Primary and Junior School Admissions September 2023

The admissions portal for applications to Reading primary schools will not open until 12 November. The link will be added to this page once the system is open.

Please apply to Reading School Admissions if you live in the Borough of Reading and one of the following applies: 

  • You have a child born between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2019 and would like a place in the Reception class of a state primary school in the 2023/4 school year. 
  • Your child is currently in an infant-only school and will transfer to Year 3 of a junior school in September 2023. 
  • You would like your child to start at junior school in Year 3 in September 2023. 

If you live outside the borough of Reading, you should apply to your local council, even if you want a place at a Reading school.  Contact information for neighbouring councils is listed at the bottom of this page. 

Timetable for applications

Guide for Parents and Carers to be placed on Brighter Futures for Children website  By 12 September 2022 
Online admissions site open  12 November 2022
Closing date for applications 15 January 2023 
National Offer Day for on time applications   17 April 2023 
Deadline for parents to accept 1 May 2023 
Waiting list activated  2 May 2023 
Closing date for receipt of appeals  15 May 2023 
Appeals to be heard if submitted by the deadline  June – July 2023 
Admissions round ends  31 August 2023 

Who should apply?

Children can 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 2023 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 2024, rather than September 2023 (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 2023 (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 2024, 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. 

How to apply

You can apply using our online service from 9am on 12 November 2022 to 11.59pm on 15 January 2023. We expect to be able to add the link to this page on 12 November.

The online service can be accessed via a computer, tablet or mobile phone with an internet connection. 

If you are unable to apply online, please contact the Brighter Futures for Children school admissions team to request a paper form by calling them on 0118 937 3777. You can post your completed form to the school admissions team or return it to your child’s current nursery/early years provider.

If you apply online, you will: 

  • You will know your child’s offered school on the morning of 17 April 2023. Other applicants must wait for their offer letter (posted second class on 17 April 2023)
  • Be able to change your preferences or preference order up until 11.59pm on 15 January 2023
  • Receive an email confirming your application has been received.

The Admissions Team aim to acknowledge all on time paper applications within 15 school days of receipt. However, in busy periods this may not be possible. Please contact the team if your application has not been acknowledged after 20 school days 

You should read our Admissions to Infant, Junior & Primary Schools Guide before starting your application. The guide provides information on how your application is considered for each school and contains details of the admission policies of Reading schools. If you would like a paper copy of the guide, please contact the School Admissions Team on 0118 937 37 77. 

Please note that some schools also have a supplementary form that you may wish to complete in addition to the Reading application form. Please see below for more information. 

Supplementary Information Forms (SIFs)

Reading community schools give priority (within oversubscription categories 1 to 5 and 7) to children in receipt of Early Years Pupil Premium or Pupil Premium – see the designated page for pupil premium.

To be considered for the pupil premium priority, you must complete a supplementary information form which should be signed/stamped by the child’s current early years provider or infant school. Please return this form to the School Admissions Team by 1 February 2023. Forms received after this date will only be given priority after 2 May 2023, when most schools will be full.  

The School Admissions Team cannot award this priority without completion of the supplementary form. Please call the team if you would like further information or speak to your child’s nursery setting.? 

Schools in other authorities may also have a supplementary form. Please see the website of the local authority in which your preferred school is situated for more information. 

Catchment Area Schools

Your catchment area school (also known as designated area school) is the one for which your address has priority. You should always consider including your catchment school on your application (although doing so will not guarantee your child a place). Some addresses in Reading may have more than one catchment area school. The admissions guide above gives more details.

Our school search allows you to find your catchment area school but it does not include schools from neighbouring council areas for which you may be ‘in-catchment’. For further details, please see the admissions guide.

NB: Not all addresses have a catchment area school.

Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

If your child has special needs, but does not have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) or statement, they will be considered for a place at your preferred school in the same way as any other child.

If your child has an EHCP to support their special needs, you should apply through the SEND team and discuss their primary school transfer with your case officer as your application will be considered differently. You may wish to speak to your SEND case officer for more information.

Applications to Other Year Groups

Information on applications to other year groups not part of routine admissions can be found on our in-year admissions page.

Open Days

We recommend that you visit schools prior to submitting your application. Details of school open days can be obtained from each school. 

How places are allocated

All schools have an admission policy and, where there are more applicants than places, allocations are made according to the published oversubscription criteria of the school. These criteria are listed in the Primary Admissions Guide.

On your application form, you may list up to four preferred schools. Each of your preferences is considered equally; no priority is attached to your preference ranking. Listing a school as your first preference will not improve your chances of gaining a place at that school. Equally, listing only one preference will not increase the likelihood of your child being allocated a place at that school. We recommend that you list four schools in order to increase the probability of your being offered a preferred school.  

In some cases, we can offer a place at more than one of your preferred schools. In these situations, we refer to your preference order and offer whichever school you listed highest. This process is explained more fully in the guide (see above link). If we cannot offer any of your preferred schools, we will allocate your catchment area school (if it has places available). Where this is not possible, we will allocate a place at the closest Reading school to your home address with spaces available. 

Please note: While you have a right to list preferred schools, where there are more applicants than spaces available, places are allocated in accordance with a school’s oversubscription criteria. The local authority only has a duty to allocate preferred schools where possible. If we cannot offer a place at your preferred school(s), you will be offered a reasonable alternative school place. 

You should think carefully about the likelihood of your child being offered a place at the school(s) you list, bearing in mind oversubscription criteria and allocations in previous years (details of which are available in the admissions guide). 

Places are not reserved for students at their catchment area school. If you do not list your catchment area school and it becomes full, you will not receive a place there and may be allocated a school further from your home. The same is true for other schools: if you do not list a school and it is oversubscribed, you will not be considered.  

School Offers

17 April 2023 is National Offer Day for primary and junior schools. If you submitted an online application, you will receive an email and be able to access our portal service to view the outcome of your application on Offer Day morning. Online applicants will also be able to accept their offered place via the portal. You may only decline your offered place where you have an alternative school offer for your child (e.g. an independent school).? If we have been unable to offer a place at one of your preferred schools, we will send a formal letter offering a place at an alternative school, posted second class on the 17 April, to the home address provided in the application. 

If you applied using a paper form, we will not be able to give details of your offer by telephone – you must wait until you receive your letter, which is posted second class on 17 April. If you wish to know the place offered to your child on National Offer Day, you should apply online. 

We will only discuss an application with the person named on the application. If you wish for any other person to be authorised to discuss the application, you should provide the admissions team with a letter of written authority naming this person.  

School Transport

Information regarding home-to-school transport can be found on our school transport page.

Neighbouring Local Authorities

Other useful telephone numbers can be found in the Primary Schools Admissions Guide 2023/24.

Bracknell Forest Borough Council 01344 354 023 school.admissions@bracknell-forest.gov.uk
Buckinghamshire County Council 01296 395 000 admissions@buckscc.gov.uk
Hampshire County Council 0300 555 1377 admissions.team@hants.gov.uk
Oxfordshire County Council 0345 241 2487 admissions.schools@oxfordshire.gov.uk
Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead Council 01628 683870 rbwm.admissions@achievingforchildren.org.uk
Slough Borough Council 01753 875728 admissionshelpline@slough.gov.uk
West Berkshire Council 01635 551111 admissions@westberks.gov.uk
Wokingham Borough Council  0118 974 6000 admissions@wokingham.gov.uk