Primary school allocation

You’ll find out which school your child has been allocated a place at a few months after you apply.


When do I find out?

How do I find out?



You’ll get an email from the local authority. You can log into the admissions portal (where you applied) online too. 


Date will be confirmed when you apply

You’ll be notified in writing. 

Northern Ireland

Date will be confirmed when you apply

Log onto the online application. 

There will be information in the email, letter or online about the next steps but we’ve broken them down here too, so you know what to expect. 

I’m happy with the place my child has been allocated. What happens next?

If you’re happy with the place your child has been allocated, you’ll need to accept it. There will be information on how to do that in your confirmation letter or email — there may be an offer acceptance form to sign and return, or other paperwork to complete. 

I’m not happy with the place my child has been allocated. What can I do?

England and Wales

If you’re in England or Wales you’ve got several options open to you:

  1. Ask to go on the waiting list for your first-choice school

    Not everyone offered a place will accept it, and there is usually a fair amount of change between acceptances, appeals and offers. This means you may move up the waiting list quite quickly. Another option is to start your child at another school and swap at a later date, once a place at your first choice becomes available. This isn’t as unusual as you might think.
  2. Investigate other schools

    Find out which schools do have spaces and visit them. These may well not be in your catchment area and you might find that a school you hadn’t even considered previously is actually a good fit for your child.

3. Check out the school you have been offered

Don’t write it off as​‘not our first choice’. If you haven’t already, visit the school, do some research and meet the headteacher. Talk to them about your reservations and don’t be swayed by other people’s opinions and experiences. 

4. Appeal the decision

Your offer letter should tell you why admission was refused at the other schools you applied to and provide information on how to appeal, including the deadline. We explain more about this in the next section. 

Northern Ireland

If you’re in Northern Ireland and your child hasn’t got a place in any of the schools you applied to you will be given details of schools which still have places available and asked to choose your preferred schools from that list. This will happen on the same day that places are allocated. 

You’ll also be given information on how to appeal the decision.