Application process

Applying for a reception place for September 2023

Community schools and some academies have a catchment area, where resident children are given priority over other children.

Catchment Area look-up facility is available, where you can enter your home address to identify the catchment area in which you live.

The details of the catchment areas for all community, voluntary controlled schools and academies are defined in Trafford Street Lists.

Faith schools will also have a catchment area, although this will usually be based on parishes, and priority will be given to children that meet the faith criteria.

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

Applicants for Voluntary-Aided schools, that wish to be considered under the faith criteria, should also complete a Supplementary Information Form and provide a copy of the child’s baptismal certificate to the relevant school. Supplementary forms are available from the relevant school.

A few schools share an area with a neighbouring community school and children living in such a “shared” area are considered, for admissions purposes, to live within the catchment area for both schools.

Applications must be submitted to School Admissions by 15 January at the latest. Applications or changes submitted after the closing deadline will only be considered after all other applications have been processed.

Decisions regarding the allocation of places will be announced on 16 April.

Once your application has been submitted, you will receive confirmation by email. If you do not receive email confirmation, your application has not been submitted.

If more than one application is received for a child, Trafford will consider the Application Form received last and any earlier application will not be valid.

If you are not a Trafford resident you can still apply for a place in a Trafford school, but you must make your application to your own home authority. Your home authority is the local authority where you live and pay your council tax.

Deferred entry

Where parents wish, they can defer the date their child is admitted to the allocated school until later in the school year but not beyond the point at which they reach compulsory school age and not beyond the beginning of the final term of the school year for which the application was made. Where the parents wish, children may attend part-time until later in the school year but not beyond the point at which they reach compulsory school age.

Admission of summer born children

In a very few circumstances, a parent may feel that their summer born child is not ready to begin school before their fifth birthday. In this case, where a child is born between 1 April and 31 August a parent can request that their child’s admission to school is delayed, so that the child is admitted into the reception class, out of their normal age group, at the point at which other children in their age range are beginning Year 1.

Parents will be required to submit an on time application and to approach all the preferred schools to discuss their child’s circumstances, by 15 January. 

Each school will complete a Delayed Entry Request Form with the parent.

Each school will consider the information provided and complete the Decision Outcome Section of the Delayed Entry Request Form.

A Decision Panel will be constituted. The Panel will include at least 3 headteachers; this will be the headteachers from all the preferred schools and any other nominated headteachers and 2 officers from Trafford’s Primary Team.

The Panel will consider the decision outcomes from the relevant schools and a final decision will be agreed. All schools participating in the Scheme will abide by the final decision of the Panel.

Parents will be advised of the outcome of their request by 16 April. Where the request is agreed, the application for the normal age group will be withdrawn and no place will be offered.

If the request is refused, the parent will receive the offer of a school place for admission to the normal age group on 16 April.

The parent must decide whether to accept the offered place, and may choose to defer admission until later in the reception year, or to refuse it and make an in year application for admission to year one in the September following the child’s fifth birthday.

Where a request is agreed, this is an agreement in principle and does not reserve a place or guarantee that the child will be allocated a place at a preferred school in the next admission round. Therefore, where a parent’s request is agreed, they must make a new application as part of the main admissions round the following year.

That application will be considered, alongside all the other applications received for admission that year, according to the published oversubscription criteria.

Where a place cannot be allocated at any of the preferred schools, a place will be allocated at the nearest participating school with a vacancy. Again, the parent must decide whether to accept the offered place, and may choose to make an in year application for admission to year one at a preferred school.

Parents who are refused a place at a school for admission to the normal age group, have the right of appeal to an independent appeal panel. They do not have a right of appeal if they have been offered a place that is not in the year group they would like. However, they may make a complaint.

In the case of schools participating in the Scheme they should complain through Trafford’s complaints procedure. For all other schools or academies, parents should make a complaint under the school’s complaints procedure.

All Trafford schools participate in the Trafford’s Scheme. Although it is the case that one admission authority cannot be required to honour a decision made by another admission authority, all participating schools agree to abide by the decision of the Panel and will consider the delayed entry application if required, in accordance with the published oversubscription criteria, for admission in the next admission round.

Next: Allocation of places