Primary admission guidance

Starting school is one of the most important events in any child's life.

At this time, parents are naturally concerned and want to do the best for their child, but many feel uncertain about what to do. Our aim is to make it as easy as possible for parents to understand the procedures involved. Most parents prefer their children to go to the local school and a place can nearly always be found for them without difficulty. Sometimes, however, parents prefer a school outside their own area but may find that a place cannot be offered. Inevitably therefore, some parents will be disappointed.

Information for parents on the primary admissions process

Our admissions booklet contains all the information you need to understand the arrangements for the admission of children to Herefordshire primary schools and how places are allocated.

It explains the rules and procedures the council has to follow to ensure that the system works as fairly as possible.

It is particularly important when more parents apply for a particular school than there are places available.

In the admissions booklet, you will find information about:

  • How admission arrangements work, the admissions timetable for the 2024/25 school year and the available options
  • Details of all maintained schools in the county, including the number of children that can be admitted to each primary school in the 2024/25 school year
  • Information about Church of England, Roman Catholic, foundation and academy schools and what you have to do to apply to them

Important notes when applying for a reception class place 2024 

Staff in the council's children's well-being directorate offer a friendly and efficient service to parents and also provide an additional important notes leaflet to highlight the points parents need to bear in mind when applying for a primary school place.

If you need any further assistance, please contact Herefordshire Council's school admissions team using the contact details below.

Further information before you apply

Please download and read the following documents before making an application for a primary school place:

Apply for a primary school place for September 2024 from 11 September 2023

Exceptional medical, social or compassionate grounds

A request for a place on these grounds must be supported by a medical certificate or other appropriate information. This should name the preferred school and set out the reasons why this school is the only school suitable that can meet your child’s needs and the difficulties likely to occur if your child has to attend another school. If you do not submit documentation your application will not be considered under these criteria. Applications on such grounds will be considered by an appointed advisory panel.

If you wish to apply under these criteria and the school you’re applying for is a voluntary aided, foundation or academy school or in another local authority, you’ll need to check if this criteria is included in the admissions criteria for that particular school.

Children arriving from overseas

In most cases, children arriving from overseas have the right to attend schools in England. School admission authorities must not refuse to admit a child on the basis of their nationality or immigration status nor remove them from roll on this basis. It is the responsibility of parents to check that their children have a right, under their visa entry conditions, to study at a school.

For overseas nationals entering the UK who wish to apply for a state-funded school, parents need to check they have a right of abode or the conditions of their visas otherwise permit them to access a state-funded school.

Full information is available on GOV.UK in the government's guidance on school applications for foreign national children and children resident outside England.

National guidance

You can also find more information on the following national sites: