School ages and when to apply

Children are required to start their compulsory education from the beginning of the term following their 5th birthday.

This is based on a 3-term year, with terms starting in:

  • September
  • January
  • April (after Easter)

There may be exceptions for summer-born children. If your child was born in the summer and you're thinking of deferring their admission by a full school year please see guidance on summer born deferrals.

When should I apply for a school place?

 

Testing quote reusable content.

If you are a parent or carer of a child living in Northamptonshire at the time of your application you can apply for a Northamptonshire County Council primary school place at the following times:

Reception intake - infant and primary schools

In Northamptonshire all children are offered a full year in reception.

 

Testing exclamation mark reusable content. This should be larger than the quote.

Infant schools run from reception to year 2 and take new children into reception. Primary schools run from reception to year 6 and take new children into reception.

If your child turns 4 between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2016, you should apply for their school place by 15 January 2016. After this date you would need to make a late application.

Year 3 intake - junior schools

All infant schools have a linked junior school and children attending the infant school will have some priority within the oversubscription criteria for that school.

If your child is in year 2 of an infant school and turns 7 between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2016, you should apply for a junior school place by 15 January 2016. After this date you would need to make a late application.

Year 5 intake - middle schools

If you live in Northamptonshire, you can apply for a middle school place outside of Northamptonshire for your child if:

  • they have their 9th birthday between 1 September 2015 and 31 August 2016 and are in their last year (year 4) at a lower school outside of Northamptonshire.

You should apply for a middle school place by 15 January 2016. After this date you would need to make a late application.

How to apply for a school place

Applying for a school place outside the normal entry times

Any applications to move schools outside of the school's normal entry year will be processed as in-year applications.

Please note that we do not allocate an in-year school place more than a month in advance of the date the place is required. Therefore, applications from children wanting a year 3 or 5 place at a primary school (rather than a junior or middle school) will be considered as in-year applications and will not be processed until the summer term. Parents will be informed in writing if a place is available in their preferred primary school. 

Special educational needs

If your child has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan or a Statement of Special Educational Needs, there are different procedures for obtaining a school place. Please see special educational needs.

Living outside of Northamptonshire

If you live outside of Northamptonshire, you will need to contact the local authority for the area in which you live.

How we coordinate the allocation of primary school places

There are several different types of primary schools in Northamptonshire. Whichever primary school you are interested in, the application and offer process is the same.

A coordinated scheme is in place to ensure, as far as reasonably practical, that every parent or carer of a child living within the local authority who has applied for a school place receives an offer of one, and only one, school place.

However, the oversubscription admission criteria and allocation of places are managed differently:

Community schools and voluntary controlled schools

The county council is responsible for the oversubscription admission criteria and the allocation of places.

Voluntary aided schools and foundation (trust) schools

School governors are responsible for setting the oversubscription admission criteria and the allocation of places.

Academies and free schools 

The Academy Trust is responsible for setting the oversubscription admission criteria and the allocation of places.