How to apply for a primary school place

The closing date for reception in primary and infant schools, year 3 in junior and year 5 in middle schools has now passed.

You can still make a late application for a:

  • primary school place if your child has their 4th birthday between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2016
  • junior school place if your child has their 7th birthday between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2016 and is in year 2 at an infant school
  • middle school place if your child has their 9th birthday between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2016 and is in year 4 at a lower school outside of Northamptonshire.

Apply online

The easiest way to apply is by completing the late application form:

Apply now

Summer-born children

If you have deferred applying for a place in reception to start in 2016 (rather than 2015) because your child is ‘summer born’, you will not be able to apply online. In this case, you should use the 'Apply by post' option below.

Other ways of applying

Your local library

You can apply online at any Northamptonshire County Council library. There will be no charge for using the computers. 

Apply by post

Download the information booklet and complete the application form at the back of the booklet:

Please ensure the correct postage is applied. We cannot take responsibility for a form not reaching us due to insufficient postage.

Frequently asked questions

​The Department for Education (DfE) has a School Admissions Code that does not allow school places to be allocated on a 'first preference first' basis. This means that we must consider all pupils stating a preference for a school regardless of whether the school is a first, second or third preference.

This process is known as equal preferencing.

If you include preferences for the most popular schools in Northamptonshire, it may not always be possible to give you your first preference. This is why it is important to state three preferences and to ensure you understand the relevance of the individual oversubscription criteria.

It is important to place the schools in the order that you want them. Do not name a school as a preference if you do not want a place there.

If your child qualifies for a place at more than one of your preferred schools, you will be offered a place at your highest preferred school.

​If you are filling in a paper preference form, do not name the same school more than once in your preferences. Writing down the same school more than once will not increase your chances of getting a place at that school. The law makes it very clear that if you only tell us one preference and it is unsuccessful, your child will only be allocated a place after all the other applicants' preferences (first, second and third) have been considered.

The result might be that your child is allocated a place a long way from your home, and transport may not be available.

​Some schools require you to send separate information directly to them, for example, faith schools may ask for information about your allegiance to a religion.

If you have included one or more of these schools among your preferences, you must get the form directly from the school or download it from our website:

Check which schools require supplementary information forms.

​In 2015 approximately 88% of applicants for primary school places were allocated their first preference, and a further 8% were allocated either their second or third preference. However this figure does not include late applications.

Oversubscription criteria

Where your child is ranked in the individual school’s oversubscription criteria is more important when allocating the places than where you have placed schools in your preference list.

However, we must offer you the highest preferred school we are able to at the time of allocations; this may not be your first preference depending on where you are ranked in the oversubscription criteria for each of your preferred schools.

See the schools directory for each school's oversubscription criteria.

This should give you a good idea of the chance of your child being successful in obtaining a place at your first preference school and your other preferences.

Linked areas

If you live in an area that has a linked school, think about including that school as one of your preferences. See the schools directory to check what the linked areas are for each school. Many schools give priority to children living in the linked area. Remember, if you live in a school’s linked area and want to be considered for a place at that school, you must include it as one of your preferences. If you do not include your linked school in your preferences and it is oversubscribed, your child may be allocated a place at another school which may be quite far from your home.

​No. Places are allocated using the oversubscription criteria for the school when more applications than the number of places available are received. Priority is not automatically given to those in a nursery class at the school as nursery and school allocations are separate processes.

​Our birth policy does not entitle applicants with twins or multiple births to gain their first preference school but does, where possible, entitle them to be kept together if they so wish. However, this may not be their first preference and may even be at a different school altogether.

​Applications for primary school are coordinated nationally. All pupils must apply to their home authority regardless of where their preferred school is situated.

If one or more of your preferences is for a state-funded school in another county you can select these when you apply online or include these on your paper preference form.

Some schools require additional forms to be completed in support of your application. You will need to find out from the school itself if any additional forms are needed and these forms must be returned directly to the school.

If you live in Northamptonshire, you should not send an additional preference form to the authority in which the school is situated; you should include your preference for that school on your Northamptonshire form. We will liaise with the neighbouring authorities to ensure that your application is considered according to the published oversubscription admission criteria.

If you applied before the closing date and live in Northamptonshire you will be sent an offer of a school place on 18 April 2016. We are unable to release information prior to this date for any pupil including those who will be offered a school situated outside Northamptonshire.

​If you do not live in Northamptonshire (even if your child attends a Northamptonshire primary school) you will need to apply to the local authority in which you live.

​Please inform us of your new address, by email or letter, so that we can communicate with you.

If you move address after submitting a late application form and wish to change your preferences based on your new address, you should complete a new ‘late application’ form. This application must be accompanied by documentary evidence of your new address (e.g.a copy of signed lease/rental agreement (minimum six months) or copy of solicitor’s letter confirming exchange of contracts/completion date). We will be able to use your new address for correspondence purposes.

We will not process an application for a child until they are residing in the UK. The only exception is the children of UK Armed Service Personnel and other Crown Servants. For families of service personnel with confirmed posting to their area, or crown servants returning from overseas to live in that area, admission authorities must allocate a place in advance of the family arriving in the area, provided the application is accompanied by an official letter declaring a relocation date and a Unit postal address or quartering area address.

Changes to preferences can only be made by making a new late application.​

​If all your preferred schools are oversubscribed (ie they receive more applications than places available) and we cannot offer you a place at any of them, we will offer you a place at the closest school to your home address that still has places available at the end of the process.

​If you tell us fraudulent or misleading information in your preference form (for example, a false claim to be living at a certain address or a false claim to have a sibling link) which stopped us from giving a place to a child with a stronger claim, we will withdraw your offer of a place. We will make checks if there is any doubt about your address.

In previous years we have withdrawn places where we have found that a given address was false.

If your child is already at primary school and wishes to move to a different school, you will need to make an in-year application.

​You can request that entry to the school where your child has been offered a place is deferred until later in the same school year.

If you request this the school must hold the place for the child; it cannot be offered to another child.

The place cannot be kept open beyond the academic year for which the original application was accepted.

Any parent who is considering deferring their child's admission to school is recommended to discuss this with the Head Teacher of the school where their child has been offered a place.