked primary’ school in Year R to Year 5 at the time the allocations are made (March 2020), and are expected to be on the school roll or linked school roll at the time of the proposed admission, or who have already been offered a place to start in the current academic year at the school or a ‘linked primary’ school.

For immediate in year admission after the normal point of entry: Siblings of children who are in Year R to Year 6 at the time of admission to the school.

Rule 7 – Children attending a primary school linked to the school named in the list of ‘linked primary’ schools at the time allocations are made (March 2019). This rule does not apply to those applying for a place in Reception.

Rule 8 – Once the above rules have been applied, then any further places will be offered in distance order, using the distance between the family’s Normal Home Address and the school’s nearest entrance gate, offering the closest first. We use straight line distance. 

Rule 9 - Where a school can take some, but not all, of the children who qualify under one of these rules, we will give priority to children by taking account of the next rule (or rules) in the numbered list to decide who has priority for places.

For example, places are offered to catchment siblings before children living in the catchment area without siblings. In each case, distance is used to prioritise which children should be offered places. 

Rule 10 - If it is still not possible to decide between two applicants who are equal distance then an independently scrutinised random allocation will be made to allocate the final place.

 

8. Understanding the terms we use

These are some of the terms we use for the admission rules and policies for Community and Voluntary -Controlled schools.  Many Academy, Foundation, Free and Voluntary-Aided schools use the same terms as us.

Parent

The person who is the child’s ‘parent’ should make the application:

  • A parent is defined in law (the Education Act 1996) as ‘Any person who has ‘parental responsibility’ (defined in Children’s Act 1989) for the child or young person’

or

  • Any person who has care of the child or young person

If two parents with parental responsibility live at different addresses the parent to whom the Child Benefit is paid should make the application with the full knowledge and consent of the non-resident parent.

If Child Benefit is not received, then the parent living at the address at which the child is registered with a doctor should make the application, or failing that, then the parent with whom the child spends the greater proportion of the school week from Sunday evening to Thursday evening.

We may ask for evidence if circumstances have changed in the past 18 months. Please read the information about shared or joint residence that we cover later.

Normal Home Address

This is your child’s home address: it is where you and your child live together unless you can show that they live elsewhere with someone with legal care and control of your child. For admissions purposes, this must be a residential property that is your child’s only or main residence.

It must also be a property that can be permanently occupied 52 weeks of the year without any restrictions on occupation and not subjected to any planning or contractual restrictions on the duration of occupancy.  It must be your child’s only or main residence that is owned, leased or rented by the child’s parent(s) or person with legal care and control of the child.

It cannot be an address at which your child may sometimes stay or sleep due to your domestic arrangements. 

A child’s Normal Home Address is where he or she spends most of the week, unless it is accommodation at a boarding school.

In deciding your Normal Home Address we would not usually accept an address if:

  • You or your family has a second home elsewhere as a main residence. We expect that you have sold, or leased through an agency, your previous property or that a lease agreement on a property you previously rented has expired and that you have no other residence.
  • Only part of a family has moved out of the Normal Home Address unless this was part of a divorce or permanent separation arrangement. If this is the case we will ask for evidence.
  • Two or more families claim to be living together in a property that is not suitable for the number of adults and children present and for which there is no formal record of this agreement.
  • A child moves to a home other than with their parent, unless this is part of a formal fostering or care arrangement. We may check this information.
  • The address is that of a holiday home. A family living at a known holiday home address will be asked to provide leasing evidence and if there is a limitation on the tenancy then it will not be accepted.

We can refuse to accept where you say your child lives if we have any doubts, in which case we will continue to ask for evidence to show that you and your family actually live where you say you live. We may ask our legal team to investigate or ask that you provide legal confirmation of your address. We may check the evidence you have provided with other agencies including your child’s current school.

If we offer a place at a school and then discover that the offer was made on the basis of fraudulent or misleading information (for example, a false claim to living in a catchment area), and this denied a place to another child, the offer of that place will be withdrawn by the admission authority for the school.  This has happened in previous years.  

Please make sure you tell us if you move house after you have made your application.

Shared or Joint residence

To avoid doubt, where a child lives with parents/carers (with or without parental responsibility) with shared responsibility whether for part of a week, or month, the address where the child lives for admission purposes will be determined by confirmation of the registered address to which Child Benefit is currently being paid.

If Child Benefit is not received, we will require evidence to show the address at which a child is registered with a doctor (GP).

We will also take into account the address at which the child spends the greater proportion of the school week from Sunday evening to Thursday evening, evidence will be required.   Where necessary we will also contact your child’s current primary school or nursery for further information.

Please make sure you send us a copy of your latest benefit entitlement notice or your child’s medical card. We may ask for further evidence.

