When do you find out about primary school places for 2024? How to find out what school your child got into and what to do if you're not happy with the choice

Parents will soon find out which primary school has offered their child a place for September 2024

three primary school children running down a corridor excitedly at school
(Image credit: Future/Getty)

Parents with a child set to start school in September are wondering when you find out about primary school places for 2024, so we've shared everything there is to know.

Between last September (when local councils released the dates for when to apply for primary school places) and mid-January this year, parents and carers with a child who is due to start primary school went through the process of visiting local schools, scanning Ofsted reports and eligibility requirements, before eventually settling on three suitable choices for their child.

It's not always an easy decision, and even if there is a stand-out favourite school, you're not always guaranteed to get in - meaning some parents have to go through appealing a school place. If you're wondering what you can do about this, or you need to check when you'll know what school your child has got into, we've shared the key information.

When do you find out about primary school places for 2024?

Local councils will confirm primary school places on Tuesday April 16, 2024. You will be notified either via a letter sent to your home address or an email, which will state whether your child has been offered a place at any of the schools you applied for last year. Exactly what time the offers will be released varies from area to area.

After you receive the decision, you have two choices: either accept the given offer or appeal the decision. If you want to accept the school you've been given, details on the letter/email will outline how to do this.

It's important to complete the offer by confirming it before the deadline, otherwise your child's primary school place could be given to someone else on the waiting list. However, the deadline is some weeks away so you have plenty of time to weigh up the options.

If you want to reject the offer and go through an appeal, this is a different process.

A teacher talking to a class of primary school children

(Image credit: Getty Images)

What happens if you don’t get the school choice you wanted?

If your child is refused a place at one of the schools you applied for, you can launch an appeal against the decision. Your local council's website should explain how to do this, and it will likely also be explained on the rejection letter you receive from your preferred school.

The deadline for launching the appeal is 20 days from the date marked on the offer letter.

Although you can appeal the decision and express a preference about the school your child goes to, it's important to note that you can't pick and choose the one they attend.

The local council has to provide your child a place at another school if they don't get one at any of the schools you've applied for. This is usually the nearest school with places still available, and means that you will likely get very little choice in the decision.

If you do appeal, you will then need to submit information and evidence to support your appeal against the rejection. A panel at your appeal hearing will also hear your reasons against the rejection - and they will also be able to share with you the reasons they did not give your child a place at the school.

What if you missed the deadline for primary school applications?

If you miss the deadline for applications, your child is less likely to be offered a place at one of your chosen schools, as places will be limited.

You have to apply for a primary school place a year before your child is old enough to start school, even if you want them to start part-way through the year. Applications for 2024 opened in September 2023 and closed on January 15.

In some councils, if you have missed the deadline, you can still submit your application until the end of March, though it will be considered a late application. You will need to contact your local council to confirm their rules surrounding late applications.

You can also still apply for a school place once the school year has started. Once again, you'll have to contact your local council to find out more about in-year applications as they can tell you which schools still have places and how to apply for them.

Once your child has been offered a place at the school, they'll likely start at the beginning of the next term rather than mid-way through.

If you've got a child starting primary school in September, you might want to check out these first-day-of-school traditions and these first-day-of-school quotes. We've also asked parents for their best back-to-school buys too.

Stephanie Lowe
Family Editor

Stephanie Lowe is Family Editor at GoodToKnow covering all things parenting, pregnancy and more. She has over 13 years' experience as a digital journalist with a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to all things family and lifestyle. Stephanie lives in Kent with her husband and son, Ted. Just keeping on top of school emails/fund raisers/non-uniform days/packed lunches is her second full time job.