Somerset County Council

Apply to start school


You may have received the letter containing your child’s UID number and noticed a sentence stating that the closing date for applications to be made has been given as 16 April 2016. Please note this is incorrect, the closing date is 15 January 2016 as stated elsewhere in the letter and on the accompanying flyer. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

The information on this page applies to children who live in Somerset and are due to start school for the first time or are transferring to a junior or middle school. 

Please refer to the Apply to Transfer School page for information about transferring to a secondary or upper school.

If you live outside of Somerset and wish to apply for a Somerset school you will need to apply through your home local authority. If you live in Somerset and wish to apply for a place in a school in another local authority area, you will need to apply through Somerset as it is your home authority. For further information and contact details for neighbouring local authorities please see the information in the Primary Admissions Guide. 

If you are unsure if your child lives in Somerset, you can check whether we are your local authority for school admissions here.

Children usually start school for the first time in the September following their fourth birthday. 

If your child is due to start school for the first time, you can:

Please see our helpful guide to making an online application on the right hand side of this page.

If you apply online you will receive an email with the outcome of your application on  16 April 2016. If you apply using a paper application form your outcome will be sent out second class post on 16 April 2016. Outcomes will not be given out over the phone or in person at the Council offices.

If we know about your child, and he/she is eligible to start school in September 2016, we will have sent you a letter and a flyer explaining how to make your application. On your letter is a UID (Unique Identification Number) which you use to pre-populate your child's details on the online form. Don't worry if you have not received a letter, just follow the instructions below:

  • Download a copy of the primary admissions guide from the right hand side of the page. The guide has lots of information on all you need to know about applying for your child's school place, then; 

  • Apply for a place online pressing the No UID button when prompted. 

Please ensure you fully complete the applicant details section of the application form including supplying a phone number. School Transport use a texting service to notify parents of changes to transport arrangements and require accurate and up to date details.

If you have recently moved address please let us know by emailing or writing to us as it is very important we have the correct address details for your child.

Please note, it is the parent/carer's responsibility to make an on-time school place application. If you are making an application after the closing date, it will be classed as late and you will need to complete a paper application form which you can download from this page or contact Somerset Direct if you require one to be posted to you.

For applications received by 6 May 2016 we will aim to send outcomes on 10 June 2016.

Applications received after 6 May 2016 will be processed in strict date order of receipt from 10 June 2016.

Every school has a legal Published Admission Number (PAN) applicable to the year of entry, which is the maximum number of places available in the year group concerned. The Published Admission Number is set to maximise parental preference within the resources available and to ensure that there are sufficient school places across the local area.

The Published Admission Numbers for September 2016 are shown in the school/academy Information table in pages 42 to 59 of the Primary Admissions Guide.

If a school is under-subscribed, places can be offered to all applicants. If a school is over-subscribed, the over-subscription criteria for that school is applied to determine which children can be offered places. Different over-subscription criteria will apply, depending on the type of school: 

  • For Community and Voluntary Controlled (VC) schools, the Local Authority over-subscription criteria will apply.

  • For Voluntary Aided, Academies, Free Schools and Foundation schools, the Governing Body or Academy Trust will apply their own published over-subscription criteria.  

Unfortunately, at some schools, there will not be enough places for all the children whose parents would like them to go there. When all places have been allocated up to the 'Published Admission Number', the Admission Authority may refuse any further requests and offer the legal right of appeal. Please visit the page Appeal Against a School Admissions Decision for further information.

You can find more information on the over-subscription criteria for all Somerset schools in the Primary Admissions Guide. 

We would strongly advise that you carefully consider the following when making your school place application. 

  • It is strongly advised you put three school preferences on your form especially if you live in an urban area. You are not given a higher priority for any school by stating it as your only preference and may be more likely to be allocated a school you have not chosen. This could also be some distance from your home address.  
  • Places are allocated using the 'Equal Preference with Ranking' method. This means all preferences are considered equally and a place is offered at the highest preference possible.  
  • If you wish to be considered for your catchment school you must include it as one of your preferences. You can check your school catchment area on a map on the Check Catchment School page. The map is a representation of the catchment areas and cannot be relied upon for purchasing a property. If you are considering purchasing a property or if you live near a school border then please contact us.  
  • There are no guarantees that siblings will be allocated the same school when the school is over-subscribed so you are advised to put other preferences, especially if you live outside the catchment area.  
  • Carefully read the over-subscription criteria for the schools you have chosen. For all VC and Community schools this can be found on page 23 of the Primary Admissions Booklet. For all other schools the criteria are included against each school in the table in pages
    22 - 59 of the Primary Admissions Booklet.  
  • If your preferred school(s) requires a Supplementary Information Form (SIF) or further proof (for example, proof of regular church attendance), it is essential that this is sent in with your application form if you would like your child to be considered under the appropriate criterion. All SIFs can be found on the school website. For VC schools only the religious proof SIF can be downloaded from the right hand side of this page.  
  • If you have recently moved address or are due to move please provide proof of your new address.  
  • You will be responsible for transporting your child to any school you name as a preference unless you have a statutory entitlement or qualify for discretionary transport under exceptional circumstances. 

If you wish to apply for your child to move to another school (for example, from an infant to a primary school), please see the page In Year School Admissions for advice on in year admissions which are school moves outside of the usual school transfer cycle.

We welcome information regarding potentially fraudulent and/or intentionally misleading school place applications. If preferred, this information can be submitted anonymously.


Contact: Admissions and Entitlements Team
Address: County Hall, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 4DY
Contact no: 0300 123 2224
Fax: 01823 356113
Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 8:30am to 5pm, Friday: 8:30am to 4:30pm, Saturday and Sunday closed.

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