Applying for Reception places

Applying for Reception places

Reception 2024

Applications open: 1 September 2023

Applications close: 15 January 2024

National offer day: 16 April 2024

You can no longer apply for Reception 2024 places to be considered in time for national offer day. You can still make late applications until 31 August 2024 but this must be using the form below, you cannot do this on the Citizen's Portal.

  • Check if you can apply and which address to use
  • Read the oversubscription criteria for the schools you are applying for
  • Use all 4 preferences
  • Put the schools in the order you want them; preference 1 is the school you want most
  • Watch the video below


  1. Important information about Reception 2024
  2. Legal information - School Admissions

Making the right choice

Once you have read the information below, apply here for your reception place remember, late applications will be considered after all on-time applications, and the results will not be published until 3 June 2024.

Find and compare schools

Use this search tool to find schools. This search tool allows you to :

  • search for schools by postcode
  • check school Ofsted ratings
  • filter schools by religion

Find and compare schools

Visit the school

Visiting a school helps you decide whether it's right for your child. You'll be able to speak to teacher and ask questions.

Schools may have open days or you contact them to arrange a time to view the school.

Are you likely to be offered a place?

Each school has their own set of rules that they use to decide which children to offer a place to. This is called the oversubscription criteria and can be found in the schools admissions policy. Each oversubscription criteria is made up of different categories (you can see how these work in the example below).

You can see how places were offered in previous years in the below link: 

All applications are ranked using these rules. School preference order is only used if we can offer a place in more than one school, at which point we will offer the school which is your highest preference.

Oversubscription criteria example
  • Read the oversubscription criteria for each school.
  • Check which category your child comes under (see individual school's website)


Ahmed applied to North East Primary as their first preference. Ahmed's child is not offered a place there, even though they live close to the school.

There were more applications than places so the school used their oversubscription criteria to decide who to give places to. 30 places were available:

  • one place went to a child who had been adopted (category 1)
  • 20 places went to children with a brother or sister at the school (category 2) 
  • one place went to a child with an exceptional medical need meaning they could only go to that school (category 3)
  • the remaining 8 places went to children who lived closer to the school than Ahmed and his child (category 4)

Instead, Ahmed was offer a place at their second preference of North Academy which also had 30 places available:

  • 10 places went to children who had a brother or sister at the school (category 2)
  • 20 places when to children who lived near the school, including Ahmed's child (category 4)


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