Important information about Reception applications

Use the drop down menu to find frequently asked questions and more information about each topic: 

  • Make sure you have read the Legal Information page to check who can apply and what information to use.
  • Make sure you apply on time, applying late can seriously affect you chance of being offered your preferred school. If  you apply late see the Key date page to find out the deadline to submit your application and when you will hear the outcome.
  • If you wish your child to start school later than September 2024 see the Delaying a child's start to school page

Make sure you send your evidence to the correct place before the published deadlines. See the Key dates page for more information on deadlines. If you are handing evidence in to schools or customer service centres please make sure you get a receipt.

Looked after children

What evidence: Letter from social worker

Where to send it: Send to school admissions or attach to application

Previously looked after children

What evidence: Letter from social work and copy of the court order

Where to send it: Send to school admissions or attach to application

Medical evidence

What evidence: Strong supporting evidence from a health care professional evidence involved with the child. The professional must be independent of both the family and the school. The evidence must relate specifically to the school for which the application is being made and must clearly demonstrate why it is the only school that can meet the child's needs.

See the individual school's admissions policy for full details.

Where to send it: Send to school admissions or attach to application

Faith evidence

What evidence: Each faith school can have their own requirements for faith evidence. Check the school's admissions policy for full details.

Where to send it: Send to each school that you apply to

Address or other evidence

We may ask for additional evidence to confirm your child's details. We will contact you if you need to provide additional information.

What evidence: On request

Where to send it: Send to school admissions

Hearing the outcome

You will hear the outcome of your application on 16 April 2024. Below are some of the frequently asked questions during this time:

I am happy with my current offer and do not want to remain on waiting lists

You must let us know in writing that you want your child removed from the waiting lists for higher preference schools.

If we do not offer your highest preference, your child will automatically go on the waiting list for any school ranked higher than the school we did offer. For example, if you are allocated your third ranked preference you will be placed on a waiting list for your first and second preference schools. If a place becomes available at a later date, we will withdraw the current offer, even if you have accepted it, and allocate your child a place in the higher preference school. At any point you may only have one school offer.

The above process will happen automatically. If you do not want to go on the waiting lists for higher preference schools, you must let us know in writing or you could lose the place you were originally allocated at the lower ranked school.

Waiting list processes are run regularly by the local authority until September and if your child is not removed from the waiting list we will allocate a higher preference if one becomes available at any time therefore if you decide at a later date you wish to be removed from waiting lists you must let us know in writing.

Why would I be offered a place at a school which I did not apply for?

If we are unable to offer any of your school preferences named on your application form we will offer you the closest school which still has places available after all applications have been considered.

I am not happy with the school I have been offered, what can I do?

If you are not offered your highest preference, you are advised to accept the school place you have been offered to ensure you child has a place for September. Accepting the place offered will not affect your chance of getting a place at a school you prefer more, either through the waiting list process or through an appeal.

I want to change the order of my preferences

Lower preference applications are automatically closed. If you want to reapply for a school that you originally ranked as a lower preference, you must make a new application that will be processed as a late change.

What happens after I accept a school place?

The school will contact you during the summer term to invite you and your child to visit when they will introduce the class teachers, advise on how you can prepare your child leading up to the first day and the importance of regular attendance, and share information such as term dates, the school day, uniform requirements and so on.

Please note that, if your child is on the waiting list for any higher preference schools and we are able to offer them a place, we will automatically remove your child's previous offer even if you have accepted the place and bought the uniform. You need to tell us in writing if you wish to be removed from the waiting list for higher preference schools.

Waiting lists

How are waiting lists ranked?

Waiting lists are ranked in line with the school’s oversubscription criteria, not based on the date the application was received. Your child’s position on a waiting list can therefore change over time.

Your child will automatically be added to the waiting list of any school that you listed higher on your application than the school we were able to offer. So if you applied for 4 schools and we offered you your 3rd preference, your child will automatically go on the waiting list for your 1st and 2nd preference schools, but not your 4th preference.

After the second waiting list run we continue to offer school places out periodically until the end of August 2023. Any offer from waiting lists will made by Newcastle City Council in writing. We will automatically remove any lower preference school previously offered, even if you have accepted it, and offer a higher preference school if we can.

How long will my child remain on the waiting list?

In September waiting lists are handed over to individual schools who continue to offer places which become available. If you are placed on a waiting list you will remain on that waiting list until the end of December unless you either confirm in writing that you no longer wish to be on a waiting list or make a new application which doesn't include the school you are on the waiting list for.

After the end of December 2024 schools can start to  remove students from their waiting list, schools' admissions policies will include how often students are removed from a waiting list.

If your child starts at a school in September 2024 and a place becomes available in a higher preference school your place at your current school will not automatically be removed.

Please note we can't tell you where you child sits on a waiting list. Waiting lists are only re-ranked at the point a place becomes available.


If your child has been placed on a waiting list for a school you can appeal the decision for each school who refused a place. For more information see the Appeals for school places page 


Need more information?


Phone: 0191 278 7878  between 9am and 2.30pm