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Applying for a school place

In York primary schools, there is now one September intake per year, so children usually start full time in the September after their fourth birthday. Parent/carers can also opt for part time education in their child’s Foundation Stage 2 (Reception) year.

It is, however, possible to choose to delay starting school until the beginning of the term after the child’s fifth birthday, which is when they reach statutory school age. This may mean that they start in a Year 1 class rather than in Foundation Stage 2 (Reception).

Parent/carers can state a preference for up to five schools. The local authority’s admissions panel will base their offer on a number of things, including where you live. When making a choice, remember to think about other children in your family, as there is no guarantee that all your children would be given a place at the school you choose for your disabled child or child with additional needs.

Applications are made to the local authority and not to individual schools, although you may let a school know that you hope to apply for a place there.

Top Tip: Complete your application form in the Autumn before your child is due to start school. It has to be submitted by 15 January.

Applications can be made online or on an application form.

When will I find out which school my child has been allocated?

Applications close on 15 January. Offers of places are made from 16 April. Children who have an Education, Health and Care Plan or a Statement of Special Educational Needs should have their places confirmed by mid-January.


If you are dissatisfied with the school you have been allocated, you have the right of appeal against this decision. If your child is on SEN Support, you should appeal within 30 days of the allocation of a school place, and you will have a chance to put your reasons in writing and attend an appeal hearing should you wish to.

The appeal is heard by a panel of three people who are independent of the local authority. Appeals are heard between May and July.

If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan or a Statement of Special Educational Need, there is a separate appeal system through the national tribunal system. Information is available through York SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (formally Parent Partnership Service).

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