The person completing the application form must ensure that they have parental responsibility for the child in question. They must also ensure that the application has the agreement of all people with parental responsibility. Find out more about parents who have shared or joint residence   

 Looked After Child

For admission purposes a ‘looked after child’ is a child:

  • in the care of a local authority in England, or who is being provided with accommodation by a local authority in the exercise of their social services functions. This covers accommodated children and those who are in care under a Care Order or Interim Care Order. This can include living with family or friends, in foster care, in a children’s home, residential school, special school or in supported lodgings.

Or

  • who were previously looked after and immediately after being looked after became the subject of an adoption, child arrangements order or special guardianship order. A child arrangements order is an order setting the arrangements to be made as to the person with whom the child is to live under the Children and Families Act 2014.  A Special Guardianship Order appoints a child’s special guardian(s) under Section 14A of the Children’s Act 1989.

This may also include children who appear to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted. A child is regarded as having been in state care in a place outside of England if they were accommodated by a public authority, a religious organisation or any other provider of care whose sole purpose is to benefit society.  

For applications under either of these rules, please provide a letter from your child’s Social Worker or other documentary evidence confirming this situation.

Exceptional medical or social applications

If you would like your application for your highest preference school to be considered under this rule, you must have a very strong reason for your child attending this particular school

We would not normally expect a parent to apply under this rule for more than one school. Exceptional reasons for attending a particular school should not normally apply to a number of schools.

Not all schools have this rule so make sure you check their admission rules before applying. Should you be applying for a school in another area that has a similar rule please send your independent evidence to us and we will forward it to the Local Authority in whose area the school is situated.

You must tell us that you would like us to look at your application under this rule and send us some supporting evidence. The supporting evidence should be from an independent professional person (this might be a doctor, health visitor or Education Welfare Officer, for example) who knows about your situation and supports your case. It must clearly show why the school is the most suitable for your child and what difficulties there would be if your child went to a different school. 

There is more information about applying under the Exceptional Medical or Social Needs rule

We will not collect information for you.  You must tell us on your application that you are applying under this rule and then submit your evidence using our contact us form. Both the application and the evidence must be submitted by the deadline of 15 January 2020.

Applications made under this rule for later allocation rounds should be submitted by the deadlines in this table. We would only expect later applications under this rule where you had not made a primary school application previously or circumstances have changed/new evidence has come to light since your original application. We will not reconsider an application under this rule where relevant information was known at the time of the original application that you chose not to share with us.

A panel comprising of education experts other than admissions officers will decide which children can be considered under this rule before we make each round of allocations.

In order to agree an application under this rule, the Panel will need to see evidence to confirm the following three statements to be true –

  • The parent has clearly explained why this school above any other would be the most appropriate for their child to attend

 

  • The parent has provided independent evidence that clearly supports their claim that this school would be the most suitable for their child
  • There is no other school that could reasonably be expected to meet the child’s needs

Child of a member of staff

To apply under this rule, you (the parent) need to have been employed at the school for two or more years at the time at which the application for admission to the school is made,   

AND/OR

Have been recruited to fill a vacant post for which there is a demonstrable skill shortage.

This is a post which the school has had difficulty in filling. This might be where the school has taken part in a recruitment drive to fill the post either across the country or worldwide and/or where the post was not filled at the first attempt.

'School staff' includes  teaching staff on a permanent or fixed term contract exceeding 11 months in duration, and all other staff on permanent or fixed term contracts exceeding 11 months in duration for posts of in excess of 15 hours per week.

Catchment areas

Most Buckinghamshire primary schools have a catchment area, which is a geographical area that can give priority for admission to children who live in that area. Whilst living in a catchment area can help your child’s chances of being offered a place, there is no guarantee that this will always be possible. You can work out which catchment area you live in by using the ‘Find my child a school place’ service.

The admission rules for each school show the priority given to catchment children when we look to see who can be offered a place. We follow the admission rules whether a child lives inside or outside of Buckinghamshire. 

Sibling

A sibling is a brother or sister – for admission purposes, we mean one of two (or more) individuals who have one or more parents in common, or any other child (including an adopted or fostered child) who lives at the same address and for whom the parent also has parental responsibility, or (in the case of a fostered child) delegated authority. 

We will only consider a pupil in a primary school as a sibling if they are at the school, or a linked school in Reception (Foundation 2) to Year 5 at the time the allocations are made (March 2020), or who have already been offered a place to start in the current academic year at the school or a ‘linked primary’ school. The child must also be expected to still be at the school or linked school at the time the younger child would start (September 2020).

Some schools also consider siblings at a linked school.  Remember to tell us on your application if you have another child already at one of your preferred schools or at a school “linked” to your preferred schools. There is a specific place for you to do this on your application.

