Allocation of Places

Quite often there are not enough places at a school to satisfy every parent who wants to send their child there. This is what is meant when a school is oversubscribed. This is why you are encouraged to apply for a place at more than one school.

When schools are oversubscribed the admissions authority has to adopt criteria for deciding which children are to be offered the available places. The over-subscription criteria adopted by Trafford schools to determine admissions can be viewed in the 2022 policies and procedures for Trafford primary, infant and junior schools.

Priority at Trafford Community and Voluntary-Controlled schools is based on Catchment Areas.

If your child is allocated a place at a school other than your catchment area school, you must understand that children living within the catchment area of that school will continue to have priority in the allocation of places, and there can be no guarantee that places will be available in the future for any younger children in your family.

All children whose Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan names the school must be admitted.

Parents are advised, to avoid disappointment, to list their catchment area school, or schools, in their list of preferences. A place will not be automatically reserved for a child at the catchment area school and all the available places may be allocated to children who apply in the first round.

All available places are offered on 16 April. You are strongly advised not to decline the offer without first securing a place at another school. If you do accept the offer, you can still join a waiting list or lodge an appeal for another school, without prejudice. Vacancies are filled in a review process taking place after 30 April. No places are held in reserve for later applications.

After the initial allocation of places, a number of vacancies may arise due to changed circumstances. If you wish to join waiting lists for any schools, the letter which you receive in April will tell you how to request this. Any vacancies that arise will be allocated using the same criteria as used for the initial allocation.

Your home address

The criteria used by Trafford in determining admissions to Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools refer, in every instance, to the child’s home address. This means the address where the child normally and permanently lives, not the address of any child-carer, grandparent or other relative.

In the case of parents who are separated, the application will be considered from the address where the child normally and permanently lives, even though the child may regularly spend some time at another address. Where it is claimed that the residency is shared equally between two addresses, the applicant will be required to submit documentary evidence to support the claim.

If it is determined that the child does live at both residences equally, the following criteria will be applied:

  • Where the child lives equally at two residences in the catchment area, the child will be considered as living in the catchment area.
  • Where the child lives equally at two residences and one is outside the catchment area, the child will be considered as living outside the catchment area.
  • In the event that there are more applications than places available, within either category, the average of the distances of the two residences will be used for the purposes of determining the level of priority within each category.  

Where there are more applicants than can be accommodated at a school in the relevant category, the average of the distances of the two addresses from the school will be used for the purposes of determining priority for admission.

You must inform the Admissions Team immediately if you change your address, as this may change your child’s priority for a particular school. Failure to advise a proposed change of address may be considered as a misleading application.

It is always assumed that you will provide the correct factual information when you apply for a school place and Trafford Council reserves the right to check the information you have submitted and may request any relevant evidence to ensure that places are correctly allocated.

Trafford takes very seriously any attempt to gain an unfair advantage in the admissions process and will investigate possible fraudulent applications. If a place is offered at a school and then it is discovered that the offer was made on the basis of fraudulent or misleading information (for example, a false claim to be living at an address) the place offered will be withdrawn and may be offered to another child. It is important to note that a place may also be withdrawn even after your child has started school.

Pupils who move into/within Trafford 

If you change address during the offer year, you must provide proof of residency and effective proof of the disposal of your previous home. Trafford reserves the right to check the information and may request further evidence, at any time, to ensure that places are correctly allocated.

Applications for children who move b15 January, who have submitted an on time application, will be considered from the new address. However, where an on time application has not been submitted, applications will only be considered after all applications received by 15 January have been processed.

Applications for children who move after th15 January, will be considered in the review of allocation in May following the same criteria as used for the initial allocations.

However, you MUST inform the Admissions Team immediately if you change your address at any point before the start of school in September, as this may change your child’s priority for a particular school. Failure to report a change of address may be considered as a misleading application.

2021 Application round - outcomes on national offer day

Find out how many children were offered places, last category offered and furthest distance from school  for primary schools in Trafford on National Offer Day 2021.

2021 Admission Round - Outcomes on national offer day

Nursery places

Children are eligible for free early education starting from the term following their 3rd birthday. This means from 1 September, 1 January or 1 April after their third birthday. Children are entitled to receive free early education until the start of the term following their 5 birthday. Information on the location of nursery classes can be found in the alphabetical list of Trafford primary schools.

Applications for admission to a nursery class should be made to the Headteacher of the school who administers admissions, in accordance with the policy adopted by the Governing Body of the School.

Please note that attendance at a nursery class attached to a primary school does not guarantee your child a place in the reception class of the school.

Children of UK service personnel (UK armed forces) and crown servants

For families of service personnel with a confirmed posting to Trafford, or crown servants returning to live in Trafford from overseas, a school place will be allocated in advance of the family arriving into the area provided the application is accompanied by an official letter that declares a relocation date and a Unit postal address or quartering area address. In the event that a preferred school is oversubscribed, the advised address will be used when considering the application against the oversubscription criteria.

Next: Admissions procedures