Starting primary school and junior school

Apply for your child to start school in Reception or transfer from infant to junior school.

Key dates

12 October 2023

From 12 October 2023, you can apply for a school place for children born between: 

  • 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2017
  • 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2020

15 January 2024

15 January 2024 is the closing date for online and paper applications. The closing date for providing evidence of exceptional social or medical reasons is also 15 January 2024.

18 February 2024

No changes can be made to applications before National Offer Day after 18 February 2024. 

16 April 2024

16 April 2024 is National Offer Day for primary and junior schools. If you applied online, you can log in to our admissions portal to see your offered school place. You will also get an email during office hours telling you about your offered place. If you made a paper application, you should get a letter telling you about your offered school place.

1 May 2024 onwards

From 1 May 2024 onwards, we will consider any late applications or requests for changes to applications that we have not already processed. 

20 May 2024

If you want to appeal for a primary or junior school place, you need to submit your appeal by 20 May 2024.

June to July 2024

Main primary and junior school admission appeals will be heard from June to July 2024. 

31 December 2024

All the waiting lists we hold will end on 31 December 2024.

Information for parents

It is your responsibility to read all the information on our schools admissions pages before you apply for your child's school place.

We have lots of guidance to help you make your school application. See our guidance on: 

Apply online

You can:

  • create an account if you do not have one
  • make a new application
  • continue with an application you have saved
  • view your submitted application
  • view which school your child has been offered

Apply online or log in to your account

It is recommended that you keep the acknowledgement email you will receive once you have submitted your application as proof that you have applied for a school place.

Late applications and changes

You can still apply or make changes to your application if you missed the closing date. Read our making changes and late applications page for details. 

What happens after the offer of a school place?

If you want to accept the place

If you want to accept a place offered at a Community or Voluntary Controlled school within North Yorkshire, you do not have to do anything. The headteacher of the school will be told about the allocation and will make any further arrangements about the admission. 

If you want to accept a place at a school in another local authority or a school that is their own admission authority, for example, a voluntary aided school or an academy, please contact the school directly. 

If you do not want to accept the place

The school place that has been allocated on National Offer Day is in line with the North Yorkshire coordinated admission scheme. If you do not want to accept the place, please contact us in writing at letting us know what your alternative arrangements are. For example, elective home education or independent schooling. 

If you do not want to accept a place you have been offered at a Voluntary Aided school or Academy, you will also need to contact the school directly. 

If you want to change your application to include additional school preferences, please visit our changing schools page to complete a changes form.

Appeal for a school place

If you have applied to a school and been refused admission, you have the right to appeal against that decision to an independent panel.

Please read our advice about appeals carefully before submitting an appeal.

You can only appeal against being refused a school place if that school is currently one of your live preferences. 

School waiting lists

Community and voluntary controlled schools

The local authority will automatically maintain a waiting list for all over-subscribed community and voluntary controlled schools. The waiting list will use the authority's oversubscription criteria and be maintained between National Offer Day and 31 December that calendar year. After 31 December, the waiting lists will stop. 

Academies, voluntary aided, foundation and trust schools

Schools that are their own admission authority, for example voluntary aided, foundation, trust schools and academies, create their own waiting lists in accordance with their published oversubscription criteria. They can choose to maintain their waiting lists themselves, or to have the local authority maintain a waiting list on their behalf. 

North Yorkshire schools

If you do not get an offer for a place at your higher preference North Yorkshire schools, your child will automatically go on the waiting list for those schools. 

Your child will not be placed on a waiting list for any school that is a lower preference than the school offered.

Schools outside North Yorkshire

For schools outside North Yorkshire, you should check the relevant local authority website for information about school waiting lists.

If we can offer a place to a non-North Yorkshire child from a waiting list, we will work with their home authority.

What happens when your child is on the waiting list

Having a place on the waiting list does not guarantee that a school place will become available.

Whenever there is a change, the waiting list is re-ranked in line with the published oversubscription criteria for the school. Changes can happen if:

  • a place that was offered is turned down
  • a late application or change is received

Your child will move up or down on the list according to the re-ranking in line with oversubscription criteria. Children will not be given priority based on: 

  • the date their application was received
  • the date they were added to the waiting list

If your child is at the top of the list

If your child is at the top of the waiting list, and a school place becomes available, the admissions team will contact you. You will have five working days to accept or turn down the place you are offered. 

If we cannot contact you

If we cannot contact you using all the advised contact details we have, or we do not get a response from you, your child will be removed from the waiting list and the available place will be offered to the next child who qualifies for that place. 

If you want your child to be put back on the waiting list, you must notify us in writing. 

It is your responsibility to make sure the school admissions team knows your contact details and to let them know about any changes to your contact details.

Change of address

If you change address while your child is on a waiting list, please read our making changes and late applications page for information about what you need to do.

If the change of address affects your child's position on any waiting lists, their position will change accordingly.

Removing your child from a waiting list

If you want to remove your child from a waiting list, please contact us in writing by emailing

Contact us for more information

From National Offer Day onwards, you can contact us to find out who maintains the waiting lists for your preferred schools. This will be either our school admissions team or the school itself. If we maintain the waiting list, we can give you advice about your child's waiting list positions.

Frequently asked questions

My child is already in the nursery at my preferred school. Do I need to apply for a place in reception?

Yes. Your child is not guaranteed a place at a primary school because they go to a pre-school or nursery attached to that school. 

Please check the admissions policies for your preferred schools for their oversubscription criteria. 

What is my catchment school?

You can find our catchment area maps and details about catchment areas on our finding a school page

You can also contact us for more details about catchment schools.

Do I need to apply for a junior school place?

If your child is currently going to infant school and is in year two, you need to complete an application to start junior school in September, by 15 January 2024. 

If your child is in year two at a primary school and you want them to move to a junior school to start year three in September, you need to complete an application to start junior school by 15 January 2024.

Does having an older sibling at a junior school help my child get a place at the infant school?

Local authority maintained schools

For local authority maintained schools, having an older sibling at a junior school will not help your child get a place at an infant school. Infant and junior schools are separate schools even if they share a name or location. 

Going to an infant school also does not mean your child will have a guaranteed place at the junior school when they transfer at the end of year two. The oversubscription criteria will still apply to their application.

Academy schools

For academy schools, please check the school's admissions policy for their oversubscription criteria. 

What should I do if I think my child is not ready to start school?

You should still apply for a school place by 15 January and contact us in writing to find out more about your options. Please also see our page on making a request out of the normal age group

Finding out about new schools

We will make you aware of any new schools opening in North Yorkshire.

Residents in the Northallerton area may be interested in Oakbridge Church of England Primary School, a new school opening to its first reception cohort in September 2024. The school is part of Dales Academies Trust and will be a new building with extensive outdoor space for playing and learning, including large sports pitches and a habitat area. Find out more on the Oakbridge Church of England Primary School website.