When we are allocating places to a class which is covered by the infant class size legislation, if we have one place left and the next child on the list is a twin, triplet or other multiple birth group then both twins (or all the siblings in the case of multiple births) will be admitted. Whilst that child is in the class they will be an excepted pupil under the Schools Admissions (Infant Class Size) (England) Regulations 2012, which permit Key Stage 1 classes to exceed 30 following the admission of a twin triplet or other multiple birth group for as long as necessary until a child leaves the class at which point the class will remain at the lower figure.

For admission to a class where infant class size legislation does not apply both twins (or all the siblings in the case of multiple births) would be admitted.

Home to School Distance

We use straight line distance for admission purposes. This is the distance from your child’s Normal Home Address, as set out by Ordnance Survey, to the nearest open school gate available for pupils to use. We use a computerised system to measure straight line distance.

The point we measure to at your child’s address is determined by the Ordnance Survey AddressBase which is an Ordnance Survey data product that provides a National Grid coordinate and a unique reference for each postal address in Great Britain that is on the Royal Mail’s Post Office Address File.

This is different to the shortest walking route which is used for transport purposes. More information is in the School Transport Policy & Guidance.

Where Service families or families of other Crown Servants are posted to the area, we will allocate school places in advance of the move if an official government letter declaring the relocation date and intended address is provided. 

Make sure you look at each schools admission rules to see in which situations distance from home to school is used.

Danesfield School and St Paul’s CE Combined School both use routed distance

Infant Class Size

By law, no infant aged pupil should be taught in a class where there are more than 30 pupils for each school teacher. An infant class is one where most children will be five, six or seven during the academic year. This means that we will usually refuse to admit more than 30 children for each qualified teacher. 

Supplementary Forms

Some schools ask you to fill in a Supplementary Form to help them gather extra information about your child. This will help them decide who can be offered a place. Most of the Roman Catholic schools in Buckinghamshire, use the same Supplementary Form

Our Lady's Catholic School has their own Supplementary Form and Certificate of Catholic Practice to be downloaded.

You can see which schools other than the Roman Catholic schools also have a Supplementary Form by using the 'Find my child a school place' checker on our website.

 

Children with Special Educational Needs

Many children with Special Educational Needs go to a local school and are provided with extra support. There are also Special Schools which support children with particular needs. If your child has (or you expect them to have) an Education, Health & Care Plan, you should contact the Special Educational Needs Team by emailing sen@buckscc.gov.uk or calling 01296 382269. Most parents of children with an EHCP or Statement will know about their child’s primary school place before April 2020.

School Admissions Code and Scheme

The School Admissions Code is provided by the Department for Education (DfE) to guide Admission Authorities when dealing with school admission.  Please visit the Department for Education website for more information.

The Education Act 2002 also requires all LAs to have a ‘Scheme’ to show the arrangements for admission to primary schools in their area.

The Scheme is in place to make sure that every parent of a child living in the LA area who has applied for a school place in the ‘normal admission round’ receives the offer of one school place. You can read our Scheme on our policies page.

It covers how we allocate school places; we will put your child on the lists for the schools you have on your application. If your preferred school, or schools, has more applications than there are places available, then whether we can offer a place will depend on where on the school’s rules your child is ranked and how many other children had higher priority for the places available. We use the admission rules to put children into order and then offer the number of places we have available.

Full details of all the Buckinghamshire primary schools are available in our school directory. You can use our ‘Find my child a school place’ service to show schools near you and to check whether your child would be entitled to free school transport.

Admission rules for schools in other areas

If you are interested in a school located in another LA area, you should contact the LA or school direct for more information about their admission rules. 

If you want to apply for a Year 5 place in Central Bedfordshire you will not be able to do this online, you need to complete a paper application form.  Please use the contact us form to request this.

 

9. What to do if you are moving house

If you move after you have applied, you must give us evidence of this.

First round allocations - You must provide evidence to show that you have moved and are already living in your new home by the 29 January 2020 so that we can use your new address when we consider your school preferences.

We understand that this is not always possible; however, we are not able to vary the process for parents who cannot complete house moves in time for us to use the new address for admissions purposes. For this reason, it is very important that you are aware of the key dates in our admissions process and ensure you move and provide us with evidence of this within the admissions deadlines.

Academies, together with Foundation, Free and Voluntary-Aided schools, and schools in other areas may have different deadlines so check their rules carefully. 

If you are living abroad and are returning to a property in the UK, we will need to use the address that you are currently living at, unless you can provide evidence to show that you and your child will be resident in our area by 29 January 2020

If you move after 29 January 2020, we will use your new address for later rounds of allocations, once we have accepted it. Please see evidence deadline if you move after this date

We use the address where you are living on 29 January 2020 for the first round of allocations on 16 April 2020. If you have recently moved to this address you will need to provide the evidence before we will accept your new address.

If you move from the address on your application after 29 January 2020, you must tell us and provide evidence to confirm your move. However, we will use your old address for the first round.

