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W​aiting Lists – Important Changes

This year we have changed the way we manage waiting lists.  Please make sure that you have read our Waiting Lists page to understand what you may need to do

Starting school or moving up to Junior 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.

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Last updated: 6 April 2018

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