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Primary timeline for 2018 entry

1. Primary timeline for 2018 entry

Children born between 1 September 2013 and 31 August 2014 will be starting School in September 2018.

Children attending an infant school and born between 1 September 2010 and 31 August 2011 will be moving up to Junior School in September 2018.

This timeline gives you all the important dates for your diary. 


2017

September - December 2017 – 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 name up to 6 schools when you apply. You can use the Find my child a school place which will tell you which schools are close to your home.

Use our school directory to find out when their next open event is. This is the easiest way to see a school first hand. You may need to make an appointment.

6 November – Applications open

The online portal opens from 11am for Reception and Junior School applications.


2018

12 January – latest date to hand in applications

This is the latest date for parents of children in Year 2 at a Buckinghamshire infant school to hand their paper form to their child's school (Buckinghamshire residents only)

15 January – 3pm Deadline Applications close

You have until 3pm to submit your application.  If you are posting an application it must reach us no later than 3pm on this date.  All applicants must submit address evidence www.buckscc.gov.uk/addressevidence

29 January – Deadline Latest date for moving into Buckinghamshire

This is 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. 

February – April – Preferences allocation

Your preferences are combined with applications from out of the county and are ordered according to the admissions rules of each school.

When we are making decisions, we don’t take into account the order that you have put the schools in on your application; we will just list all children according to the admission rules for each school.

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.

16 April - National Offer Day

If you applied online we will email you after 11am to tell you which school place you have been offered.  You can log in from 2pm to view your offer.

If you applied using a paper application we will send your offer by first class post.

30 April – Confirmation of offer

You must confirm that you accept the school place we have offered you.

3 July – School Transition Day

Many children attend their new school for the day.

September 2018 – 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 essential that you make your application correctly, and on time, as this can significantly 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 out when their next open event is.

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 you are 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

Make and submit your primary school application by 3pm on 15 January 2018 at the very latest. At the same time, send us evidence of where you live

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
  • 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. Places are offered 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. The LA 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. Places are offered on behalf of the trust which sets and applies the admissions 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 the LA 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 can be offered to 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 will just list all children according to the admission rules for each school. It is as though you’ve made up to six separate applications to your preferred schools.

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. Make sure you also understand the School Transport rules.

Make sure you 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 of being offered a place at your catchment school if you have included it as a preference but we cannot guarantee that your child will be offered a place at your catchment school, or any of your preferred schools. You should list your preferences in the order you would like them to be considered.

We won’t tell any school where you ranked it on your application before we offer places. Please use the school directory to see if any of the Buckinghamshire schools you are interested in have a Supplementary Form for you to fill in. You will need to send Supplementary Forms back to the school by 15 January 2018.

Other things to remember

  • Make sure we receive your application by the deadline of 15 January 2018. 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 2018 and you have included evidence which we agree shows why you could not apply on time. 
  • Some schools have a medical or social rule that applications can be considered under. You can see from the admission rules if a school uses this and the priority it is given. 
  • 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 preferred 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.
  • 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 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 (the AN).
  • If we can’t offer any of your preferences, and your child lives in Buckinghamshire, we normally 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. 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 and 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 for each of our schools.

Step 5 - We tell other LAs which of their children can be offered places at our schools and 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 2018 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.

 

For Buckinghamshire residents, if we can't offer any of your preferences, we normally offer a place at the nearest Buckinghamshire school that has a place available. This may not be your catchment school. 

6. Admission rules

 

Admission rules are used when we have more applications for a school than there are places available. 

We use the information from your application (and Supplementary Form if the school you are applying for wanted you to fill one in) 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.

Check the School Directory to see if any of the Buckinghamshire schools you are interested in have a Supplementary Form for you to fill in. Supplementary Forms, if completed, should be sent back to the schools by 15 January 2018.

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

Make sure you include all the information the school will need to look at when your application is considered.

Some schools have a medical or social rule that applications can be considered under. You can see from the admission rules if a school uses this and the priority it is given. If you would like to apply under this rule, you need to submit some evidence and you can read more about this

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 preferred 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.

Make sure you also check the admission rules for schools in other areas. They may also need you to fill in a Supplementary Form.

If you have questions about the admission rules for Voluntary- Aided, Foundation, Free or Academy schools you should contact the schools and they will explain how their rules work.

Information about how places have been allocated at Buckinghamshire primary schools in previous years can be found on our policy pages as well as by using our 'Find my child a school place' service.

Admission rules for all Community and Voluntary-Controlled schools – for September 2018

 Once places have been allocated to children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs (Educational Health Care Plan), the remaining places will be allocated in the following order:

Rule 1 – Looked After children.

Rule 2 – 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 3 – Children living within the catchment area of the school.

