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Final reminder for parents to apply for their child’s reception or year 3 school place

The deadline for parents to submit applications for their child’s school place is just a few days away, but there are still families across Nottinghamshire who have not completed their applications or have only listed one school preference on their application – where there should be four.

For parents whose children live in Nottinghamshire and will turn five years old between 1 September 2022 and 31 August 2023, the application deadline for their reception school place OR for children who are due to transfer from infant (year 2) to a junior/primary (year 3) school place, is on Saturday 15 January.

It is important for parents and carers to make sure they have submitted their application on time and to make sure they use all four school preferences. This way, parents are more likely to be offered a place at a school they are happy for their child to attend.

Currently, 32% of reception applications and 5% of year 3 applications submitted so far have not made use of their four preferences.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s best advice for a strong application is to list four schools and make sure to include schools where the child would meet higher criteria. Doing so will give parents the best chance of getting their child into a school they are happy with. It is important to remember there is no guarantee of a place at a school even if you live in the catchment area or attend a linked primary school.

If parents include only one school on the application and their child does not meet the higher criteria for that school, they risk not being allocated a place there. The child would then be allocated a place at the next nearest school that has places available after all other applications have been processed, which could mean their child is allocated a school further away than the parents had hoped.

This is because places at other nearby schools will have been offered to those families who did list those schools as a preference on their application, so their preferences would be considered first.

Any parents who have already submitted their application are able to edit their applications right up to the deadline, so anyone who has not made use of their four school preferences still has until 15 January to add preferences to their application. Those who applied online must remember to resubmit the application if they make any changes, otherwise the changes will be lost.

Applications received after the closing date, including changes of preference, are considered late, and will be processed after all on-time applications.

Chairman of the County Council’s Children and Young People’s Committee, Councillor Tracey Taylor, said: “If it is your first child who is starting in reception, we want to make sure that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision which will give you the best chance of getting your child into your preferred school.

“It is important that all parents are aware they must make an application, even if their child is already attending a nursery.

“Children do not automatically transfer from nursery to full-time school, or from infant school to a junior or primary school.  “I also want to encourage parents to use all of their preferences. Last year, over 98% of families who applied for a primary school place on time were offered one of their preferred schools.” Parents of children living in Nottinghamshire will need to apply through Nottinghamshire County Council, even if they wish to apply for schools in other local authority areas such as Nottingham City or Derbyshire.

The easiest way to apply for a place is online, but parents who do not have internet access can telephone 0300 500 80 80 to apply. Parents who apply online will be able to log in to their account on National Offer Day, 19 April 2022, to view the outcome of their application. All other applicants will have to wait a few days for a letter sent by second class post on National Offer Day. The council’s website www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/admissions has information to help with the application process, including ‘Admissions to Schools: Guide for Parents 2022-2023’ which contains lots of useful information and advice. 

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