Please see the later information if you are a Service Family or a family of other Crown Servants

Evidence of moving

You will need to provide evidence of your move.  This evidence should show that you have:

  • Disposed of/no longer have access to your old address

AND

  • A new address

AND

  • Moved in and are now living with your child in your new address

The following are examples of the evidence we will ask for if you move house. Depending on the evidence you provide, we may need to ask for more if we are still not sure you live where you say you live.

 

Type of house move

Evidence we need

Property Sale

  • A solicitor’s letter confirming the date that you have completed the purchase of your new home.
  • Evidence to show that you have disposed of your previous property, or that it is no longer available for you and your family to live in. (e.g. a solicitor’s letter confirming you have completed on the sale or a signed formal lease agreement to show you have leased it).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Property rental

·         A formal lease agreement provided through an approved letting agency confirming that your lease has started and showing that you will be living at the address for at least six months after 1 September 2020.

·         Evidence to show that you have disposed of your previous property, or that it is no longer available for you and your family to live in (e.g. if you were previously leasing a different property, a letter from the letting agent to confirm the date you vacated that property or a solicitor’s letter confirming you completed on the sale of the property you owned).

  • Copies of at least two pieces of the following documents:
    • current Council Tax bill
    • driving licence
    • utility bill (showing usage)
    • bank statement
    • doctor’s registration letter for your child.

Moving back from abroad to a property you already own

  • Proof that you own the property (e.g. Land Registry document). If the property is currently being leased, we need a copy of the written notice you have given tenants confirming that you will be returning.
  • Copies of flight details for your return and passports.
  • A copy of the current Council Tax bill and a utility bill showing usage.

Child who is  permanently moving from one parent /carer to live with another

  • Written confirmation from both parents of the new arrangements.
  • A copy of the current Council Tax bill from the parent the child is moving to live with.
  • Proof that Child Benefit is being paid to the parent the child is going to be living with. If Child Benefit is not received, a letter from the child’s GP confirming the address at which the child is registered.
  • We may also contact your child’s current school/nursery for confirmation and/or ask you to provide further evidence.

Refuge (domestic abuse)

  • Written confirmation from the refuge that you are currently residing there

Any other type of house move

Service/Crown Service Families

It is your responsibility to make sure we know you are a Service or Crown Servant family. 

Where Service families, or families of other Crown Servants, who often move within the UK and from abroad, are posted to the area, we will allocate school places in advance of the family move, if you provide an official government letter declaring a relocation date and an intended address. A Unit postal address, or quartering area address, will be sufficient if there is not a new home address. Where Service or Crown Servant families are returning to live in a property they already own, evidence of ownership will be needed. You will need to provide evidence by 14 February 2020, to be included in the first allocation round. See the deadlines for later rounds of allocation.

Moving out of Buckinghamshire

If you are planning to move away from Buckinghamshire before September 2020, you should still apply to us by our deadline. If you are sure of your move you can include schools for your new address, we will then pass on your preferences to your new home LA.

If you think your move might be delayed or fall through you might like to still apply for a Buckinghamshire school. 

Once your move is confirmed, please tell us your new address whether your child will be going to the school that has been offered, or a different school.  You should then contact the Admissions Team for the area you have moved to.

Moving into Buckinghamshire 

If you plan to move into Buckinghamshire and will not have completed your move by the deadline of the 29 January 2020, you must make your application to your current home LA. You can choose to put Buckinghamshire schools on your application ready for your new address and your home LA will tell us about your preferences.

If you currently live abroad and you will be moving to Buckinghamshire then you should apply online providing evidence of your move and your Normal Home Address

10. What if I miss the application deadline?

 

Date we receive your application Do you think you have exceptional reasons for your late application? Will your application be treated as on time? When you will know which school your child has been offered
By 15 January 2020 N/A Yes 16 April 2020
By 29 January 2020 Yes - evidence included and agreed Yes 16 April 2020
By 29 January 2020 Yes - evidence included and not agreed No 16 April 2020
By 29 January 2020 No No 16 April 2020

* For example, you may have been ill for a long time or there may have been a family bereavement, which prevented you from applying by the deadline.  Moving into the area is not an exceptional reason for applying late.

If you have missed the application deadline and still need to apply for a primary school place in September 2020, please use the contact us form  to request an application form.   Information about deadlines are available on our later allocation rounds page.

If an application is late for the first round of allocations we will not look at it until after all those that we received on time. The only exception would be if we received your application by 29 January 2020 and you have included independent professional evidence which we agree shows why you could not apply on time.

Please also see section 9 if you are a Service or Crown Servant family. If we receive your application and supporting evidence by 14 February 2020 we will treat your application as timely.

11. National offer day

National Offer Day is 16 April 2020.

This is for children:

  • starting primary school
  • moving up to junior school in September 2020.

Understanding your options

Please complete the answers below to see what options are available to you.



