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Primary school admissions - reception intake

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You can apply for a primary school reception place online. The website is open for applications between 16 November 2021 and 15 January 2022 - see timetable below.

Children start primary school full-time in the academic year in which they turn five years of age. The first class they will attend is called the Reception class. The following classes are called Year 1 through to Year 6.

Children who are due to start primary school reception class in September 2022 were born between 1 September 2017 and 31 August 2018.

Parents will be invited to submit their preferences for the primary school they'd like their child to attend.

Your child won't automatically be given a school place; you have to apply.

The application process

Parents of children who live in Middlesbrough are invited to submit a preference for a primary school place in the November of the academic year in which their child turns four. 

You can state a preference for up to three schools. To increase your chances of being offered a school of your choice, we strongly advise that you name three schools on your application. Your choices can include schools outside of Middlesbrough.

You must make your application to the council for the area in which the child’s home address is, even if you're applying for schools outside of that area. It's your child's home address which decides which council you must apply to, not the address of the school.

For example, if your child lives in Middlesbrough, you must apply to Middlesbrough Council's School Admissions Team. You can apply for schools within Middlesbrough or any school outside of Middlesbrough. If you choose to apply for schools outside of Middlesbrough, for instance a school in Stockton, we would then talk to Stockton Council's School Admissions Team about that school's places. You don't need to apply to both councils. If you make an application to a School Admissions Team for an area where your child doesn't live, it won't be accepted.

If your child currently attends a school nursery in Middlesbrough, the school will forward your child's details to us so we can send out your application pack. Please note, a place in a school's nursery doesn't guarantee your child a place in that primary school; you'll still need to apply.

If your child isn't attending a school nursery, you'll need to contact the School Admissions Team to supply us with your child's details in November 2021 so an application pack can be issued.

Timetable for primary school admissions, September 2022 intake

16 November 2021 Letters sent to parents with common application form and online details
15 January 2022 Closing date for return of forms or online applications
March to April 2022 Preferences considered
16 April 2022 Emails and/or letters to parents confirming outcome of application
June/July 2022 Appeals as required

How school places are allocated

Each school has a set number of places available and an admissions criteria. If there are less applications than the admission number, than all applications will be accepted and offered a place at that school. If there are more applications than places, the applications will be treated in the following manner:

  • All preferences for a school, whether they are first, second or third preference, will be considered equally
  • The published admissions criteria for the school is applied to all preferences to rank the applications in order. (Late applications will be considered after all those on time applications have been considered.)
  • This ranked list of applications is then used to allocate places at the school up to the maximum admission number

Parents are then offered a place at the school with the highest preference that can be met.

If none of your school preferences can be met, your child will be allocated a place at the nearest appropriate school which has places available. This means it's in your best interests to put three school preferences on your application, to maximise the chances of your child being offered a place at one of your preferred schools.

More information

A booklet is available containing information and help on the transition to primary school. It also includes details of individual schools' admissions criteria and their admission numbers. View the Primary and Secondary Education in Middlesbrough document.

As a parent, you're legally responsible for making sure your child attends school. In some cases, we can offer some pupils help with travel between home and school. Find out more about home to school travel assistance.

If you have questions about school admissions, you can check our frequently asked questions page for the answers.

Appeals procedure

If a school is unable to offer your child a place, you can appeal against the decision.

Waiting lists

Waiting lists will be maintained for those unsuccessful in gaining a place at their preferred school for admissions to the Reception year and Year 7. The waiting lists will be maintained for schools in Middlesbrough until 31 December of the intake year, after which time they will close. If you've applied for schools outside of Middlesbrough, you'll need to check with the council for that school's area about how their waiting list is maintained.

If places become available, they will be allocated according to the schools' over-subscription criteria.

If appeals are pending, places will still be allocated from the waiting lists before appeals are heard.