Applying for a primary school place

Login into the Family Portal for a primary school place.

Applying for a primary school place is a big step for you and your child. No doubt you will have many questions about how this process works. The following is designed to help you with any queries you might have.

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 aided schools, voluntary controlled schools, academies, special schools (for pupils with special educational needs) and early years centres.

When do children start at primary school?

The law says that children should start school, full time, by the start of the term after their fifth birthday. However, all children are able to start in a reception class in a primary school from the September following their fourth birthday.

Children continue to attend primary school until the end of year six when they then transfer to secondary school in year seven at aged 11 years.

When should I find out about a reception school place for my child?

Salford encourages parents to think carefully about choosing a school for their child. Most parents are able to get a place in their first choice of primary school for their child.

  • When your child is about two years old find out as much as you can about schools near to you. If you will need childcare such as before and after school and holiday care, remember to ask what is available at the school. 
  • Talk to neighbours and friends who have children at school.
  • Get in touch with the 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 to ask questions. It helps everyone if you arrange an appointment to do this.

How do I apply for a place in a reception class?

Parents can apply online in the Family Portal. If you apply for a reception place using our online service there is no need to fill in a paper form.

For admission to voluntary aided schools and academies 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. Supplementary forms can be downloaded. You should check carefully with the school concerned exactly what they require and when it should be returned to them.

Before you fill in your application you should read the admissions booklet which explains the admissions procedure in full.

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

Please note: if you return your form after the closing date it will be dealt with after all those applications which were received on time. You should be aware that a late application will reduce your chance of getting a place at the school of your choice.

Please remember that your child is not guaranteed a reception place at the school of your choice at this stage, but consideration will be given to your request.

Parents/carers should note that transfer from nursery to reception is not automatic and you must apply for a reception place through the local authority. Places can not be guaranteed at your preferred choice of school.

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 school place. Places can not be refused because of a child having special educational needs (SEN). In certain circumstances when a child has an education, health and care plan this can state that the child should attend a particular school as a result of their SEN. This should be adhered to. If your child has an education, health and care plan, you do not need to fill in the school application form as your child’s placement will be secured through their plan. You should contact your child’s SEN caseworker at the local authority for more information.

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.

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) than 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 a place offered to your child may be withdrawn.

Please note: strong action will be taken if a false address or 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 reception 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 requests than places available, the reception admissions criteria will be used to decide who gets the available places.

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

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

You may find it useful to look at how school places were allocated in the previous year. This may help you decide the likelihood of your child getting a place at your chosen school.

How will I know if I have been offered a place?

You will be able to view your child's school place offer in the Family Portal from 16 April 2018. If you applied using a paper application form you will receive a letter in the post on this day. You will normally be given at least ten working days to let the local authority know whether you want to accept this offer. If you do not respond within this timescale the place may be offered to another child.

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

If you are not offered a reception place at the school(s) of your choice you will have the right to appeal against the decision.

However the law on infant class sizes states that from 1 September 2000 no five, six or seven year olds should be in a class of more than 30 pupils, therefore the circumstances where an appeal committee can uphold an appeal for these year groups are limited.

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

If you want to apply for a place in reception for your child after the allocation date of 16 April 2018, you will need to fill in an application form as soon as possible.

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

  • Leave your child's name on the waiting list at your that school in case a place becomes available
  • Choose another school with places available (your child's name can still remain on the waiting list at your preferred choice of school)
  • You also have the right to appeal to an independent appeal panel

How do waiting lists work?

If your application for a school place at your choice of school(s) is refused, you are entitled to place your child's name on a waiting list. Waiting lists must be held until at least 31 December 2018. The local authority will hold waiting lists for community and voluntary controlled schools throughout the school year.

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 1 September 2017

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