Applying for a nursery school place

Login to the Family Portal to view your school application. Your offer of a school place will be available on 16 April 2018. 

Applying for a nursery place is a big step for you and your child. You will probably have many questions about how the process works. The following is designed to help you with any questions you might have.

Please note: This section relates to nursery places for children from the age of three years in community, voluntary controlled and voluntary aided schools. Information on childcare, including free childcare for two, three and four year olds, available from private providers is available on our finding childcare page.

Frequently asked questions

What kind of primary schools are there?

Salford local authority (LA) has six different types of nursery and primary school provision.

There are community primary schools, voluntary controlled schools, voluntary aided schools (all Roman Catholic schools and some Church of England schools), academies, special schools (for pupils with special educational needs) and early years centres.

When do children start nursery?

Places in a school nursery are offered from the September following your child's third birthday.

When should I find out about nursery places?

Salford encourages parents/carers to think carefully about choosing a school nursery place for their child.

  • When your child is about two years old find out as much as you can about schools near to you. 
  • Talk to neighbours and friends who have children at school.
  • Get in touch with head teachers and ask for a copy of the school's prospectus. This is a free booklet that will tell you most of the things you need to know about the school. Head teachers will be happy to let you have a look around their schools and ask questions. It helps everyone if you arrange an appointment to do this.
  • If you are working find out what out of school services the school offers to check it meets your needs, such as before and after school childcare and holiday care.

Do all schools offer the 30 hour places for working parents?

Not all schools offer 30 hour places. Due to physical restrictions on buildings, some schools have offered a mix of full and part time places, or part time places only. Traditionally this has affected the following schools: Broadoak Primary School, Light Oaks Infant School, St Philips RC Primary School, St Lukes RC Primary School and St Marks CE Primary School. This can change from year to year so you should contact the school to confirm details before making your application. From September 2017, if you qualify for the 30 hour working parent nursery funding and take a part time (15 hour) place in a school nursery, you can claim the remaining 15 hours of your funding with a private provider or childminder.

All other schools offer 30 hour places to all pupils, and places are allocated on the basis of the published admission criteria, not on the parents’ working status. Places are first allocated to Salford residents meeting the admission criteria and then if any places are remaining they will be offered to non-Salford residents in order of the oversubscription criteria.

How to apply for a nursery place?

There has been a change to the way applications are made for some schools. Applications for the following schools should be made direct to the school:

  • Broughton Jewish Cassell Fox Primary School
  • St Joseph the Worker RC Primary School
  • St Paul's CE Primary School, Cross Lane
  • St Philips RC Primary School
  • St Teresa's RC Primary School

For applications for all other schools parents can apply online or by visiting a Gateway Centre. 

For admission to voluntary aided schools, the admissions team will send details of your application to the relevant school's governing body for their decision.

Some voluntary aided schools may require supplementary information. You should check if this is the case in the school’s admission policy. Some supplementary forms can be downloaded online. However the list is not exhaustive, so if you are applying for a faith school that is not listed you should check carefully to see if they require any further information from you.

For applications for nursery places in another local authority, parents should contact that local authority to find out how and when to apply for a nursery place.

Before you complete your application form, you should read Salford's primary admission booklet which explains the admissions procedure in full.

Please remember that your child is not guaranteed a nursery place at the school of your choice at this stage.

The closing date for making your application for a September 2018 nursery place is 15 January 2018.

Please note if you do not return your form by 15 January 2018 it will be dealt with after all those applications which are received on time. You should be aware that late application could reduce your chance of getting a place at your choice of school(s).

If my child has special educational needs, how will this affect my application?

If your child has special educational needs you need to follow the same procedure when applying for a nursery place. Places cannot be refused because of a child having special educational needs (SEN). In certain circumstances, when a child has a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education Health and Care Plan, this can state that the child should attend a particular school as a result of their SEN. This will be adhered to.

What proof of address do I need to provide?

