Guide to starting school or moving up to junior school

Last updated: 13 September 2023

How we allocate school places

Once you have submitted your application we start the process of finding your child a school place according to our Scheme and each school's admission rules.

Step 1 - We look at the preferences made by our parents.

Step 2 - We tell other Local Authorities (LAs) about applications for their schools made by our parents. Other LAs tell us about applications for Buckinghamshire schools made by their parents.

Step 3 - We put your child on the list for the schools on your application, in admission rules order.

Step 4 - We allocate places up to the Admission Number (number of places available) for each of our schools.

Step 5 - We tell other LAs which of their children can be offered places at our schools. Other LAs tell us which of our children can be offered places at their schools.

Step 6 - It will be possible to allocate more than one place to many children, so we keep the allocation for the school you listed higher on your application. Any other places are freed up for other children.

Step 7 - Steps 4, 5 and 6 are repeated until we have allocated everyone the highest preference that we can.

Step 8 - On 16 April we let our parents know which school has been offered for their child. Other LAs will write to their parents. Where we cannot offer a place that preference will be refused.

Important information for Buckinghamshire residents

If we can't offer any of your preferences, we offer a place at the nearest Buckinghamshire school with spaces. This may not be your catchment school and might be a school in another area.

It is important to include your nearest school amongst your preferences as your child will have a better chance, but not a guarantee, of getting a place at a closer school.