West Berkshire Council

Primary School Places

Applying for a reception year school place in an infant or primary school, or a year three place in a junior school

There have been changes to this service due to the coronavirus pandemic. Please see our information for residents webpages for more information.

Apply for a Reception place or a year 3 place in a Junior School for September

Applications for primary school places, where a child is attending school for the first time, are managed to a national timetable.  The admission process is known as the 'Normal Admissions Round' and is co-ordinated between local authorities across England. 
This means that parents must apply to the local authority where they live, even if they're applying for schools in another area.

If you're applying mid-way through a school year, there's a separate process that needs to be followed.

The Admissions Guide

We produce an pdf icon admissions guide [5Mb] for parents each year which details how to apply for a primary school place, and explains how each school will prioritise each application using the over-subscription rules.

Before applying you:

  1. should read the parent's guide for the new school year and you should read the relevant guide if you are applying for schools outside of West Berkshire

  2. may have to provide supplementary information or complete a supplementary form to meet certain over-subscription rules. Supplementary forms are available for: pdf icon Mortimer St Mary's CE Junior School [31kb]pdf icon St Finian's Catholic School [113kb], pdf icon St Joseph's Catholic School [175kb], pdf icon St Paul's Catholic School [237kb]

  3. should consider how your child will get to school. Free school transport is only available to your closest school which may not be in your catchment area. There are also distance criteria and the full details are available in the Home to School Transport Policy.


Applications can be made from 01 September using our on-line application form.  Applying online is the best route to take, as you'll get a receipt when you submit your application, and you'll find out which school has been offered on the offer day instead of waiting for the post.  The closing date for applications is 15 January.

Highwood Copse Primary School, Newbury

Highwood Copse Primary School is to open in September 2021 and applications can be made for Reception children starting in September 2021.

Over-subscription criteria

The criteria are used by schools where there are more applications than there are places available.  The criteria help to decide which applicants can be offered by giving each application a priority.  The priorities are based on a number of different things, such as School Catchment Areas and whether a child is a 'looked after child' or had been until adoption or a residence/special guardianship order.

The over-subscription criteria are explained in the parent's guide for each school year.

It's important to make sensible and realistic decisions when choosing which schools to apply for.   You should of course apply for schools that you prefer, but we advise that one of your preferences should be for a school that you have a reasonable chance of being offered a place in.
We provide detailed allocation information  about the number of applications received for schools in previous years and the children that were offered places.

Please note that children who attend school nurseries have no priority for a school place in the linked school.

When school places are offered

Emails and letters are sent on 16 April and emails should be received by 5pm. The emails usually start sending from our system at around 5am. We provide pdf icon Primary [56kb] and pdf icon Junior [23kb] information sheets that will answer many of your questions and include numbers on waiting lists and spaces available in schools. If you applied online and haven't received an email, this might be because you selected to receive a letter instead. You can still log into your account to view the result. Further information about this and previous years allocations is also available.

What happens after school places are offered?

Waiting lists

In all cases where a child is not offered the first preference they are placed on the waiting list for the first and any other higher preference school that was not offered. Waiting lists are always ranked using the over-subscription rules and not the date the application was received.

Making a late application

You can submit a late doc icon primary school application form [379kb] or doc icon junior school application form [376kb] if you would like to apply for a different school.  The timetable for processing late applications is detailed in the admissions guide.

Making an appeal for a school place

You may decide to appeal against an admission decision for a school place.  You should read all the information available before submitting an appeal and also be aware that some schools already teach in classes of 30 which is the maximum allowed. An appeal for such a school is classified as an pdf icon Infant Class Size Appeal [9kb] and will normally only be successful if it can be proven that a mistake has been made and your child would have been offered a school place if the application had been processed correctly.

Who To Contact

Contact details for West Berkshire's School Admissions Team

01635 551111