Applying for Infant, Primary and Junior School Places

Applying for your child’s September 2024 place in the reception class of an infant or primary school, or their Year 3 place in a junior school.

Please note, the primary and junior school application round for children starting in September 2023 is now closed. For In-Year applications, please go to this page.

When the next admissions round opens in November 2023, families with children in the following age ranges will need to submit applications:

  1. Children born between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2020 should apply for their September 2024 reception class place in an infant or primary school.
  2. Children who are currently in an infant-only school and will transfer to Year 3 of a junior school in September 2024.

Applications are managed to a national timetable. The admission process is coordinated between local authorities across England.

The Admissions Guide

Please read our guide Admissions to Infant, Junior & Primary Schools Guide 2024-2025 (button below) before submitting your child’s application. The guide provides details on the application process and explains how each school will prioritise your child’s application using oversubscription criteria.

Admissions to Infant, Junior & Primary Schools Guide 2024-2025


You must apply for a school place through the school admissions team of the local authority where you (and your child) live, even if you intend to list preferred schools in other local authority areas. For example, if you live in the borough of Reading, use our online application form (link will be available from 1 November 2023) if you wish to list a preferred school located in West Berkshire, Wokingham or any other borough.

Before applying you should:

  1. read the Infant, Junior & Primary Admissions Guide for the new school year.
  2. attend school open days/evenings to help make your decision. Details of open days/evenings are posted on school’s websites.
  3. check whether you need to provide a supplementary information form (SIF) to meet certain oversubscription criteria for a preferred school. SIFs are not essential but will assist the school in ranking your child correctly. You should post completed forms directly to the schools. Reading schools with SIFs include:
  1. read the relevant guide if you are applying for schools outside of Reading.
  2. consider how your child will get to school. 

You can apply from 10 November using our online application form which will be added here on 1 November 2023

Applying online is the best option, as you’ll get a receipt when you submit your application and you’ll find out which school has been offered on the offer day, instead of waiting for the post.

For those unable to make an online application, paper forms are available from your child’s (Reading) primary school or direct from the admissions team

The deadline to submit applications is 15 January 2024.

Who should apply?

Children may start full-time at school from the September following their fourth birthday. However, they are not legally required to start full-time until the beginning of the term following their fifth birthday (i.e. statutory/compulsory school age).

If you do not want your child to start school in September 2024 the following options are available: 

  • Defer their place up to (but not beyond) the point at which they reach statutory/compulsory school age.
  • Request that your child be “offset” to start Reception Class in September 2025, rather than September 2024 (i.e. educated outside the year group suggested by their date of birth).

You may also request that your child start school on a part-time basis. However, this cannot continue beyond the point at which your child reaches compulsory school age.

In each of the above cases, you must still submit your child’s application to start school in September 2024 (as the deferral or offset will be agreed later in the process).

Further details on deferring and offsetting may be found in the defer/offset leaflet. If you are a Reading resident and wish to request an offset for your summer-born child to start in September 2025, please read the guidance document here. You must complete an application form as normal, together with the Reading Offset Request form and return it to the School Admissions Team, who will coordinate the request with your preferred schools.

You must apply for a school place even if your child already attends the nursery of your preferred school.

When are school places offered?

Emails and letters offering places are sent out on 16 April 2024 and emails should be received by 5pm. Letters are posted 2nd class and may take up to 5 working days to arrive.

You may also log into your portal account (link to be added 1 November 2023) to view the outcome of your application or to accept or decline a school place. From 16 April we also provide allocation tables showing how places were offered at each of our schools.

What happens after school places are offered?

School waiting lists

In Reading, a child’s name is added to the waiting list of any school listed as a higher preference to the school offered. Waiting lists are always ranked using the school’s oversubscription criteria and not the date the application was received.

If your child has been refused a place in a school outside Reading, you need to check with the admission team of the relevant local authority to see if your child has been placed on a waiting list.
Making a late application

If you have missed the closing date or would like to apply for a different school (or schools) after the closing date, you can submit a late application. The timetable for processing late applications is explained in the admissions guide.

Making an appeal for a school place

If your child is refused a place, you may decide to appeal against an admission decision for a school place.

Oversubscription criteria

Oversubscription criteria are used where a school receives more applications than there are places available. The criteria help to decide which applications are offered places by giving each application a priority. The priorities are based on criteria such as catchment area, home-to-school distance or whether a child is a ‘child in care’ (or had previously been in care until adoption or a child arrangement order/special guardianship order).

The oversubscription criteria are outlined for each school in the admissions guide.

It’s important to make sensible and realistic decisions when choosing which schools to apply for. You should of course apply for schools that you prefer, but we advise that one of your preferences should be for a school at which you have a reasonable chance of being offered a place.

Apply online for a school place (link will be added on 1 November 2023)