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Starting Primary School. Key information and dates

Reception Open Day 2024

Applying for primary school for September 2024. Key Dates to be confirmed.

Applications for children due to start in start in reception in September 2024 are made in advance following a national timetable.  You can find all the information you need on our website.   

Our YouTube video explains the key application steps to help you make the best application for your child.   You can watch it at:

We also run some virtual advice sessions on the Leeds City Council social media pages.  These will be advertised on the council website and social media pages shortly

If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone 0113 222 4414 or by email:

Frequently asked questions

Who can apply

Children born between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2020 are due to start primary school in September 2024

If you live in Leeds, you apply online at

If you don’t live in Leeds, you must apply to your home local authority (whoever empties your bins) but you can still ask for Leeds schools. We will work with other local authorities if you ask for schools in their area.

How to apply

You can apply from 1 November 2023. The deadline to apply is 15 January 2024

Do I have to include 5 schools?

You should apply for 5 schools to give your child the best chance of getting a place at a school you want.  

Asking for only 1 school, or the same school 5 times, doesn’t increase your chances of being given a place at that school.  

You need to list the schools in your order of preference when you apply. Schools don’t know your preference order so this doesn’t have any impact on whether your child will be offered a place.  

On offer day if a place is available at more than one school on your list, we offer you the highest school on your list.  

How do I check if my address gives priority for any Leeds schools?

You can check this on our website

If you live in a school’s catchment area, we recommend you include it as one of your 5 preferences.   Not all schools have catchment areas.

Living in a school's catchment area does not guarantee your child a place at that school, it provides a higher priority for admission to that school.

Make sure you use the right address - It is a crime to use a false address in your application. Every year, we see applicants using fraudulent addresses such as the address of a childminder or relative or even renting a property close to a popular school for a short period of time. These are all fraudulent addresses.

We do checks and if an application is found to be fraudulent or intentionally misleading, we will withdraw the offer of a place, even if a child has started at a school.   Find out more at

How to do I know if my child has a reasonable chance of being offered a place?

Each school has its own set of rules which are used to decide which children to offer a place to. This is called their admissions policy.

You should read the admissions policy for each school you want to apply for. This will help you to check what chance your child has of getting a place. You can check the admission policy criteria at step 4 on our webpage 

To work out whether your child has a good chance of getting an offer at a school, you should

  • check which priority of the admission policy your child falls under and
  • check if children in that same priority got a place in previous years

How do I check if I need to provide extra information?

If you think your child should get a place due to a specific admission criteria, you may need to submit extra information to support your application by the closing date.

You may need to submit extra information if your child:

  • has spent time in care (fostered, adopted or looked after)
  • needs to show proof of religion
  • qualifies for a specific admission criteria

If I only provide 1 preference and you can’t offer my child a place at this school, will you allocate me a place at my local or closest school?

No. We can’t do this as we’re not allowed to reserve places.    Places will be given to those who ask for them, this means the local school’s places may be full because other children asked for a place there.   

My neighbour’s child qualified for a place last year, so won’t my child be guaranteed a place at the same school?

No child is guaranteed a place at any school. Your neighbour’s child may have met different admission criteria, or there may have been a different number of applications that year.

You should look at the school’s admission criteria to help you decide if there is a reasonable chance of your child being offered a place.

Do I need to apply if my child has a sibling?

Yes, you still need to apply. Not all schools provide a higher priority for siblings.   

You should read each school’s admissions policy to see if your application will meet their sibling criteria. Make sure you include sibling information on your application.

Do I need to apply if my child currently attends the nursery?

Yes, you still need to apply. Going to a school's nursery does not guarantee your child a place at that school. All places are offered according to the school’s admission policy criteria.

How do I find out more about a school?

Schools may hold open days or have virtual tours. Look at each school’s website for more information or contact them to ask questions.  

How will my child travel to school?

Only a small number of children are entitled to free travel assistance.  The fact that an older sibling had a free bus pass doesn’t mean your child will automatically be eligible for one.

Read the Leeds Children’s Services Transport Policy to see whether your child might qualify for travel support.

What happens if my circumstances change after I apply?

You need to tell us immediately if there are changes in your circumstances that affect your application before your child starts at the school.

You must let us know if:

  • you have moved home
  • your child's sibling has left or joined a school you've applied to
  • your child has left a feeder school

If you do not tell us about changes, we may withdraw your school offer. If you're unsure if a change affects your application, please contact us.

What happens if we are expecting to move home after the national closing date?

You should apply by the deadline date from your current address

You must tell us as soon as you move home and send us all the address evidence we ask for. You can send this as soon as you have it but no more than a month after you've moved. If you want us to amend the application before offer day, we must receive all your address evidence, and any new school preferences, by 28 February.

If you live outside the UK and are planning to move to Leeds soon, you can apply for a reception or junior school place in advance, but we need to use your international address until your child has arrived in Leeds.  You will need to provide us with address evidence when your child arrives in Leeds.

The specific address evidence we need to receive is set out on our website  

When you’ll find out

We offer primary school places on 16 April 2023 (offer day). If you applied through our online application portal we'll email you with your child's offer. We'll send the email during the working day.

If you applied in any other way, you'll receive an offer letter to your registered home address (a few days after offer day).

Get help with your application

For help with your application, contact us on:

Phone: 0113 222 4414  



I am thinking about home education for my child, where can I find out more?

Teaching your child at home, instead of sending them to school full time is called elective home education. If your child is of compulsory school age (between 5 and 16 years old) and you want to teach them at home, you should contact us for more information, please phone 0113 378 5028 or email

You can teach them yourself or employ a tutor to support you. You will be fully responsible for making sure that they receive a suitable, full-time education for their age, aptitude and skills and special educational needs (if any).   If you educate your child at home, you will not get any financial help from us.

We need to safeguard all children and to make sure they are getting a suitable education at home. To do this, we will arrange a home visit at least once a year to see you and your child and we will ask you to provide an education plan.

You can read more about home education here:


Useful numbers and contact details


Leeds City Council website:


Admissions team: For all admissions enquiries please contact 0113 222 4414 or email


Transport: For application forms, guidance notes, Leeds Children’s Transport policy, Under-16 Photocards and information about bus travel can be obtained at:

If you need information on your ‘Nearest Qualifying School’ or have other general school transport questions please contact the Leeds Education Transport Assessment Team on 0113 348 1122 or


Elective Home Education: For information on Elective Home Education please contact 0113 378 5028


School meals: For information and applying for free school meals please contact 0113 222 4404.


School uniforms and other expenses parents should contact the school their child will be attending for information about help with school uniforms.


Special Educational Needs Information: For children with an existing Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC) parents should contact their SEN casework officer phone 0113 378 5256. For general information, support and advice about SEN and disabilities contact the Leeds Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Service phone 0113 378 5020.

Family Information Service: For information on childcare please contact the Family Information Service by email or by phoning 0113 378 9700 or