This flowchart is also available as a downloadable PDF.

Sections 12 to 16 give you the information you will need when you receive your child's primary school offer on 16 April 2020.

Make sure you read them carefully as they will explain why we have made the offer we have and what you will need to do next. These sections also tell you about the timeline for accepting the place we have offered and waiting lists.

Even if you have an older child who is already at primary school, there are things that are likely to be different so it is important that you understand what happens after you have received your child’s offer.

! It is particularly important that you understand how waiting lists work.

This section also has information about how we manage allocation rounds after 16 April.

Each LA will have different deadlines and things for you to do. If you don't live in Buckinghamshire, make sure you understand what your home LA needs you to do. You should also contact them if your child does not have a school place for September.

You will be able to see the allocation profile which will show you which schools had more applications than there were places available and the final admission rule under which we were able to offer places on 16 April.

View your offer online

For information about other LA's you must contact them directly.

If you missed the application deadline and still need to apply for a primary school place for Reception or a Junior school place for Year 3 in September 2020, use the contact us form to request an application form.  Information about deadlines is available on our later allocation rounds page

 

12. First round of allocations

When will I receive my child's primary school offer?

If you applied by 29 January 2020, using a paper form we will post you a letter on 16 April 2020.

All other parents will receive their child's offer by email on 16 April as well as being able to view the outcome of the application online from this date.

If we received your application after this date and by 30 April 2020, we will write to you on 20 May 2020 to let you know which school we are able to offer your child.

At the same time as we tell you which school your child has been offered, we also provide our primary schools with the details of those children due to join them in September. The school will write to you directly with a welcome pack for your child. Please make sure you return any forms in this pack direct to the school by their deadline. Remember to tell us that you are accepting the place offered as well.

What do I need to do once I know which school my child has been offered?

By 30 April, you need to let us know what you want to do with the offer. You should tell us if you want to:

  • Accept the place offered
  • Decline the place offered
  • Remove your child from a waiting list for a school we could not offer

How can I respond to the offer?

If you applied online, you should log in to the Application Portal and submit your response. You will then receive an automated email to confirm we have received it.

If you applied using a paper form, you should either reply via our Contact Us form (you will receive an automatic reply as confirmation it has successfully reached us), or you can post us the reply slip in your offer letter. If you include a postcard or a stamped addressed envelope we will return it to you so that you know we have received your response.

We cannot take your response over the phone. 

If you made your application to another Local Authority, you should respond directly to them, even if your response concerns a Buckinghamshire school: your home Local Authority will share the information with us. You need to respond by no later than 30 April.

 What happens if I do not respond to the offer?

If you do not tell us what you would like to do by 30 April, we will contact you again to remind you that we need you to respond. At this time, if you do not reply, we will withdraw the school offer we have made, and offer the place to another child. 

 

You have not offered my child a place at my preferred school. What can I do?

We understand that it will be disappointing for you and your child if we are not able to offer a place at one of your preferred schools. 

However, it is sensible to accept any place offered. Accepting the place will not affect your child’s position on a waiting list or your chances of success at appeal.

As well as accepting the place we have offered, there are other things that you can do at the same time if you wish. These are explained on the following pages. Make sure we receive your reply by 30 April 2020.

You should read the information about how waiting lists are managed and you may also like to consider an admission appeal.

Applications made under the exceptional medical or social needs rule

If you applied for a place for your child at your preferred school under the Exceptional medical or social needs rule, education professionals (who are independent of the Admissions and Transport Team and of our primary schools) looked at your case and the supporting evidence you provided. They decided if it was appropriate to consider your application under this rule.  If it was, this was taken into account when we were allocating places.

Please note that children with agreed exceptional medical or social needs are not necessarily the highest priority children for a place at every school: you should use the School Directory to check the admission rules for the particular school if you are unsure.

Not all schools have an exceptional needs rule and that applications without supporting evidence will not have been considered.

Academies, as well as Foundation, Free and Voluntary-Aided schools, and schools in other areas, will also have considered applications made under their admission rules.

 

13. If you do not need or want the place offered to your child

Your child may no longer need a place in a Buckinghamshire primary school. This might be because you are moving away or have a place for your child at an independent school. You must let us know by 30 April 2020 and confirm which school your child will be going to in September.

You can do this by using our contact us form. This is also the case if you are responding to an offer that has been made in a later allocation round.

You may decide that you do not want to accept the place we have offered your child. If so, let us know if you have made other arrangements for September. Please bear in mind our advice that it is sensible to accept our offer to make sure that your child has a school place for September 2020.

If your child does not need or want the school place offered it is important that you let us know that you wish to decline the place. We can then offer it to another child.

We would like to remind the parents of all statutory school age children that it is your legal responsibility to ensure that your child receives a suitable education and that where we believe this may not be the case we will ask the council's Education Entitlement Team to check this with you.

14. Waiting Lists

After each allocation round, we will automatically add the names of the children who have not been offered a place at a preferred Buckinghamshire school to the waiting list for the schools where we were not able to offer a place.  We will do this for all children, not just those for whom we are the Home LA. Each school’s waiting list will be re-sorted in their admission rules order before making further allocations from the waiting list. Priority is not given to children based on the date their application was received or their name was added to the waiting list.

We will also automatically add the names of Buckinghamshire children with preferences for schools in other areas to the waiting lists.

How do I remove my child from a waiting list?

If you don’t remove your child from the waiting list, and we are able to offer a place at a school you listed higher on your application than the one offered, we will automatically give the place we allocated to you originally to another child.

Look at the table for deadline dates for later allocation rounds and make sure we receive your request to remove your child from a waiting list in plenty of time.

If you are happy with the school you have been offered and don’t want to pursue a place at a higher preference school, you must let us know

  • by 30 April  if the school was allocated on National Offer Day. You should do this by contacting us, or by returning the form enclosed with your offer letter (where provided).
  •  
  • by the deadline in your offer letter/email for later rounds of allocation. You can respond by contacting us. Please also see the information about later allocation rounds.

! If you want to remove your child from a waiting list at any time, please let us know as soon as you decide this.

Each waiting list is held in admission rules order: this means that children with a high priority in the school’s admission rules will always be near the top of the waiting list, and children with a low priority will be nearer the bottom. Each time a child is added to the list, the child is slotted in the appropriate place according to their priority: waiting lists are never ‘first-come, first-served’.

Waiting lists will be used to offer any places that become available in later allocation rounds. All preferences will be treated equally even if they were late for the first allocation round.

You can also ask for an admission appeal.

What happens if a place becomes available for my child from the waiting list?

If a place becomes available at a school, and your child is at the top of the waiting list, we will automatically offer this place to your child: we will send you an offer email/letter.

If you have already accepted a place at a lower preference school, we will automatically take that place away and offer it to another child - we will not ask you before we do this, as we will assume you would prefer your child to go to the higher ranked school that they are on the waiting list for.

This is why it is very important for you to let us know immediately if you no longer want your child’s name to be included on a waiting list.

 

How do I find out my child's waiting list position?

If your child is on a Buckinghamshire school waiting list (or lists), we will let you know their waiting list position on 20 May, 17 July and 28 August.  We will not confirm waiting list positions at any other time.

Please remember that your child's position on a waiting list can go up or down as other children join or leave the list, depending on whether they have a higher priority in the admission rules than your child.

If your child is on the waiting list for a school in another area, please contact the Admissions Team for that area for information about waiting list positions.

15. Changing your preferences

Think carefully about whether you need to change your school preferences. We would normally only expect parents to change their preferences in exceptional circumstances, a house move for example. 

If you do need to change your preferences, be realistic in your expectations. You can use the ‘Find my child a school place’ service to check any school details and view allocation information. Other LAs will have information about the allocations for schools in their area on their websites.

 

We will only accept changes of preference and/or changes of preference ranking for the third and later allocation rounds.  You must wait until the second allocation round has taken place before deciding whether or not to change your preferences. See the deadlines for preference changes for inclusion in the third and later rounds 

 

If you decide to make changes, you need to send us your new list of preferences using our Contact Us form. New preferences and changes of preference order will only be considered from the third allocation round. This list becomes your new preference order and we automatically put your child on the waiting list for each of the schools.

You can include original preferences amongst any new ones as long as the order is clear. If you list schools in other LA areas, we will let them know.

Ask for an Admission Appeal

As your child was not offered a place at the school you would like, you can ask for an Admission Appeal.  Your child’s name will already be on the school’s waiting list. Please read the appeals section for more information. 

 

16. Later allocation rounds

If we are not able to offer your child a place at your preferred school on 16 April 2020 and you still want us to, we will try to do this in a later allocation round if places become available. Places may become available as parents decline them, or as their children are offered higher preference schools. Successful admission appeals for one school may also free up places at another school.

For your child to be included in a later allocation round, their name must be on the waiting list for your preferred school or schools.

We will only write to you in a later allocation round if:

  • You have asked for a new preference (from the third allocation round - we need to tell you if this can be offered or not)

Or

  • We have been able to make an offer of a place at a school on your original or later application, that you listed higher than the school we have already offered, and your child is on that school’s waiting list.

We will make it clear in your offer letter or email the date by which you should respond.

We will not write to you again to tell you that we still cannot offer a place at a school that you listed on an earlier application.  If you live outside of Buckinghamshire, we will let your home LA know if we can make an offer for your child at one of our schools. They will also let us know about any further offers at their schools for our children.

