Primary school admissions

Starting primary school September 2024

If you live in Trafford and your child will start in reception class in September 2024, you must apply to Trafford for all your preferred schools, including schools in other local authority areas. We work with other areas to make sure each child is only offered one place.

The closing date for primary school applications is 15 January 2024.

Some schools may ask you to complete a supplementary form and return it to the school. This is often for faith schools. Please check the school website to see if one is required. You must still also include that school in your application to Trafford. If you only apply directly to a school, your application will not be considered.

Before you submit your application, please read the primary application guidance.

Catchment areas

Most Trafford schools and academies have a catchment area. These schools give priority to the children that live in their catchment area. Faith schools may also have a catchment area, usually based on the local parish, but catchment area priority is only usually given to children that meet the faith criteria.

You can apply for any schools you want but your catchment area school is the school where you will have the highest priority. It is important that you know what catchment area you live in and include that school (or schools) in your application.

Details of the catchment areas for faith schools are available direct from the schools.

If your child lives in another local authority you can still apply for Trafford schools, but you must apply via your own home local authority (where you pay your council tax).

Apply for a place

All applications are to be made through the Trafford application portal:

Apply for a school place

Compulsory school age

Most children start in reception class in the September after their fourth birthday. If your child was born between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2020, they are eligiible to start school from 1 September 2024.

The latest they may start is when they reach compulsory school age. A child reaches compulsory school age on the prescribed day following their fifth birthday (or on his or her fifth birthday if it falls on a prescribed day). The prescribed days are 31 December, 31 March and 31 August.

Key dates

  • 15 January 2024 - Closing date for applications
  • 16 April 2024 - National offer day where all applicants receive their offer of a place
  • May 2024 - Review of allocation of vacancies

Allocation of places

All available places will be offered in the initial allocation process on 16 April 2024. No places are held in reserve for late applicants. Any vacancies which arise after this are filled through the review process. You will have the option to join the waiting list for any school as part of the review process. 

Each school has a set number of places to allocate. If more people apply than the number of places available, it is oversubscribed. When this happens, the school uses the oversubscription criteria to decide who gets a place. This is the case for places in the initial allocation and also in the review process. You can find the oversubscription criteria for each school in their admission policies.

Your right to appeal

The only reason your application can be refused is if all of the available places are offered to applicants with a higher priority than your child. If this happens, you have the right to appeal to an independent appeal panel. Get more detailed information about primary school admission appeals.

Special educational needs

If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) there is a different process for starting primary school. You should receive information about this process from your early years setting in the autumn term. If you have not received this, you can contact Trafford’s EHC Assessment Team at

Admission arrangements 2024

Each year we consult on our admission arrangements and formally agree them. See our agreed admission arrangements

Admission arrangements 2025

We are currently consulting on our proposed admission arrangements for 2025. 

Contact us