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Here we can help with your application including how and when to apply and what you need to know. Please take some time to read this carefully.

In Dudley children start primary school the September after their 4th birthday. The law states all children must start school by the beginning of the term after their 5th birthday.  

For all school admissions we recommend that you apply online, this means you will receive your decision via email after 2pm on the offer date.  

The Admissions Process

Before you apply

  • You must apply for a school place through your home Local Authority (i.e. the authority that bill you for your council tax).
  • The application must be made from the child's legal address. However, if you are moving or intending to move during the process please see Address Information below.
  • You are strongly advised to make more than one preference. Failure to do so could have repercussions for the distance your child will have to travel to school. Also you will not gain an advantage by only listing one.
  • You are able to submit up to five preferences on your application.
  • You can apply for any school, including those outside the Dudley Authority. However, be realistic about the schools you apply for.
  • There are no 'catchment' areas within Dudley. However, places are offered according to the admissions criteria detailed within the booklet 'A parents' guide to primary admissions'.
  • If you are applying for an Academy, Free, Trust or Voluntary Aided school you may need to provide extra information or submit a supplementary information form (SIF).
  • It is your responsibility to provide any supportive information e.g baptism certificate or medical evidence. The Local Authority will not seek to obtain this information on your behalf.
  • We consider all applications at the same time. Priority is not given to those who put the school as a first preference, or on a 'first come first served basis'.
  • Late applications will be considered after all those received on time.

Note: Attendance at a nursery attached to a primary school will not guarantee admission to that particular primary school or give any advantage to the pupil in the admissions process.

When to apply

Child's date of birth - 1 September 2017 – 31 August 2018

  • When to apply - 1 October 2021 – 15 January 2022
  • For September 2022

Child's date of birth - 1 September 2018 – 31 August 2019

  • When to apply - 1 October 2022 – 15 January 2023
  • For September 2023

Child's date of birth - 1 September 2019 - 31 August 2020

  • When to apply - 1 October 2023 - 15 January 2024
  • For September 2024

Important dates for September 2022 Reception Intake

  • Online application available - 1 October 2021
  • Return date for paper application forms - 15 January 2022 by 5pm*
  • Return date for online applications - 15 January 2022 by midnight*
  • Decision emails to parents - 19 April 2022 after 2pm
  • Decision letters to parents - 19 April 2022 by 2nd class post
  • Appeals to be heard - June/July 2022

* Failure to return your form/apply by this date may affect the outcome of your application.

Attendance at a nursery attached to a primary school will not guarantee admission to that particular primary school or give any advantage to the pupil in the admissions process.

Admission arrangements

School admission arrangements set out how schools will admit pupils.

The arrangements include the published admission number (the maximum number of pupils intended to be admitted to the relevant year group), the over-subscription criteria and information on the waiting list for the school.

Admission Arrangements

Accepting/Declining Offers and Appeals

Accepting your offer

If you have been offered a Dudley School you are not required to accept this. The school offered will contact you at a later date. If you have been offered a school outside Dudley Authority, please contact the relevant Authority.

Refusing your offer

We recommend you seriously consider the implications of your child being without a school place. If you have obtained a school elsewhere, please advise the admissions service. All refusals must be in writing.

If you refuse the school offered, please also consider the fact that this school may not be available at a later stage. Accepting this place will not affect any waiting list positions or be prejudicial to any appeal you may lodge.

Waiting lists

Please note that we do not hold all waiting lists for all Dudley Schools. If you are a Dudley resident the letter the Admissions Service sends will advise you on what you need to do. If you reside outside the Dudley Local authority please contact the Admissions Service.

You can request to go onto a waiting list for any school that you have been refused. Children on the waiting list will be ranked in accordance with the published admission criteria and the list will operate until 31 August.  After which time you will need to contact the Admissions Service to reapply.  Inclusion on a school's waiting list does not mean that a place will eventually become available.  A child's position on a waiting list is not static and is subject to change during the school year.

If you would like to know your child's position on the waiting list, you will need to contact the admission service via Dudley Council Plus after 5th May.


