Reception applications

Apply to Reception at infant and primary school for September 2024.

Choosing your infant or primary school

Make an application to primary school

Parents of infant school children born between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2020 need to apply for an infant or primary school place for September 2024.

Visit the transferring or moving school page if you want to move your child to another school now (in-year transfers).

Before you complete an application, we recommend visiting the school you want your child to attend. Contact the school to arrange an appointment.

You can also:

  • talk to other parents
  • look at your catchment area
  • attend open days.

Consider schools in your catchment area

Many, but not all, primary and infant schools have catchment areas.

Where your child has a catchment area school, they are more likely to get a place, but it isn't guaranteed. We follow the school's published admission rules to decide priority. We advise that you list your catchment school as one of your preferences if there is one for your address. 

You can find details of catchment areas for schools that use them on our list of schools page.


Attending their catchment school does not guarantee that your child will get free home to school transport.

Think about how your child will get to school

Free home-to-school transport

We provide free home-to-school transport in limited circumstances as detailed in our policy.

Primary and infant school children are eligible for free home-to-school transport, where:

  • they attend their nearest available school (not always their catchment school) and 
  • the school is more than two miles from their home address for five to seven-year-olds or three miles for children from age eight to sixteen.

We may provide transport where the distance to the nearest available school is less than two miles, and the council has listed the route as dangerous. Visit the travelling to school page for further details and the full transport policy.

Nearest available school

When assessing free transport, we do not measure the distance to the nearest school in the same way as the catchment school. So, the nearest school may not be your child's catchment school.

Think how your child will get to school if you apply to a school that's further than your nearest available school.

When a new school is built, this can affect a child’s eligibility for school transport.

To find out where your nearest school is, contact us. 

List of (existing) schools

Find details for every existing state-funded Oxfordshire school on our list of schools page. You can find each school's:

  • location
  • contact details
  • catchment area (where it has one)
  • admissions rules
  • history of allocation data.

How places were allocated in previous years

The catchment area is one of the ways that places at schools are decided. There are other factors, such as whether a child has a brother or sister at the school or whether they have special educational needs. Religious or faith schools could use the religion of your child or family as a deciding factor.

Find the admission rules for all state-funded secondary schools, and how places were allocated on the individual school pages.

Delaying entry to infant and primary school

Parents of summer-born children (April to August) may request to delay their application for entry to an infant and primary school. Learn how to delay reception application.

Independent school

If your child is to attend an independent school, you must tell us the school name in writing as soon as possible. 

Home educating

If you are going to educate your child at home, let us know in writing as soon as possible. Contact the Elective Home Education Team for further information about home education..

Leaving Oxfordshire

If you are leaving the area and no longer require a school place in Oxfordshire, contact us as soon as possible.

Where to get more information

For advice and information about applying for a primary or infant school place, contact us (School Admissions Team).

Find more detailed information about the application process for primary and infant school in our Starting school booklet (pdf format, 1.1 MB).