Guide to starting school or moving up to junior school

Last updated: 20 October 2022

First round of allocations

When you'll receive your child's primary school offer

If you applied online by 15 January 2022, you'll receive an email with your child’s offer on 19 April 2022. You'll also be able to view and accept the offer from this date.

If you applied using a copy of the application form by 31 January 2022 and you provided us with an email address, we'll email your child’s offer on 19 April 2022. If you did not give us an email address, we will post you a letter on 19 April 2022.

If we received your application after 31 January 2021 (but by 2 May 2022), we'll email or write to you on 20 May 2022 to let you know which school we are able to offer your child.

At the same time as we tell you which school your child has been offered, we also provide our primary schools with the details of those children due to join them in September. The school will contact you with a welcome pack for your child. Make sure you return any forms in this pack direct to the school by their deadline.

Remember to tell us that you are accepting the place offered as well.

What to do when you know which school your child has been offered

You'll need to let us know by 2 May what you want to do with the offer.

You should tell us if you want to:

  • accept the place offered
  • decline the place offered
  • remove your child from a waiting list for a school we could not offer

How to respond to the offer

If you applied online, log in to the Application Portal and submit your response by 2 May. You'll then receive an automated email to confirm we have received it.

If you applied using an application form, you should respond using our contact us form (you will receive an automatic reply as confirmation it has successfully reached us.

If you made your application to another local authority, you should respond directly to them, even if your response concerns a Buckinghamshire school. Your home Local Authority will share the information with us.

If you do not respond to the offer

If you do not tell us what you would like to do by 2 May, we'll contact you again to remind you that we need you to respond.

At this time, if you do not reply, we'll withdraw the school offer we have made and offer the place to another child.

What to do if your child hasn't been offered a place at their preferred school

We understand that it will be disappointing for you and your child if we are not able to offer a place at one of your preferred schools. However, you should accept any place offered.

Accepting the place will not affect your child’s position on a waiting list or your chances of success at appeal. You always have the option to decline the place later if you change your mind. Whatever you decide, make sure we receive your reply by 2 May 2022

We'll automatically add your child to the waiting list, or lists, of preferred schools in your application, as long as your child is eligible. We'll then continue to try and offer a place in later allocation rounds.

You also have the right to lodge an admission appeal for any school you applied for, but that was not able to be offered.

Admission appeals

If your child was not offered a place at one of your preferred schools, you're entitled to ask for an admission appeal. Your child’s name will already be on the school's waiting list if they are eligible.

If you elect to appeal, bear in mind that there are deadlines you need to be aware of. For more information, view our information on how to appeal a school place decision.

Applications made under the exceptional medical or social needs rule

If you applied for a place for your child at your preferred school under the exceptional medical or social needs rule, education professionals, who are independent of the admissions and transport team and of our primary schools, will look at your case and the supporting evidence you provided.

They will decide if it was appropriate to consider your application under this rule. If it was, this was considered when we were allocating places.

Children with agreed exceptional medical or social needs are not necessarily the highest priority children for a place at every school, you should use the school directory to check the admission rules for the particular school if you're unsure.

Not all schools have an exceptional needs rule and that applications without supporting evidence will not have been considered.

Academies, as well as foundation, free and voluntary-aided schools, and schools in other areas, will also have considered applications made under their admission rules.