Parents urged to apply on time for primary places or risk missing out

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Families with children who are due to start primary school in September 2015 are being reminded they have until January 15 to apply for their preferred schools.

Previous years have shown that those who apply late have a 30 per cent less chance of getting a preferred school place, which can be upsetting for both parents and children.

To avoid this, Leeds City Council is urging families to submit their preferences by Thursday January 15.

The quickest and easiest way to apply is online at www.leeds.gov.uk/admissions. People who apply online will receive a confirmation email that their preferences have been received and will receive their offer by email on April 16 2015.

Parents can also apply using a paper form called the ‘common preference form’ which is also available at www.leeds.gov.uk/admissions. Parents using the paper form will have their offer letter sent out by second class post on the offer day so can expect to receive it a few days later.

Coun Judith Blake, executive board member responsible for children and families, said: “In the last school year, over 400 applications for primary school places were made after the deadline. It’s far more difficult to allocate places in these circumstances and families who do this risk not being able to send their child to their preferred school.

“Unfortunately every year there are disappointed parents and children who we are unable to offer a place to at one of their preferred schools because they apply after the deadline. We want to give everyone a fair opportunity by encouraging everyone to apply on time.

“It’s essential that preferences are made by the deadline on January 15 and that up to five schools are listed - including your nearest school - to ensure every child and young person has the best chance of attending their preferred school.”

Last year 434 applications for reception places were made late. Of those who applied late 158 were unable to be allocated any of their preferences because all of the places had already been filled. Only 65 per cent of late applicants received one of their preferences compared to 94 per cent of those who applied on time.

Figures for admissions in September 2014 show the percentage of families offered their first preference was 85 per cent while the percentage offered one of their three preferences was 94 per cent.

For more information about admissions visit www.leeds.gov.uk/admissions or call the admissions team on 0113 2224414. Advice is also available from the local authority choice adviser, who can answer questions on applying for primary school places, by calling 0113 3950596.