If your child has been refused a place in your preferred school(s) this will be because the school(s) received more applications than available places and other children had a higher priority in accordance with the admissions criteria.  Your refusal was made on the grounds of Infant Class Size Legislation, with the exception of those few schools listed in your letter.

You have the right to appeal against this decision; we advise you read and understand the grounds of Infant Class Size appeals before submitting your appeal.  Please refer to the statistics below, given the limited nature of the possible grounds on which an appeal may be allowed under Infant Class Size.

Statistics for Appeals:
Number of Appeals - Infant Class

2021 - heard 41 - refused all
2020 - heard 60 - refused all
2019 - heard 33 - refused all

Number of Appeals - Non-infant Class

2021 - heard 10 - refused 8, allowed 2
2020 - heard 15 - refused 14, allowed 1
2019 - heard 3 - refused all

Appeals will be heard in accordance with the following timetable:

  • Deadline for lodging appeals - 24 May 2022
  • Appeals lodged by the above date will be heard between - June/July 2022
  • Appeals received after the deadline may not be heard until - Mid September 2022 onwards
  • If you have been refused a school due to infant class size (this information will be in your letter), please ensure you read the "Appeal Guide" below.

If your refusal relates to a school outside the Dudley Borough, you are advised to contact the relevant Local Authority for further information.

Further Information

Delaying or Deferring your child starting school

If you wish to 'delay' your child's entry to school by an entire year, you will need to read the Policy relating to the education of children outside of their chronological year group and contact School Admissions for further details.

You can request to 'defer' the date your child is admitted until later in the school year, but not beyond the point at which they reach compulsory school age and not beyond the beginning of the final term of the school year for which the application was made.  Your child may attend part-time until later in the school year, but not beyond the point at which they reach compulsory school age.

Any reception place offered following an application made for September 2022 will be withdrawn if the child does not take up that place by the first day of the summer term 2023.  The parent of a child whose fifth birthday falls during the summer term who wishes to defer their child's admission until the beginning of the following academic year (when the child will have begun to be compulsory school age) will therefore need to make a separate in-year application for a place in Year 1 at the school.

Address information

Information relating to moving house during the application process, and children living at more than one address.

Children Living at more than one address

  • Where a child lives with each of their parents at separate addresses, the address used for allocating a school place will be the one where the child spends (i.e. sleeps) the majority of the school week.
  • If the child spends exactly equal amounts of time at the two addresses you will be asked to nominate which address you wish to be the child's main address for school admission purposes and may need to provide evidence of this. Should you fail to do so by the published closing date we have the right to nominate the address that is considered appropriate. Please refer to the 'Parents Guide to Primary Admission' for further information.
  • In the case of disputes between parents, there is an expectation that parents will resolve these amongst themselves and make a single application which both parents are in agreement with.

Moving house when applying for Primary School

  • If you are moving into Dudley or moving within the borough, you must provide proof of your new address by 31 March 2022. If the admissions service does not receive sufficient proof by this date, your original address must be used for admission purposes.
  • If the move is related to a purchase, proof should be in the form of a letter from your solicitor confirming the exchange of contracts and completion date. For a rental, proof should be a copy of a rental agreement for at least six months, signed by both the tenant and the landlord.
  • If your move involves you returning to a property that you already own, you will need to provide appropriate written evidence of the date that you will resume living in the property and that you intend to remain living there for the foreseeable future. If you have rented this property out please provide evidence that you have given your tenants notice to leave.

Please note that unless the written evidence provided proves, to the satisfaction of the Authority, that you have moved or will move to the address that you have indicated, we will not be able to consider your application from your new address.

Supplementary Information Forms

There are a number of schools that require Supplementary Information Forms (SIF's)

Supplementary Information Forms

If you are experiencing difficulties or prefer to make a paper application please contact us.  Please be aware that if you make a paper application, your decision will be posted 2nd class on the offer date.

For more information and advice on Schools or Admissions please visit GOV.UK, Ofsted or the Department for Education.