Primary school places and admissions

Before making your application

Key points:

Before you make an application for a primary, infant or junior school place for September 2024, you should be aware of the following information:

  • You must make your application to your home local authority. If you're not completely sure you live in Swindon borough, you can check which council area you live in.
  • Everyone has to apply. You still need to make an application for a place at a primary or infant school if:
    • your child already attends a nursery, or
    • you already have another child at the school
  • You need to apply for a transfer to a junior school if your child currently attends an infant school and is in Year 2. Your child doesn't automatically qualify for a place if they attend the related infant school.
  • You can apply for places in three named schools. You provide these in order of preference. The schools can be within, or outside, Swindon borough. We encourage applicants to use all three preferences, as this maximises their chances of being allocated one of their preferred schools.

A note about Swindon Academy

If you are applying for a place at Swindon Academy from reception, there are two teaching sites: Beech Avenue and Alton Close. Please state your preferred site in your application. 

Please note: The school cannot guarantee you will be allocated your preferred site, as this will be subject to availability. Please contact Swindon Academy if you wish to discuss this further.

If you wish to apply for a certain site, contact Swindon Academy to complete a supplementary information form and return direct to the school.

Delayed admission

A parent of a child born between 1 April and 31 August, defined as "summer born", may request for the child to be admitted to a year group later than that of their natural cohort. The admission authority takes individual circumstances into consideration.

Making a decision

You need to apply for a primary school place a year before your child starts school. Applications open in September and close on 15 January.

You should apply to your local authority for a school place as normal – as if your child were going to start school at age 4 – even if you think you want to delay their start until age 5. 

If you decide to delay your child starting school until the September following their fifth birthday, but do not request admission out of their normal age group at this time, your child will start school in year 1.

You will need to make an in-year application for a school place for your child. The school admissions team can advise you on when it would be best to make such an application.

Some schools are likely to be full at this point and unable to offer you a place.

Schools are unable to hold a place for your child from the previous year.

Changing schools

If you want your child to remain out of their normal age group when they transfer to a new school, for example, if you move house or when they transfer to secondary school, you will need to submit another request for admission out of the normal age group.

The admission authority of the new school will decide whether it is in your child’s best interests to continue to be educated out of their normal age group. Unless there are good educational reasons for a child to join their normal year group (meaning they would miss a year of school), they should remain with their adopted year group.

It is rarely in the best interests of a child to miss a year of school. If, however, a request for admission out of the normal age group at a secondary school is refused, the parent will need to decide between the following 2 options:

  • accept the offer of a place in year 7 in the school year following their child’s 11th birthday (meaning they would progress from year 5 to year 7)
  • refuse that offer and make an in-year application for their child to be admitted to year 8 in the September following their 12th birthday (meaning they will progress from year 6 to year 8)

This means the child will have no option but to miss either year 6 or year 7.

You can find out more in the document below:

You apply in the normal way and at the same time complete an additional application form, which you can download below: 

How applications are considered

The offer of a preferred school place depends on the number of applications received and the number of places available.

Priority for places will be determined by the individual school’s admission criteria. You can read full admissions policies and supplementary information forms for each school on the school admission arrangements webpage.

Primary school admissions guide

You should read the primary school admissions guide before you make your application. This document contains important information about how your application will be considered:

Here are some key points:

  • Applications are not dealt with on a first-come-first-served basis. If your application is received anytime before the deadline on 15 January 2024, it will be treated exactly the same way as all other "on-time" applications. 
  • If you apply after this date, the application will be considered a late application, and therefore considered after all on-time applications have been considered and allocated. We encourage you to apply on time to maximise your chances of being allocated a preferred school.
  • We can never guarantee that a place will be offered at one of your preferred schools.
  • Each preference you request will be considered equally against the oversubscription criteria for the school. Where we are able to offer a place at more than one school, we will offer a place at the one you have prioritised higher.

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