Primary and Junior School Admissions September 2021

Here is the link to the Citizen’s Portal to view and accept your school place. 

Children drawing, craft makingIf 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 2021 is National Offer Day for primary and junior schools.

If you applied online, you will receive an email (and be able to access the above link) on the date above to see the outcome of your application.

We will only post a formal offer letter to applicants who made a paper application. This is posted second class to the home address given on the application.

The email and letter both include 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 2021, 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 Following this, if you do not respond within seven days, the offered place may be withdrawn.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 oversubscription criteria, as outlined in the Primary School Admissions Guide.

See how places in Reading were allocated this year.

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 2021. Community schools in Reading keep their waiting lists until July 2022.

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 2021. 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?

Click here to see the Primary Allocations for all Schools 2021.

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

How to apply after 15 January

Before starting any application, please make sure you have read our Admissions to Infant, Junior & Primary Schools Guide 2021/22 .

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

  • You wish to secure a place for your child born between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2017 and would like a place in the Reception class of a state primary school in the 2021 school year.
  • Your child is currently in an infant-only school and will transfer to Year 3 of a junior school in September 2021.
  • You would like your child to start at junior school in Year 3 in September 2021.

If you live in another council area, you should apply to that council even if you want a place in a Reading school.  See our Useful Links for School Admissions at the bottom of this page for contact information of neighbouring councils.

The deadline for submitting on-time primary and junior applications was 15 January 2021 (midnight).  Applications received after this date are deemed ‘late’ and considered after places have been allocated in respect of all on-time applications (i.e. after 1 May 2021).

Late applications

If your child lives in Reading and you have not yet applied, please complete our late application online form.

If your child attends a nursery (or other early years setting) within Reading borough, paper copies of this late application form are available from their provider. Alternatively, contact school admissions on 0118 937 3777 or email

Completed forms should be returned (by post or email) to the school admissions team or direct to your child’s current school/setting (if in Reading).

Where there is good reason for a late application, it may be considered as on-time up to 1 February 2021.  Examples of a good reason might include: illness preventing a single parent/carer from returning the form, or a family moving into Reading after the closing date. Such cases must be supported with appropriate evidence. Where no evidence is provided, an application will be considered “late” and not processed until after 1 May 2021.

Applications received after 2 February 2021 will be considered as late, regardless of whether supporting evidence is provided.

An application cannot be amended after the closing date. Where a late application is received to change a child’s preferred school(s), it will replace any previous on-time application (i.e. the child’s application will be marked “late”). Please carefully consider the use of this option before national offer day.

Before applying, please read our Primary School Admissions Guide 2021-22. If you would like a paper copy of this document, please contact the admissions team on 0118 9373777.

Please note that some schools use a supplementary form as part of their admissions process. These should be completed in addition to your Reading application form. Please see below for more information on these schools.

The admissions team aims to acknowledge all late 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.

Timetable for applications

Reading parents/carers received application information (if they attend a Reading nursery/pre-school/ childminder) By 12 November 2020
Online admissions site opened 12 November 2020
Closing date for applications 15 January 2021
National Offer Day for on time Applications 16 April 2021
Deadline for parents to accept. 30 April 2021
Late applications processed. From 1 May 2021
Closing date for receipt of appeals 17 May 2021
Appeals to be heard if submitted by the deadline June – July 2021
Admissions round ends 31 August 2021

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 2021, 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 2022 instead of September 2021 (i.e. 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 as if is they were to start school in September 2021.

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 2022, please read the Educated Outside of Age Group Guidance. You must complete an application form as normal, together with 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.

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 account of 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 – see our 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 2021. Forms received after this date will only be given priority after 1 May 2021, when most schools will be full.

The School Admissions Team cannot award this priority without completion of the supplementary information 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 in 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 (i.e. not part of routine admissions) can be found on our in-year admissions page.

Open Days

Information regarding open days is posted on school websites.

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 School Admissions Guide 2021-22.

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

Other useful telephone numbers can be found in the Primary Schools Admissions Guide  2021/22.