Rule 4 – 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 2018), 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 5 – Children attending a primary school linked to the school named in the list of ‘linked primary’ schools at the time allocations are made (March 2018). This rule does not apply to those applying for a place in Reception.

Rule 6 – 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. 

 

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. 

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

7. 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 below.

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 admission purposes, this must be a residential property that is your child’s only or main residence. It cannot be an address at which your child may sometimes stay or sleep due to your domestic arrangements. 

The property must be owned, leased or rented by the child’s parent(s) or person with legal responsibility for the child. A child’s Normal Home Address is where he or she spends most of the week, unless it is accommodation at a boarding school.

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

In deciding which is 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, we will withdraw the offer of that place. This has happened in previous years. 

Shared or Joint residence

To avoid doubt, where a child lives with parents/carers (with or without parental 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.

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

Where a child is not registered with a GP then we will use the address at which the child spends the greater proportion of the school week from Sunday evening to Thursday evening, evidence will be required.

You must therefore 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. There is more information for parents who have shared or joint residency here.

Looked After Child

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

  • in the care of a local authority 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 was 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 Residence Order sets out the arrangements as to the person with whom the child is to live under Section 8 of the Children’s Act 1989.

A Special Guardianship Order appoints a child’s special guardian(s) under Section 14A of the Children’s Act 1989.

For applications under this rule, 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. This 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, so you must indicate on your application that you are applying under this rule.  Your evidence should then be submitted using the contact us form. Both the application and the evidence must be submitted by the deadline of 15 January 2018.

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 Reception or Junior 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 professionals other than admissions officers will decide which children can be considered under this rule before we make each round of allocations.

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 2018), 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 2018).

For all schools, 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. If you have more than one child already at the school, please list the younger child. We always check the facts with the school so please make it clear if your child has a different surname.

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. Other schools may have different sibling rules so make sure you check their admission rules.

Home to School Distance

Danesfield School and St Paul’s CE Combined School both use routed 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 Address Base 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.

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. All Roman Catholic schools in Buckinghamshire use the same Supplementary Form

You can see which schools have a Supplementary Form by using the 'Find my child a school place' checker on our website, with the exception of Our Lady's Catholic School who has their own Supplementary Form and Certificate of Catholic Practice to be downloaded.

 

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 (formerly a Statement of Special Educational Needs), 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 2018.

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 listed 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.

8. What to do if you are moving house

 

You will know from reading the admission rules, how important it is that we know where your child is living. Your child’s Normal Home Address is the address you must use when making your application.

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

For the first round of allocations you need to provide evidence by 29 January 2018 to show that you have moved and are living in your new home. 

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 your current overseas home address, unless you can provide evidence to show that you will be resident in our area by 29 January 2018.

If you move after 29 January 2018, we will use your new address for later rounds of allocations, once we have accepted it. Please look at Later allocation rounds for what to do if you move after this date.

We use the address where you are living on 29 January 2018 for the first round of allocations on 16 April 2018. 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 2018, you must tell us and provide evidence to confirm your move. However, we will use your old address for the first round.

Evidence of moving

You will need to provide the following evidence of your move:

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).
  • Copies of two of the following documents showing your new address; current Council Tax bill, driving licence, utility bill (showing usage) bank statement, or doctor’s registration letter for your child.

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 2018.
  • 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 two of the following documents showing your new address; current Council Tax bill, driving licence, utility bill (showing usage), bank statement, or 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 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 with whom the child is moving to live with.
  • Proof that Child Benefit is being paid to the parent with whom the child is going to be living with, or if Child Benefit if 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. Please provide evidence by 12 February 2018, to be included in the first allocation round. 

Moving out of Buckinghamshire

If you are planning to move away from Buckinghamshire before September 2018, you should still apply to us by our deadline. If you are sure of your move you can include schools for your new address and we will 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 and 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 29 January 2018, 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 current Home Address

9. How we manage on time and late applications

 

It is very important that you make your application on time. This table below shows how we manage applications we get on time, and any that are late

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 2018 N/A Yes 16 April 2018
By 29 January 2018 Yes - Evidence included and agreed * Yes 16 April 2018
By 29 January 2018 Yes - Evidence included and not agreed No 16 April 2018
By 29 January 2018 No No 16 April 2018

* 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 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 2018 and you have included independent professional evidence which we agree shows why you could not apply on time.

Please also see section 8 if you are a Service or Crown Servant family.  If we receive your application and supporting evidence by 12 February 2018 we will treat your application as timely.

10. National offer day

 

Sections 10 to 15 give you the information you will need when you receive your child’s primary school offer on 16 April 2018.

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 as there are changes for the 2018 admission round  Remember if you want to contact us you can contact us online.

This section also has information about how we manage allocation rounds after 16 April 2018.

Primary School flow offers

 

 

National Offer Day for all Local Authorities (LAs) for children starting primary school or moving up to junior school in September 2018 is 16 April 2018. Each LA will let its residents know which school has been offered for their child.

