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The rules for getting a place at primary school

These are the rules about applying for a place at a primary school.

Who decides the rules?

In community schools and voluntary controlled schools, it is Derbyshire County Council that decides the rules for getting places.

In voluntary aided Church of England, Catholic and Methodist schools, as well as foundation and academy schools the governors decide admission rules for their school.

The rules are known as ‘admissions criteria'

Under the 1996 Education Act, you have a legal right to express a preference for which school you want your child to attend. The county council and school governors have a general duty to meet this preference – as long as it does not “prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources” or the council or governors are required to take extra measures under the Key Stage 1 class size legislation.

Even if your child attends a nursery class at a school or co-located children's centre you must make a new application for a reception place. Children do not transfer automatically. Similarly, a new application must be made for transfer from infant to junior school.

Parents should be aware that some junior schools do not have sufficient places to admit all pupils from the local infant school.

Attendance at a particular nursery gives no priority for a place at an infant or primary school. Similarly, attendance at a particular infant school gives no priority for admission to a particular junior or primary school except in the Eckington area.

In law there is no automatic right to a place in any particular school.

We will offer you one place at the highest priority school possible.

Where we cannot offer a place at any of your chosen schools, your child will be allocated a place at the normal area school - if places are still available - or the next nearest school with places available.

You should bear in mind that school admissions for children starting school for the first time and for children transferring from infant schools to junior education are considered on an annual basis - so it is not possible to confirm that a place is available at any school before 16 April (or the next working day if the 16th falls on a weekend or bank holiday) in the year before your child will join.

Each year primary schools have to admit eligible pupils on request up to their published admission number (as shown in the list at the back of the guide) which takes account of the amount of accommodation available.

In the case of offers for places in school in neighbouring councils, they make the decision and we make the offer on their behalf.