Admissions to infant and primary schools

Applying to start infant and primary school for the first time.

Children born between 1 September 2014 and 31 August 2015 (inclusive) need to apply for a primary or infant school place for their children.

How to apply

From 25 October 2018 you can apply online for a primary or infant school place.

If you cannot apply online, you can request a paper application form from schools, nurseries and from the School Admissions Team.

The deadline for receipt of completed school applications is 15 January 2019

If your application is late, it will be processed later in the year, and you are far less likely to get a place at one of your preferred schools

List of schools

Details for every state funded Oxfordshire school can be found on our list of schools page.

On this page you can find each school’s location, contact details, catchment area (where it has one), admissions rules and five-year history of allocation data.

Key dates

  • 25 October 2018 - parents can start to apply 
  • 15 January 2019 - closing date for applications
  • 16 April 2019 – National Allocation Day: letters (sent by second class post) and emails sent detailing the offer of a school place
  • September 2019 – start of the school year

Allocation day

Everyone who applies online by 15 January 2019 will receive an email on 16 April 2019 advising which school their child has been offered a place at. All applicants will be sent a letter on 16 April 2019 with all relevant information.

Important things to remember when applying

  • apply on time, ie no later than 15 January 2019
  • it is the responsibility of parents/carers to apply for a school place
  • you can list three different schools in order of preference. We strongly advise you to use all three preferences
  • we advise you to enter your catchment (or designated area) school as one of your preferences
  • if your application is late, it will be processed later in the year, and you are far less likely to get a place at one of your preferred schools

Parents’ guide

Further information about the secondary school application process and general information about Oxfordshire primary and infant schools can be found in our Starting School guide (pdf format, 3MB).

School transport

Primary and infant school children are eligible for free home to school transport where they attend their nearest available school, if that school is over 2 miles from their home address. However, transport can also be provided where the distance to the nearest available school is less than 2 miles and the route is currently listed as dangerous by the Council. Please see the Travelling to school page for further details and the full transport policy.

Please note that where a new school is built, this can affect a child’s eligibility to school transport.

You should consider how your child will get to school if you apply for a place at a school that is further away than your nearest available school.

Catchment areas

Many, but not all, primary and infant schools have catchment (or designated) areas.

If there are more applications than places, priority is given to children in accordance with the school's published admission rules. We advise you to list your catchment school, if there is one for your address, as one of your preferences. 

Details of catchment areas/designated areas can be found for all schools (where they use them) on our list of schools page

Please note that applying for your catchment school does not guarantee that your child will be offered a place, or that they are eligible for free home to school transport. See transport paragraph above.

This search gives rough straight line distances from a post code to school. The Admissions Team measures more precisely, from the child’s home address to school, in determining home to school distances.

How places are allocated

Information on how places are allocated at all schools is available on the individual school pages

Junior school applications

Junior schools are those that take children aged 7-11. Please see the junior school page for further details.

Deferring an application

Parents of children born between 1 April 2015 and 31 August 2015 may request that their application be deferred for entry to Reception in September 2020.

Decisions on deferral requests are made by the Governors, or Board of Directors, for academies, free schools and church aided schools. The decision for community schools is made by the Admissions and Transport Services Manager, in liaison with headteachers.

If the request is agreed to, it does not guarantee a place for your child at your preferred school and adds no weight to the application. The application will be considered alongside all others and any available places will be allocated in accordance with the school’s published admissions rules.

If the request is refused, there is no right of appeal against the decision, and you should submit an application for infant or primary school no later than 15 January 2019 to start Reception during the 2019/20 academic year.

Full information on application deferrals can be found in the ‘Starting School’ online booklet, available from 25 October.

To request a deferred application complete a deferral request form. You should submit the request before 15 January 2019.

Help and advice

For advice and information about applying for a primary or infant school place, please contact our School Admissions Team.

Transferring schools

Visit the transferring schools page for information on in-year applications if you want to change your child's current school.