Primary and Junior School Admissions September 2020

The citizen portal is now closed for accepting school places

Here is the link to the online acceptance form to accept your school place.

If you need to submit a late application for primary or junior school admissions, please see the late applications section on this page.

School offers – how it works

16 April 2020 is National Offer Day for primary and junior schools.

If you applied online, you will receive details of your school allocation by email (and be able to access the admissions portal) on this day.

If you applied using a paper form, your formal offer letter will be posted to the home address given on your application. These are posted second class.

Both the email and letter contain information on how to accept or decline the place offered.

Unfortunately we will not be able to give out information on the details of your offer by telephone – you must wait until you receive your letter and details.

I would like to accept the place offered to my child

If you applied online, and are happy with the school place your child has been offered, you should accept the place through the Citizen’s Portal.

If you submitted a paper application, you must accept using our online acceptance form as soon as possible. You must wait for your offer letter and use the student ID number to complete the online acceptance form.

If you are unable to accept your offer online, please call the School Admissions Team on 0118 937 37 77 and request a paper acceptance form be sent to you. We cannot process acceptances over the phone.

If you have not responded by 30 April 2020, we will write to you again. Following this, if you do not respond within seven days, the offered place may be withdrawn.

My child hasn’t been offered a place at my preferred school(s)

It is not always possible to offer a place at the first preference school or, in some cases, at any of your preferred schools. This will be because your preferred schools were oversubscribed and your child did not rank high enough in the school’s over subscription criteria, as outlined in the Primary School Admissions Guide.

See how places in Reading were allocated this year: Primary allocations for all schools 2020 updated 4-6-20

Reading School Admissions Team has a duty to offer a school place to all children living in Reading. Where we have been unable to offer a place at one of the preferences listed on your application, a place will be offered at the closest school to your home address with available space.

We encourage you to accept the place offered, even if it is not your preferred school, as accepting the place will not affect your waiting list position(s) or the likelihood of your winning an appeal (see below).

Should you decline the place, we will only withdraw the offer where you advise us that your child has a place offered at an alternative school. This is because we have a duty to ensure that all Reading children have the offer of a school place.

If you wish to change your list of preferred schools, please complete a late application online form in addition to accepting the place you have been offered.

On the late application form, please list all the schools for which you wish your child to be considered (including any from your original application). This will enable the school admissions team to clearly see your order of preference.

The late application will supersede (i.e. replace) the original application. Any school listed on your original application that is not listed on the late application will be marked ‘No longer required’ and your child will no longer be considered for that school.

Waiting lists

When you accept the school place offered, your child’s name is automatically added to the waiting list of any higher preference school(s), unless you tell us otherwise.

Waiting lists are always ranked according to the published oversubscription criteria (not the length of time spent on the list). As a result, your child’s position on a waiting list may change as applications are added or places are offered. Voluntary Aided schools are required to hold waiting lists until the end of December 2020. Community schools in Reading keep their waiting lists until July 2021.

Your child’s position on a waiting list is not affected by your acceptance of another school place offered to you. On the acceptance form, you are asked whether you want to stay on the waiting list of your higher preference schools. If you applied via the Citizen’s Portal, you may opt to be removed from the waiting list of any higher preference school(s).


You have the right to appeal the decision not to offer your child a place at a higher preference school. If you wish to lodge an appeal, you should do this by 18 May 2020. In the meantime, we advise you to accept the place offered. Your acceptance will not affect the outcome of your appeal.  Find out more about the appeals process.

If you wish to appeal for a place at a preferred school located outside the Reading borough area, you must contact the local authority in which the school is located.

My child doesn’t need the place they’ve been offered

If you no longer need your offered place (perhaps you are moving out of the borough or your child will be attending an independent school) we request you decline the offer at your earliest convenience, in order that the place may be offered to another child.

Please note that we will only withdraw your offer where you advise us that you have secured a place elsewhere (and have confirmed this on the form).

How have places been allocated this year?

This has been published according to the admission policy of the Admission Authority as detailed in the  Primary School Admissions Guide.

Late Applications (after 15 January 2020)

The deadline for on-time applications for primary and junior school places, to start in September 2020, was midnight on 15 January 2020.  Applications received after that date are deemed ‘late’ and considered after all on-time applications have been allocated (i.e. after 16 April 2020).

If your child lives in Reading and you have not yet applied (or have changed your mind about your preferred schools) please complete our late application online form.

