About primary school places
Children start school in Bury in the September after their 4th birthday.
Parents of children below compulsory school age may defer their child's start in reception class until later in the school year. However, a reception class place must be taken by the start of the summer term, otherwise you will need to reapply for a place in year one.
You need to discuss your child's need with the special education needs (SEN) team of your home Local Authority, but places cannot be refused because of your child's special educational needs.
Offers are emailed or posted in the April before your child starts school.
Your other preferences will be considered and you will be offered a place if one is available. You will be considered for any places that become available due to withdrawals.
If we are unable to offer you a place at any of your preferred schools, you will be offered a place at the nearest school with a vacancy.
You will be considered for 'topping-up' if places become available and will automatically be added to the waiting list. For more information about school appeals please visit appeal against a school place decision.
If it has not been possible to offer a place at your highest ranked preference, you will be considered for 'topping-up' if any places become available due to withdrawals. Topping up will be carried out in accordance with the published criteria.
School performance tables are available on GOV.UK or you can look at school inspection reports by Ofsted.
Criteria for offering primary school places and catchment areas
The criteria for offering school places will differ depending on the type of school. For community schools and non-faith academies the criteria is generally as detailed below:
- Children with Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan will be given a place at the school named on their EHCP.
- When schools are oversubscribed, priority for allocation of places will be as follows:
- children in public care and previously looked after children
- children who will have an older sibling in the school in September. For this purpose, a sibling may be a full or step sibling living at the same address, at the time of admission
- other children.
- If applications are received after the closing date, they will be dealt with as late applications and will not be considered until after applications that were submitted on time have been processed.
Full details of the criteria applied by individual schools can be found within the Admissions Guide.
Community primary schools do not have catchment areas. However, it is important to check on parish boundaries for faith schools. Please see the admissions policies guide for more information.
It is not compulsory to state one of your closest schools as a preference. However, if it is not possible to offer you one of your preferences, you may find that your nearest schools have been filled with children who did express them as preferences and the only schools with vacancies may not be close to your home.
Yes, you can. You should include the preference on your application. Each Local Authority (LA) will then forward your requests to the other relevant LAs. Do not include private or independent schools.
Any alteration can be made to your application until the deadline day only. If you want to change after this time, they may be treated as late preferences.
Your new address can be taken into account only if you exchange contracts on a property or if you have a long term rental agreement by the closing date.
No. You must apply in the same way as other parents. We cannot give priority to children in nursery classes of a primary school.
Yes. You must apply in the same way as everyone else.
Last year, 89 percent were offered their highest ranked preference school and a further two percent were offered an alternative preference.
Historical information for the previous five intake years are available online.
No. It is important to name three schools and to put them in ranking order.
Where only one preference is given, consideration can only be given to that school. Do not waste preferences by stating the same school more than once.
Legislation states that infant class sizes can be no more than 30.