If your child cannot be offered a preferred school in a later round of allocations, we will let you know where they are on any Buckinghamshire school waiting lists on the dates given in the following table. If your child is on a waiting list for a school outside of Buckinghamshire, you will need to contact that LA and ask them how you can find out what your child’s position is.  Also let the LA know if you want to remove your child’s name from a waiting list.

Deadlines

The deadlines by which we need to receive information from you for your child to be included in a later allocation round, and the dates we will write to you are given below.

Second allocation round

For the second round of allocations we will include:

  • applications considered on National Offer Day where a place could not be offered and the child is on a waiting list
  • new applications received between 30 January and 30 April 2020 which may include applications from families who have provided evidence to confirm they have moved into the area by the deadline of 16 April.

We will also change the address for school place application purposes for families that moved after the 29 January deadline, but by 16 April 2020, and provided sufficient evidence to confirm this.

 

By 30 April 2020:

  • If you no longer want your child to be considered for a place at a preferred school, make sure you have asked us to remove their name from the waiting list. It is very important that you tell us this as we will have automatically added your child to waiting lists where we could not offer a place on National Offer day.
  • If your circumstances have changed, let us know if you would now like your application for a preferred school considered under the Exceptional Medical or Social Needs rule

By the end of the working day on 20 May, we will:

  • notify you by email/letter of the outcome of your application.
  • let you know your child’s waiting list position for schools where we have not been able to offer a place.

Third and later allocation rounds

 

 

By this date we must receive

– a request to remove your child’s name from a waiting list,

- evidence to support an exceptional medical or social needs application

- evidence showing a move to Buckinghamshire that has taken place

- changes of preference

On this date

- offer emails will be sent and letters posted

- we will let you know where we cannot offer a place at a new preference school

On this date

– we will send waiting list position emails

Third round

3 June 2020

25 June 2020

 

Fourth round

3 July 2020

17 July 2020

 17 July 2020

Fifth round

24 July 2020

31 July 2020

 

Sixth round

7 August 2020

14 August 2020

 

Seventh round

21 August 2020

28 August 2020

 28 August 2020

 

After 28 August we will offer further places as they become available.  There are usually very few at this time of year.

The nearer we get to the start of term in September the fewer places we have to offer and the less likely it is that a place will become available at your preferred school. If there have been successful admission appeals for a school we will not be able to offer any places unless the number of children due to join the school in September falls below the schools Admission Number

If you have not yet applied for your child’s Reception place or for a Year 3 place at a Junior School, please do so as soon as possible.  Use the contact us form to request an application form.

17. When can your child start school

Use our age checker to find out when your child needs to start school.

Legally your child does not have to start school until the term after his or her fifth birthday. This is called 'statutory' or 'compulsory' school age, and they must then go to school full time.

It is possible to 'defer' your child starting until later in the school year. If you wish to do this it is best to discuss it with your child’s school first. If this is what you decide to do then the school has to keep the place for your child until later in the year and cannot offer that place to another child.

If your child’s fifth birthday is between 1 September and 31 December

You can ask for your child's place to be deferred until the beginning of the Spring Term 2021 (January 2021). This place will be kept for your child once you have let the school know that this is what you want

If your child’s birthday is between 1 January and 31 March

You can ask for your child’s place to be deferred until the beginning of the Spring Term 2021 (January 2021) or the beginning of the Summer Term 2021 (April 2021). This place will be kept for your child once you have let the school know that this is what you want.

Child with their fifth birthday between 1 April and 31 August

You can ask for your child's place to be deferred until the beginning of the Spring Term (January 2021) or the beginning of the Summer Term 2021 (April 2021).

You can also legally defer the school place until September 2021 but the offer of a school place in Reception will be withdrawn and you will have to re-apply for a place in Year 1. This will be treated as a new application and there is no guarantee that a place will be available at your preferred school.

 

 

18. Summer Born Children (April to August) – Delaying My Child’s School Start

If your child is summer born, you can apply for a place to start as usual in September 2020, after their 4th birthday, or you may decide you want to apply next year, to start in September 2020 after your child’s 5th birthday.

Generally, children should be educated in their normal age group (that is their correct chronological year). The curriculum should be amended as necessary to meet the needs of individual children.

Community and Voluntary-Controlled School only

If you are considering delaying your child’s school start you still need to complete a form to let us know that this is what you want to do, you can download the form here.  If you are not sure whether or not you want to delay your child’s school start you should submit an application for September 2020 which can be withdrawn once you have made your decision.

If you decide to delay your child’s start to school then we would normally expect your child to be in some sort of educational setting such as a nursery to prepare them for school the following year. 

Academy, Foundation and Voluntary-Aided Church School

For these schools it is the governors of the school who will make the decision as to whether or not they will agree to you delaying your child’s application for a school place with them.  You can download a form here and send it to us.  We will then let the school know of your request and notify you once they have made their decision.

