Apply for a place at a primary, infant or junior school

The closing date for on-time applications to Primary schools was 15 January 2024. Please refer to the late applications webpage.

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.

More about researching and choosing schools

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.

Read our guidance on completing the application form and supporting documents.

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.

More about supplementary forms

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.

More about how applications are assessed

Step 5: We offer you a place

We will tell you the outcome of your application on 16 April 2024.

More about how and when we offer you a place

Step 6: You accept or decline the place

You must accept or decline the place by 30 April 2024.

More about how to accept or decline a place

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.

More about waiting lists and appeals

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

September 2024

January 2025

January 2025

Between 1 January 2020 and 31 March 2020

September 2024

April 2025

April 2025

Between 1 April 2020 and 31 August 2020

September 2024

April 2025

September 2025

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.

Further information

Subscribe to our newsletters for latest news and events.