Starting school places

Apply to start in the Reception year at a primary or infant school in September 2021.

1 Overview

This information only applies if you want to apply for September 2021 for your child to start primary or infant school (Reception year).

If your child needs a school place in a different year group or at another point in the year, you need to apply to move schools.

2 Find your catchment area school and other local schools

Before applying for your child's starting school place:

3 Before you apply

You must read the Information for parents booklet, the relevant Appendix and additional guidance pages before applying:

It is the responsibility of parents or carers to apply for a school place. You do not need to have a letter from the County Council.

Follow our checklist to ensure you have completed all the necessary steps before applying.

Places for all Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 classes have a limit of 30 pupils per teacher. If the 30th child given a place is a twin (or a child from a multiple birth) the other siblings may also be given a place, as permitted exceptions.

4 Preferences

  • You can apply for up to three different schools. Rank the schools in order of preference - the first school listed should be the one you would most like your child to go to.
  • We advise that you use all three preferences and enter your catchment school as one of your preferences.
  • Please be realistic with your preferences. If you chose an oversubscribed school, the further away you live the less likely you are to be offered a place.
  • If you select a school as a preference that is not your nearest/catchment school, this may impact on your eligibility for transport. Please see the school transport pages for further information.
  • Do not include a school that you do not want as a preference as you may be offered this school.
  • If you apply after the closing date you are far less likely to get a place at one of your preferred schools.
  • After the application deadline you cannot change your preferences unless there is a genuine unforeseeable reason for doing so, for example, if a sibling changes school.

5 Apply for a place

Applications closed on Friday 15 January 2021. To apply after this date you will need to complete a late application form.

6 Offer dates

You will be notified of the outcome of your application by email or letter, depending on how you applied. No information will be provided over the phone.

Applications received before 11.59pm on 15 January 2021

If you applied online we will email you the outcome of your application on Friday 16 April 2021. Emails will be sent throughout the day so we can't give you an exact time.

If you applied by paper form you will be emailed the result later that day if an email address was provided with the application.

The admissions office will contact you to request an email address if one is not specified on the form. If you do not have an email address you will receive a letter in second class post.

Applications received after 11.59pm on 15 January 2021

If your application was received between 16 January and 12 February 2021 it is out of time, and your preferences will only be considered after all the applications received on time. You will be sent an email with your allocation on Friday 16 April 2021 if an email address was supplied with the application.

Applications received after Friday 12 February 2021 are late and outside the normal admissions round. They will not be processed until after 14 May 2021. You will be contacted after this date.

7 Applying after the closing date

Applications closed on Friday 15 January 2021. To apply after this date you will need to complete the late application form below.

Late application for starting school

Do not use this form if you want to move your child in a different year group or at another point in the year. In these instances you need to apply to move schools.

Applying using a paper form

If you are unable to use the online late application form, contact the Pupil Admissions Team to request a paper application form.

You are not encouraged to return your paper forms directly to the Pupil Admissions Team unless you use recorded delivery post.

Claims regarding missing forms will not be investigated unless you can provide evidence that it was received by the Pupil Admissions Team. We are not responsible for forms lost or delayed in the post and recommend that you keep a copy of the form and evidence of posting.

Applying after the closing date means that your preferences will be considered after all the preferences received on time have been allocated.

Last updated:
16 January 2021
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  • West Sussex County Council will only use this email address to respond to any issues raised.