Starting primary or junior/middle school in September 2021
This information only applies if you want to apply for your child to start school for the first time (children born between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2017) or infant school children moving up to junior/middle school in September 2021 (children attending an infant school who were born between 1 September 2013 and 31 August 2014).
Please note – If your child attends a lower school in a neighbouring area and you live in Milton Keynes you can apply here for a middle school place.
It is VERY important that you read a guide for parents and carers (PDF, 26.3MB) which gives you all the information you need about the application and allocation process.
Research the schools that you are interested in applying to:
- Visit schools you are interested in, most have open days you can go to (check the schools website for details).
- Find your catchment area school (PDF, 26.3MB). There is no guarantee that your child will be offered a place at your local school. This will depend on how many applications are received for the places available.
- Understand the admission criteria for your preferred schools (read section E of the guide for parents and carers (PDF, 26.3MB) or visit the schools website for details). This information should give you an indication of how likely your child is to be offered a place, especially for those schools that are oversubscribed.
- Read the schools Ofsted reports, or visit school websites for information
- Check the school league tables
Choosing school preferences
Once you have done your research you are ready to decide your preferred schools. There is no right to a particular school place. You can state four preferences for schools on your application.
The school preferences you make are treated equally. This means that no matter where you place a school in your list of preferences, it will be treated the same way as all other applicants who also chose that school, regardless of where they have placed the school in their list.
The reason it is so important to list the schools in the order of preference is that if a place can be offered at more than one of your preferences, you will be offered the highest school possible from the list you provided.
Naming other schools will not affect your chance of being offered a place at a higher preference school. If there are no places available at any of your preferences, a place will be offered at the nearest school to your home address with a place still available.
Applying for a school place
Applications are made online via the Citizen Portal and need to be completed by midnight on 15 January 2021. Important things to remember when applying:
- We advise you to use all four preferences. Listing a school more than once or only listing one school will not increase your chances of receiving an offer
- Ensure all information has been completed correctly and no information missed. Any mistakes could affect your application
- You are advised to choose your catchment school as one of your preferences, should higher preferences not be available
- Ensure your school preferences include a school(s) that your child is most likely to meet the admission criteria
- If you apply after the closing date you are far less likely to get a place at one of your preferred schools
- If you are moving house during the application process, refer to Applying for a school place whilst moving home (PDF, 26.3MB)
- If your preference is to attend a school outside of Milton Keynes, you are still required to apply via Milton Keynes Council
- If you are unable to apply online, contact the Education Access team at email@example.com for a paper application form.
Applying after the closing date
The closing date for applications is 15 January 2021. Applying after this date means your preferences will be considered after all the preferences received on time have been allocated, reducing the possibility that you may get one of your preferences.
The online application process is not available after 15 January 2021. If your application is late you will need to complete a late application form and return it to the address stated on the form. The late application form will be available here to download from 16 January 2021.
Paper forms should be sent by recorded delivery. We are not responsible for forms lost in the post and are unable to acknowledge that we have received your form.
Processing of applications
Between January 2021 and April 2021 the council will be processing applications. Your child’s information is passed to all schools that you have applied to. Foundation schools, Catholic schools and academies will then rank all applicants in order of the oversubscription criteria to enable us to allocate places in readiness for national offer day on 16 April 2021.
If you have applied for a school place outside of Milton Keynes, we will pass your child’s details onto the relevant local authority that will then apply their procedures and advise us if a place can be offered.
Deferred entry and admission outside of chronological year group
Children normally start school in the September following their fourth birthday, although a child’s parents can defer the date their child is admitted to the school until later in the school year. The law states that all children have to be in full time education by the start of the term following their fifth birthday. This is the point when children reach statutory school age. If you wish to consider deferring entry for your child, please read the guidance here (PDF, 216KB)here.
The majority of children are usually educated in their chronological year group, although sometimes parents wish to consider admission outside of their child’s chronological year group. If this is something you are considering please read the information here (PDF, 216KB).
School place offer dates
For applications received by 15 January 2021, national offer day is 16 April 2021.
If you applied online, you can log onto the citizen portal to find out the school place that has been offered. An email will be sent to you confirming the details (please note, emails will be sent throughout the day). If you made a paper application you will be sent a letter by second class post.
If you applied late the offer days are:
Applications received between
16 January 2021 to 30 April 2021
28 May 2021
1 May 2021 to 31 May 2021
30 June 2021
1 June 2021 to 25 June 2021
16 July 2021
What happens next?
If you are happy with the school place offered you do not need to do anything else. The school you have been allocated is now responsible for sending joining instructions to you.
What are your options if you are not happy with your child’s allocation?
If a place is declined at a school of preference, your child’s name will automatically be placed on the waiting list for that school. If a place has not been offered at any of your preference schools, a place will be offered at the nearest school to your home address that had places available at the end of the process.
If you are not happy with the school place offer, find out how to appeal. If you are going to appeal, we advise you NOT to decline the place you have been offered, in case the appeal is not successful.
If you applied late, your application will automatically be added to the waiting list for the schools which declined to offer a place.
If you applied for a school in Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire or Northamptonshire and have not been offered your choice
You need to contact the relevant local authority to enquire about waiting lists and appeals.
Bedford Borough: firstname.lastname@example.org
Central Bedfordshire: email@example.com
Information relating to attending schools
Home to school transport
Parents and carers are responsible for ensuring their children attend school regularly and for arranging their safe arrival at school and journey home at the end of the day. See if your child is eligible for assistance in getting to and from school and how to apply.
Free school meals
Parents and carers who receive certain benefits may be eligible for either pupil premium funding or free school meals. Enquiries about free school meals should be made direct to individual schools.
Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN)
If you have any queries about your child’s special needs or wish to request a leaflet explaining the transfer process, please contact the SEN casework team.
Last Updated: 7 October 2020