For all schools if agreement is given to delay your child’s start to school this does not mean that a place will be held for your child at your preferred school until the following year. It means that you will be able to apply again for a place in Reception a year later. Your child may or may not be allocated a place at your preferred school.            

As the law currently stands , when your child transfers to junior or secondary school, the admission authority for that school will make the decision on whether or not to allow them to continue out of their chronological year group – it may be prudent to ‘rehearse’ this conversation with them before making your decision.

19. Moving up to Junior School

Children at infant schools usually move up to a junior school, or in some cases to a combined school that admits extra children into Year 3.

Most combined schools (those that admit children from Reception through to Year 6) only admit children into the Reception (Foundation 2) year.

There are 33 combined schools in Buckinghamshire who admit additional children into Year 3 and they are listed below and in the school directory with an additional admission number. For example the admission number for Brookmead School says:

Reception: 50

Year 3: 10

This means that the school admits 50 children into Reception and 10 extra children into Year 3.

You can apply for a Year 3 place at one of the schools listed below via the infant to junior transfer process.

 School Name and number of children admitted into Year 3

Bedgrove Junior School - 120

Beechview School - 60

Bierton CE Combined School - 2

Brookmead School - 10

Broughton Junior - 60

Brushwood Junior - 64

Buckingham Primary School - 30         

Burford School - 2

Carrington Junior - 60

Chalfont St Giles Junior - 60

Chalfont St Peter Academy - 90

Chalfont Valley E-Act Academy - 2

Cheddington Combined School - 2

Chesham Bois Ce School - 2

Curzon CE Combined School - 4

Denham Green E-Act Academy - 15

Elangeni School - 60

Edlesborough School - 10

Farnham Common Junior - 60

Frieth CE Combined School- 2

Great Horwood Combined School - 15

Great Missenden Combined - 60

Haddenham Junior School - 90

Hawridge & Cholesbury CE School - 2

Hazlemere CE Combined School - 3

Holmer Green Junior - 60

Holy Trinity CE School - 90

Iver Heath Junior School - 60

Iver Village Junior School - 60

Longwick CE Combined School - 2

Manor Farm Junior School - 60

Monks Risborough CE School - 2

Our Lady’s RC Primary School - 2

Prestwood Junior School- 60

Seer Green CE School - 2

St Edwards RC Junior School - 65

St James & St John CE School - 3

St John’s CE Combined School - 15

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary - 4

St Marys CE Primary (Amersham) -6

St Michaels CE School - 3

St Nicolas CE Combined School - 2

St Paul’s CE School - 2

St Peters Catholic Primary School - 3

St Peters CE Primary School - 2

The Stoke Poges School - 4

Swanbourne CE School - 30

Thomas Harding Junior - 60

Turnfurlong Junior School - 90

Tylers Green Middle School - 64

Waddesdon Village Primary School- 2

Wendover Junior School -90

Widmer End Combined School - 2

Winslow CE School - 4

Woodside Junior School - 60

 

 

The admission rules for the Community and Voluntary Controlled junior and combined schools are here. In addition, some schools give priority of admission to children in certain infant schools (these are called ‘linked schools’).

You can apply online for a place at any junior school and the combined schools that admit extra children from 4 November 2019. The closing date for online applications is 15 January 2020.

You can log back in to change your application at any time before the deadline if you would like to. Once you submit your application you will automatically be sent an email, confirming which schools you have applied for.

If you are unable to make an application online your child’s infant school will have a small supply of paper applications from the end of October 2019.

9am on 14 January 2020 is the latest date for you to hand your application in to your child’s infant school. The school will then send the application to the Admissions & Transport Team.

If you want to apply for a Year 3 place for September at a combined school that does not admit additional children into Year 3 you have to tell us your preferences using an in-year application. You can do this from 16 April 2020.

20. School Nursing Service

As your child begins his/her journey through education they and you will be able to access the Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust School Nursing (SN) Service.

In our public health role we provide a range of services to support children and young people to have the best possible health and education outcomes. As an introduction to our service parents of school entry children are encouraged to complete a confidential health assessment regarding their child .

It is in an online format and the password is available from school and/or SN service.  Following completion we can follow up any queries or concern raised by parents which can help the child’s health, wellbeing and ability to learn and develop.

For more information check out our -  website  

We understand the joys and worries of parenthood and the challenges that can affect children and young people. We have vast experience, knowledge and skills to deliver evidence based practice and in partnership with you maximise your child’s potential via health promotion and appropriate intervention.

Immunisation

Buckinghamshire School Nursing Immunisation Team are commissioned to deliver the intra-nasal flu vaccine to all children in Reception to year 5 in every school in Bucks in the autumn term 2019-2020.  Parents will receive an electronic consent form to complete in advance of the session via your child's school.  If you have any queries or would like further information about the programme, please contact the immunisation Team on 01296 5677860