Children born between 1 September 2018 and 31 August 2019 are able to start school in the school year beginning September 2023.
Legally, a child must start school no later than the beginning of the term following their fifth birthday (compulsory school age).
For example, if your child reaches compulsory school age on 31 March, they must start full-time education in the summer term that year.
You can apply for a school place in the autumn term after your child turns four. If you do not think your child is ready for school then, they can start part-way through the school year or part time. They must be in full-time education by the time they reach compulsory school age. You will need to apply in the autumn even if you want your child to start later in the school year.
All four year olds can attend a reception class (Year R) in the September of the school year in which they become five.
A child can either go to a primary school (Year R to Year 6) or an infant school (Year R to Year 2). Children placed at an infant school will need to transfer to a junior school for Year 3 or make an in-year transfer to a primary school.
Before you fill in this form
You won't be able to save this form to complete later, so please allow yourself 10-15 minutes to fill in the form. You will need to provide:
- Proof of address
All applications received after 23:59 on 15 January 2023 will be considered late applications and will not be processed until after the on-time applications.
Late applications are made, with limited exception, via a form on the Southampton City Council website.
Reception class start dates
Children born between:
- 1 September 2018 - 31 August 2019 need to start school in September 2023
- 1 September 2019 - 31 August 2020 need to start school in September 2024
- 1 September 2020 - 31 August 2021 need to start school in September 2025
- 1 September 2021 - 31 August 2022 need to start school in September 2026
For main round applications, the school place offered will be for a full time place starting from 1 September 2023. Find out more about how to apply for a school place.
If you are looking to change schools part-way through the academic year, you will need to apply for an in-year transfer.
You can now read information on the process for 'mainround' admission into Year 7 for the 2023/24 academic year:
- Coordinated Scheme for Entry Into Reception Year at Infant and Primary Schools (2023/24)
- SCC Infant/Primary Admissions Policy (2023/24)
- Supplementary Information Form (SIF) (2023/24)
Nearly all schools start children with some level of part-time education to help them adapt to the new environment. You have the right to request part-time education up to the point where the child is of compulsory school age. This should be negotiated with the head teacher of the allocated school, who will advise what they are able to offer.
You can also defer your child's entry into reception class up to when your child reaches compulsory school age, but not beyond the start of the summer term of reception year.
Educating your child outside their normal year group
This can fall into two types: deceleration (holding back a year) and acceleration (starting a year early). Please read our guidance on education outside of normal age groups before making a decision to educate your child in this way.
Linked infant and junior schools
Many infant and junior schools are linked and work collaboratively. While a place at a linked junior school is not guaranteed, it is a priority used in the admissions policies when allocating places due to oversubscription. Find out more about linked infant and junior schools.
Other useful information
- Infant school admissions policies
- Primary school admissions policies
- Infant and primary school performance data
- Infant and primary school catchment map
- How places were offered at oversubscribed infant and primary schools for 2022 entry
- How places were offered at oversubscribed infant and primary schools - last three years
- Ofsted reports | Changes to inspections from September 2019