Please read our Primary School Admissions Guide before making your application. This guide provides information on how your application will be considered for each school and contains details of each school’s admission policy. If you would like a paper copy of this document, please contact your child’s current school or contact the School Admissions Team on 0118 937 3777.

Please note that some schools also have a supplementary information form (SIF) that you may wish to complete as well as your application to us. Please see below for more information.

The Application Process

Please apply to Reading School Admissions, managed by Brighter Futures for Children, if you live in the Borough of Reading and one of the following applies:

  • You have a child born between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2016 and would like a place in the Reception class of a state primary school in the 2020 school year.
  • Your child is currently in an infant-only school and will transfer to Year 3 of a junior school in September 2020.
  • You would like your child to start at junior school in Year 3 in September 2020.

If you live in another local authority area, you should apply to that council even if you want a place in a Reading school.  Contact information for neighbouring councils is listed at the bottom of this page.

Timetable for applications 

Reading Parents/Carers to receive application information (if they attend a Reading nursery/pre-school/ childminder)  12 November
Online admissions site open 12 November  – 15 Jan
Closing date for applications 15 January 2020
National Offer Day for on time Applications – offer letters posted to Reading residents. Online applicants can view outcome of application. NB. letters are sent by 2nd Class post 16 April 2020
Deadline for parents to accept 30 April 2020
Late applications processed From 1 May 2020
Closing date for receipt of appeals 18 May 2020
Appeals to be heard if submitted by 18 May 2020 June – July 2020
Admissions round ends 31 August 2020

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 school age).

If you do not want your child to start school in September 2020 the following options are available:

  • Defer their place up to (but not beyond) the point at which they reach compulsory school age.
  • Offset your child to start in reception in 2021 instead of September 2020 (i.e. outside the year group suggested by their date of birth).

In each of the above cases you must still submit an application as if they were to start school in September 2020.

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

Further details on deferring and offsetting can 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 September 2021, please read the Educated Outside of Age Group Guidance. You must complete an application form as normal and additionally complete an Offset Request Form and return it to the school admissions team, who will coordinate the request with all the schools to which you are applying.

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

How places are allocated

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

On your application form, you may list up to four preferred schools. All the preferences you list will be considered equally. No priority is given to how you rank the schools – listing a school as your first preference will not affect 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 our being able to offer a school for which you have a preference.

In some cases, we may be able to offer a place at more than one of your preferred schools. Where this situation arises, we refer to your application form and offer a place at the school you listed highest in preference. This process is explained more fully in the guide. 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 school in Reading closest to your home address and with spaces available.

Please note: whilst you have a right to list preferred schools, where there are more applicants than spaces available, places will be 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 Primary School Admissions Guide).

Places are not reserved for students at their catchment area school. If you did 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.

Supplementary Information Forms (SIFs)

Some schools have their own form which you may wish to complete in addition to the local authority school application form:

The following schools take into account religious affiliation in their oversubscription criteria. Please complete the SIF (if you think it applies to your child) and return it directly to the school in question.

Reading community schools give priority (within oversubscription categories 1 to 6 and 8) to children in receipt of Early Years Pupil Premium or Pupil Premium.

To be considered for the pupil premium priority, you must complete a supplimentary information form which should be signed or stamped by the child’s current early years provider or infant school. Please return this form to the school admissions team by 2 February 2020. Forms received after this date will only be given priority after 2 May 2020, when most schools will be full.

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.

The school admissions team cannot award EYPP priority without completion of the Supplementary Form. Please call the team if you would like further information, or speak to your child’s early years provider.

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 it does not guarantee that you will get a place there. Some addresses in Reading may have more than one catchment area school. The Primary School Admissions Guide gives more details.

The MyReading website includes a school search which shows your catchment area school based on your address, but it does not include schools in neighbouring council areas for which you may be in catchment. Please note that 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 that are not part of routine admissions can be found on our in-year admissions page.

Open Days

Information about school open days can be found on the relevant school’s website.

School Transport

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

Neighbouring Local Authorities

Bracknell Forest Borough Council 01344 354 023 or 01344 354 144
Buckinghamshire County Council 01296 395 000
Hampshire County Council 0300 555 1377
Oxfordshire County Council 01865 815 175
Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead Council 01628 683870
Slough Borough Council 01753 875728
West Berkshire Council 01635 519780
Wokingham Borough Council  0118 974 6000