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. This information will also be available in the School Directory, under each primary schools entry

View your offer online

For information about other LAs and allocations to their schools 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 2018, print out and complete the application form and return it to us either by attaching it to our contact us form or posting it to us. Information about deadlines is available on our later allocation rounds page

11. First round of allocations

 

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

If you applied by 29 January 2018, we will post you a letter on 16 April 2018 if you applied using a paper form

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 2018, we will write to you on 25 May 2018 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.

We cannot take your response over the telephone. 

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 2018.

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 – Rule 2

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.

Please note that 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.

12. 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 2018 and confirm which school your child will be going to in September.

You can do this online 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. We recommend that you accept our offer to make sure that your child has a school place for September 2018.

It is important that if you have secured an alternative school for your child, you decline our offer of a school place so that we can 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.

13. 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.

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 2018 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.

IMPORTANT NOTE - 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 contact you and let you know.

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 25 May and 17 August.

We will not confirm waiting list positions at any other time.

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.

14. 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.

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 

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.

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 ranking 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.  Please be aware that for some schools you may need to contact them directly to request an appeal pack

15. Later allocation rounds

 

If we are not able to offer your child a place at your preferred school on 16 April 2018 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 direct 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 2018 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 2018, and provided sufficient evidence to confirm this.

By 30 April 2018:

  • 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

On 25 May, we will:

  • post a letter to let you know 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

The table shows 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.

 

Information about:
• Adding/removing your child’s name to/from a waiting list
•Changing preferences
•A move to Buckinghamshire that has taken place* must be received by this date:

Offer letters will be posted. We will also send a letter where we cannot  offer a place at a new preference on this date:

Where a place cannot be offered, we will send waiting list position emails on this date:

Third round

8 June 2018

26 June 2018

 

Fourth round

5 July 2018

19 July 2018

17 August 2018

 

After 19 July we will offer further places as they become available.  There are usually very few at this time of year.

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 you are on the waiting list for.  We will do this right up until the start of school in September.

 

If you have missed the application deadline and still need to apply for your child’s Reception place or for a Year 3 place at a Junior School, please download and print the application form and return it to us so as soon as possible,  either by attaching it to our contact us form or posting it to us

 

16. 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.

Child with their fifth birthday between 1 September and 31 December

You can ask for your child's place to be deferred until the beginning of the Spring Term 2019 (January 2019). 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 January and 31 March

You can ask for your child’s place to be deferred until the beginning of the Spring Term 2019 (January 2019) or the beginning of the Summer Term 2019 (April 2019). 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 2019) or the beginning of the Summer Term 2019 (April 2019).

You can also legally defer the school place until September 2019 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.

17. Delayed Entry for Summer Born Children

 

Delayed entry to school is where a parent holds back their child from joining the correct year group for their age so that they start school a year later than they are due to, into the Reception class.

Whilst you are considering delayed entry, you are still advised to submit an application for a school place for the September following your child’s fourth birthday. You can always withdraw your application or decline the offer if it is agreed that your child should be held back a year.

If the admission authority for the school agrees that your child should have a delayed start to Reception 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.

 

If you have decided that you want to request delayed entry you should read the information on the Placement of Pupils out of their Chronological year Group.

You need to submit your request by 15 January 2018 which is the latest for you to make your application. 

A panel of educational professionals will consider all requests for community and voluntary-controlled schools at a meeting at the end of February and you will be advised of the outcome by the end of March.  A second meeting will be held in June and applications will need to be submitted 25 May 2018

For all other schools i.e. Academies, Free Schools, Foundation and Voluntary-Aided it is the school that will make the decision unless they have delegated that function to the LA panel.

18. 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. These schools also admit extra children into Year 3 so you can apply for a place at one of these schools via the infant to junior transfer process.

Bierton CE Combined School

Brookmead School

Buckingham Primary School            

Burford School

Chalfont Valley E-Act Academy

Cheddington Combined School

Chesham Bois CE Combined School

Curzon CE Combined School

Denham Green E-Act Academy

Edlesborough School

Frieth CE Combined School

Great Horwood Combined School

Great Missenden Combined School

Hawridge & Cholesbury CE School

Hazlemere CE Combined School

Longwick CE Combined School

Our Ladys RC Primary School

Princes Risborough Primary School

Seer Green CE School

St James & St John CE Primary School

St John’s CE Combined School

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary

St Marys CE Primary (Amersham)

St Michaels CE School

St Nicolas CE Combined School

St Paul’s CE School

St Peters Catholic Primary School

St Peters CE Primary School

Waddesdon Village Primary School

Widmer End Combined School

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 33 combined schools that admit extra children from 6 November 2017. The closing date for online applications is 15 January 2018 

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 2017.

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 2018.