I am buying a house in a different area and I didn't have the exchange of contracts by the time the application process closed. My DD has just turned 4 and I wanted to apply for a reception space in a school that is on the next street from where we are buying. This School is very popular and is always oversubscribed. It offers 70 spaces. There's another school a bit further away that offers 30 spaces but as it's CoE, it has its own criteria. It's also usually oversubscribed.
I wanted my DD to go to either but I'm gutted that I missed the deadline for applications. Now my application will go with the late applications and the appeals. Can I be hopeful at all? Are all kids in reception automatically granted a place in year 1? Should I instead keep her a year in nursery and apply for year 1 next year? If I miss the late/appeals deadline, my application would go with the in-year ones, which I assume only give spaces if the school is undersubscribed, is that right? All this process is really confusing
Put in a late application - there can be a fairly big amount of movement in the lists from March to Sept with families moving in and out of area. Yes, all the kids in reception automatically move up to year 1 so I think you may as well put in the application for Reception - if you're not on the list, you definitely won't get a place!
Do a late application. You probably won't get a place on the first allocation but you might well be near the top of the waiting list and may get a place for September. Accept any other place you are offered though. If you refuse it then the Local Authority's obligations to your dd are significantly reduced. The class size limits apply until Y3 so there's no point applying at any other time.
I would check carefully what the admission arrangements are because many LAs have a period of grace for late applications due to a house move. You may still be in time to do that and be considered with all the on-time applications. Applying for a year 1 place in 12 months time is of no value to you as you will have to contend with full classes and the infant class size regulations. If you are too late then you are best to apply as a late application and put down your two preferences as first and second preference. You also need to think about putting down a third preference if at all possible. Different schools have very different rates of turnover on admissions. If you are around the corner from the preferred school then there is a fair chance that you will be high up on the waiting list and potentially get a place.
Thank you so much for your replies and advice. We are on a chain and the contracts have not been exchanged but I do hope it happens soon. I'll send the application once we get the papers and hope for the best!