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Applications and preferences if your child is due to start school in September 2021 are either open now, or will shortly be. It is essential that applications are received by the County Council by the cut-off date of 15 January 2021. If received after this date, the application will almost always be treated as a 'late application'. This means that the child will not be considered for any school until all the on-time applications have been placed. This can be hugely disadvantageous; the authorities will offer a place at the nearest school with places, which could be far from the child's home. If either you, or someone you know might unwittingly miss the cut-off date, please make sure they know.