Guide to starting school or moving up to junior school

Last updated: 13 September 2023

Waiting lists

All children will automatically be added to the waiting list for most of the schools in your application that could not be offered, as long as they are higher preferences than the school that was offered.

If you and your child live in Buckinghamshire and their application included a school in another area, we will ask the relevant Local Authority to add your child’s name to that school’s waiting list.

If you do not want your child's name included on a school waiting list, contact us.

How waiting lists work

If a place becomes available at a school, we will fill that place by offering it to the child at the top of the waiting list in a later allocation round.

We will contact you by email if we can offer a place to your child.

Before making allocations, each school’s waiting list is sorted into admission rules order. The child at the top of the waiting list will always be the child who best fits the admission rules for the school.

It does not matter when a child’s name was added to the waiting list or when their application was received, waiting lists are always ordered according to the school’s admission rules.

Bear in mind, if you have already accepted a place for your child at a lower preference school, we must remove this place in order to make a new offer. We will not give you a choice between two schools.

Removing your child from a waiting list

It is important you contact us as soon as you decide you want to remove your child from a waiting list.

If you are happy with the school your child has been offered, but you do not tell us to remove them from a waiting list, you risk losing your child’s original offer. This is because we assume any child on a waiting list would prefer that school above any other.

If your child remains on a waiting list and a place becomes available, we must remove your child’s original offer to make the new offer. The school we remove from your child will then be offered to another child from the waiting list, so we will not be able to offer it back to your child.

Finding out your child’s waiting list position

If your child is on a Buckinghamshire school’s waiting list, we will periodically tell you their waiting list position by email.

You will be notified on 21 June and 19 July, with final waiting list positions on 28 August.

A child’s waiting list position can go up or down, as other children join or leave the list. The waiting list is always sorted according to the school’s admission rules.

If your child is on the waiting list for a school outside Buckinghamshire, you need to contact that Local Authority directly to find out your child’s waiting list position.

How long your child can stay on a school’s waiting list

Waiting Lists for admission to Reception and Year 3 in Buckinghamshire primary schools will be maintained until at least 31 December 2024.

On 28 August 2024 we will contact all those on the waiting list for a Buckinghamshire school to advise how waiting lists will be managed for the remainder of the 24/25 academic year. Waiting lists for schools that manage their own in year admissions will be handed to them on 28 August and the school will manage the list from this point.