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Primary school admissions - reception intake

Children start primary school full-time in the academic year in which they turn 5 years of age. The first class they attend is called Reception class. The following classes are called Year 1 through to Year 6.

Apply

If your child was born between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2019, they will start primary school Reception class in September 2023.

You can apply for a primary school Reception place online. The website is open for applications between 16 November 2022 and 15 January 2023 - you can find out more in the timetable below.

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

In November 2022, we'll send you an application pack by post, which will tell you how to apply.

If you do not get an application pack, please contact the school admissions team. It's your responsibility as a parent or guardian to apply for a school place at the right time.

The application process

Parents of children who live in Middlesbrough are invited to submit their preferred schools in the November of the academic year in which their child turns 4.

You can name up to 3 schools on your application. To increase the chance of being offered a school of your choice, we strongly advise that you name 3 schools on your application. You can include schools outside of Middlesbrough.

Which council to apply to

You must make your application to the council for the area in which the child’s current 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 you're moving house

If you're moving house, you must not give your future address as your current address. Once you've moved, you can contact us to update your address. We'll need to see proof of your new address before we can update your child's address.

If your child goes to nursery in Middlesbrough

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 in November 2022 to give us your child's details, so we can send out an application pack.

Timetable for primary school admissions, September 2023 intake

16 November 2022 - letters sent to parents with common application form and online details

15 January 2023 - closing date for return of forms or online applications

March to April 2023 - preferences considered

16 April 2023 - emails and / or letters to parents confirming the outcome of their application

June / July 2023 - appeals as required

How school places are allocated

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

  1. All preferences for a school, whether they are first, second, or third preference, will be considered equally
  2. 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 on-time applications have been considered.
  3. The 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 their highest-preference school which has places available.

If none of your school preferences can be met, your child will be offered a place at the nearest appropriate school which has places available. It's in your best interests to put 3 school preferences on your application, to maximise the chance of your child being offered a place at one of your preferred schools.

More information

The primary and secondary education in Middlesbrough booklet contains information and help on the transition to primary school. It also includes details of individual schools' admissions criteria and their admission numbers.

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 transport.

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. You can request an appeal for every school which could not offer your child a place.

Waiting lists

We maintain waiting lists for children who are unsuccessful in getting a place at their preferred school for Reception and Year 7. The waiting lists for schools in Middlesbrough are kept 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 a place becomes available, it will be allocated according to the school's oversubscription criteria.

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