Apply online for primary and secondary school places

Families with children born between 1 September 2011 and 31 August 2012 are urged to visit the primary school admissions pages on the county council’s website to find out how to apply for places for next year.

Applications for primary or junior schools also need to be made for children currently attending an infant school who were born between 1 September 2008 and 31 August 2009.

Families with children due to move up to secondary school next September should visit the secondary school admissions pages

Stating three preferences

When applying parents are strongly advised to state three preferences and include their catchment school as one of these – even if it is their third preference school.

This does not in any way affect families’ chances of securing a place at their first-preference school.

Postal applications

The council still accepts postal applications but recommends families apply online where possible, as this helps speed up the applications process. It also means families receive an automatic response confirming their application has been received and can be quickly notified if further information is needed.

Those who apply online will also receive an email on allocation day informing them of the outcome of their application, thus avoiding a delay in waiting for a letter to arrive in the post.

Postal application forms, as well as information booklets are available from all Oxfordshire schools and nurseries, and from reception at County Hall in Oxford. Reference copies of information booklets are also available from all Oxfordshire libraries.

The deadline for primary and junior school applications is 15 January 2016. The deadline for secondary school applications is 2 November 2015.

Apply on time

The council's Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families Melinda Tilley said: “It’s important that parents ensure they apply for a school place for their child on time, as this increases the chances we will be able to offer them a place at a school listed among their preferences.

“Understandably, many parents have strong views about which school they would like their child to attend, but we would always urge families to state three preferences on their application form, and include their catchment school as one of these – even if it is their third preference.

"This does not in any way reduce the chances of securing a place at your first-preference school. All the information about how to apply can be found on our website.”

The council was able to offer first-preference places for almost 90 per cent of children starting primary school in Oxfordshire this year. More than 90 per cent of secondary school applicants were offered a place at their first-preference school.

School transport

Applicants should also read the new Home to School Transport policy, which states that free transport is now only provided to the nearest school if the distance from home to school is over two miles for children under eight or three miles for those aged eight-plus. This may not necessarily be the catchment school.