- Step 1: Research and choose schools to apply for
- Step 2: Complete the application form
- Step 3: Complete any supplementary forms
- Step 4: Applications are assessed
- Step 5: We offer you a place
- Step 6: You accept or decline the place
- Step 7: If you don't get a place at your preferred school
Starting primary, infant or junior school in September 2024
If your child does not have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and if they:
- were born between 1 September 2019 and 31 August 2020 or
- are leaving Year 2 of an infant school in July 2024
then you should follow the steps on this page. See also when can my child start school?
If your child is already in primary education and needs to change schools outside the normal admissions period (for example, if you are moving house), you should apply for an in-year admission instead.
If your child has an EHCP, you must follow the procedure for applying for a school place for a child with an EHCP.
Summary of the application process
There are seven steps in the application process:
Step 1: Research and choose schools to apply for
You research and choose the schools that you want to apply for. You can apply for up to four schools. You should check if your child will be eligible for travel assistance to your chosen schools. If your child is not eligible for travel assistance it will be your responsibility as a parent to get your child to and from school.
You should try to do this as early as possible.
Step 2: Complete the application
- You complete the application and return it to the local authority where you live.
- You submit supporting documents with your application if you are applying under exceptional social or medical criteria.
Step 3: Complete any supplementary forms
Some schools also ask for a supplementary form in addition to the application form. Check our directory of Surrey schools to find out if a school asks for a supplementary form and download the form.
Where a supplementary form is needed, you must complete and return this to the address stated on the form, by the closing date.
Step 4: Applications are assessed
Applications are ranked according to each school's criteria. We then determine the best offer that can be made based on the order of preferences on your application.
Step 5: We offer you a place
We will tell you the outcome of your application on 16 April 2024.
Step 6: You accept or decline the place
You must accept or decline the place by 30 April 2024.
Step 7: If you don't get a place at your preferred school
If you are unhappy with the school place that has been offered, you can appeal. For Surrey schools you must do this by the dates shown in the appeals timetable or the dates set out against each school in our directory of Surrey schools.
You can also add your child's name to the waiting list for your preferred school.
When can my child start school?
In Surrey your child can start school at the beginning of the school year following their fourth birthday. By law they must be in full time education by the start of the school term following their fifth birthday.
Child's birth date
Can start school from
Can defer entry until
Must legally be in full time education by
Between 1 September 2019 and 31 December 2019
Between 1 January 2020 and 31 March 2020
Between 1 April 2020 and 31 August 2020
You may choose for your child to start school full or part time or to defer entry until your child reaches the legal age but you cannot defer entry beyond the beginning of the final term of the academic year for which you have been offered a place. This means that if your child was born between 1 April 2020 and 31 August 2020, they must take up their school place by April 2025. If they do not, then the place will be withdrawn and you will have to apply for an in-year place for the following year (but see also our information on admission of children outside their normal age group).
If you wish to defer taking up your child's school place until later in the year or if you wish them to start part time, you must still apply by the deadline, and then discuss this with the school's headteacher once you have been offered a place.