Because of problems in the past, the school admissions team will ask you to provide proof of your address. When your child is offered a school place you will be asked to provide proof of address to the school, along with your acceptance of the place. You will be issued with a list of acceptable forms of proof which may include such things as:

  • council tax bill
  • rental/tenancy agreement
  • recent child benefit papers
  • copy of completion papers in the case of a recent house purchase

The evidence you provide should be dated in the last three months in most cases.

Your address is considered to be where your child is normally and regularly living at the time of deciding places. If your child is living with friends or relatives for reasons other than guardianship, then we cannot use that address at the time of allocating places.

The local authority may consider a child's temporary address within the UK (where, for example, they may be living in temporary accommodation due to their parents working commitments whilst they are seeking a permanent address in the same area) at its discretion.

If your main address has changed temporarily within the UK (for example, if you live with extended family during illness or you take up temporary accommodation because of building work) then your address counts as the one you were at before moving to the temporary residence.

You must notify us as soon as possible if there is any permanent change in address. If you do not inform us of your change of address then any school place offered to your child may be withdrawn.

After 15 March, it will not be possible to make any changes to the home address for allocation purposes as school offers will be finalised.  However, please still inform the admissions team of changes of address after this date so that offer information can be sent to the correct address. 

Please note: strong action will be taken if a false address or intentionally misleading information is given and the school place your child is offered may be withdrawn.

How many schools should I apply for?

When filling in the form please list three or more school choices for your child. If the first school on your list is full, your next choice of school will be looked at. If you do not list more than one choice and a place cannot be offered at that school, your child may be offered a place at a school which has places available. This may be some distance from your home.

How are nursery school places decided?

If a school has more places available than applications, then all those children will be offered a place. If a school has more applications than places available the nursery admissions criteria will be used to decide who gets the available places. Places will first be offered to Salford residents, and then if any places remain they will be offered to non-Salford residents in order of the oversubscription criteria.

All community and voluntary controlled schools have the same admission criteria which are set by the LA.

Voluntary aided schools and academies may have different admissions criteria. To view each individual school's criteria see Salford's primary admission booklet.

Please note: nursery places are normally allocated on a full time basis. Some schools may decide, depending on the number of applications they receive, to offer all part time places or a mix of part time and full time places. 

Some schools prefer nursery pupils to commence on reduced hours building up their time as they settle in. The schools concerned will advise parents/carers when providing details of admission arrangements.

How will I know if I have been offered a nursery place for my child?

If you have applied online you will be informed by email on the 16 April 2018. If not you will be notified by letter which will be posted to you on 18 April 2018. You will normally be given at least ten working days to let the local authority know whether you want to accept the offer. If you do not respond within the timescale the place may be given to another child.

What can I do if my child is not offered a nursery place at the school of my choice? Can I appeal?

If you are not offered a nursery school place for your child at the school(s) of your choice you can:

  • leave your child's name on the waiting list at your choice of school(s) in case a place becomes available, or
  • choose another school with places available. If you do this your child's name can remain on the waiting list at your preferred choice of school(s)

Unfortunately there is no right of appeal if you have been refused a nursery place at the school of your choice. This is because nursery provision is non-statutory.

You may be able to get 15 or 30 hours free childcare (depending on your working status) in a private or voluntary nursery or pre-school playgroup. More information is available through the Starting Life Well Service.

What happens if I apply for a nursery school place after the places have been offered?

If you want a nursery school place after the allocation date of 16 April 2018, you need to fill in an application form as soon as possible.

If your choice of school does not have any places left you can either:

  • leave your child's name on the waiting list at that school in case a place becomes available
  • choose another school school with places available. If you do this your child's name can stay on the waiting list at the school of your choice

How do waiting lists work?

If your application for a nursery school place at your choice of school(s) is refused, you are entitled to place you child's name on a waiting list. Waiting lists must be held until at least 31 December 2018. 

You should check individually with voluntary aided schools to check if their waiting lists will be held beyond 31 December 2018.


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This page was last updated on 16 January 2018