Last updated: 05-09-2023. From web page: School admissions policies.

Admission Policy for Community and Voluntary Controlled Infant and Primary Schools for 2023/24

Admission policy


Southampton City Council is the admission authority for all Community and Voluntary Controlled Infant and Primary schools in the city. As required in the School Admissions Code the authority will consider all on-time preferences at the same time for September 2023 admissions.

Parents may express up to three (3) preferences, listing them in the order in which they would accept them. All preferences will be considered and where more than one school could be offered, the parents will be offered a place for their child at the higher ranked of the schools on their application.

The Infant and Primary Schools covered by this policy are listed below, with their Published Admission Number (PAN). This is the number of children the school will admit in September 2023.

School Year R PAN
Bitterne C of E (VC) Primary School 60
Bitterne Park Primary School 90
Fairisle Infant and Nursery School 90
Mansel Park Primary School 60
Mason Moor Primary School 30
Newlands Primary School 60
Oakwood Primary School 60
Redbridge Primary School 30
Shirley Warren LC Primary and Nursery School 60
Sinclair Primary and Nursery School 30
St Mary’s CofE (VC) Primary School 60
Valentine Primary School 90

*At the time of publication, the schools listed above were using the SCC Admissions Policy and appropriate PAN. Please note that this list is subject to change. The Council website has the most up to date information on school status (academisation etc.) and amendments to PANs that may have taken place in accordance with admissions legislation or school organisation decisions since publication.

Children with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) that name a school

Children with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) that name a school must be admitted to that school under the Education Act 1996 and with regard to the SEND Code of Practice. These children will be admitted to the named school, even if it is full, and are therefore outside the normal admission arrangements. As required by the Admissions Code, these children will count as part of the Published Admission Number (PAN) for the school.

Oversubscription criteria


Applications submitted by 15 January 2023 will be dealt with first. If the number of applications submitted by 15 January 2023 is greater than the PAN for a school, admissions to the school will be decided according to the following priorities:

  1. Children who are currently, or have previously been in care (Looked After and Previously Looked After Children) as defined by the Admissions Code 2021
  2. Children subject to a Child Protection Plan or deemed to be vulnerable by a senior officer with responsibility for safeguarding in Southampton City Council
  3. Children who have a sibling on the roll of the school that will continue to attend that school for the following year
  4. Children whose parents have satisfied the Local Authority that their child has a significant medical or psychological condition which means they must attend the preferred school rather than any other
  5. Children who qualify for the Service Premium, as the child of a member of the Armed Forces
  6. Children who live within the school’s designated catchment area
  7. Children whose parents are applying for their child to attend a Church of England voluntary controlled school on denominational grounds
  8. Children who live closest to the school

Should a school be oversubscribed from within any of the criteria, then distance, as defined by this policy, will be used to prioritise applications within these categories. Should there be two or more identical distances requiring prioritisation, this will be done by casting lots. Lots will be drawn by the Divisional Head of Education and Learning at Southampton City Council.

Late applications

The closing date for applications is 15 January 2023. Applications received after that date will be late applications and will dealt with after all on time applicants have been offered a school place. If a school has places available after admitting all on-time applications, late applications will be considered in accordance with the priorities set out above.

Waiting lists

If a place cannot be offered at a higher ranked Community or Voluntary Controlled school, unsuccessful applicants will automatically be placed on the waiting list for the school. If places become available, children on the waiting list will automatically be offered them according to the priorities set out above and any previous offer of a school place will be withdrawn.

The length of time on the waiting list cannot be taken into account. Unsuccessful late applications will be treated in the same way as unsuccessful on time applications and placed on the waiting list according to the priorities set out above. This means that waiting lists will be re-ranked after every new expression of preference.

Waiting lists will be held until 31 July 2024. Any parent wishing to remain on the waiting lists after this date will need to make a new in-year application to the school.

Unplaced children

Any child who remains unplaced after their application has been processed, because they could not be offered a place at any school requested, will be offered a place at their catchment school if there is one and if places are still available. If there are no places available at their catchment school, they will be allocated a place at the nearest school to their home address with places available.

In-year admission

Admissions mid-year for any year group will be dealt with in accordance with this policy.


Previously/Looked After Child

Looked After Children are Children who are in the care of local authorities as defined by Section 22 of the Children Act 1989. In relation to school admissions legislation a ‘looked after child’ is a child in public care at the time of application to a school. A Previously Looked After Child, as defined by the Admissions Code, is one who was: looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a child arrangements order or special guardianship order), including those children who appear (to the admission authority) to have been in state care outside of England and ceased to be in state care as a result of being adopted.


This includes children living as siblings in the same family unit. In the case of applications for places at infant schools a sibling at the linked junior school will count as a sibling at the infant school. A sibling is defined as a brother or sister including half, step, foster or adoptive brother or sister, living within the same family unit at the same address.

Catchment area

A “designated catchment area” for a school is the area set out in the definitive catchment area map for each school. This map is held by Southampton City Council, Civic Centre, Southampton SO14 7LY. A schedule of addresses, to be read in conjunction with the map, is also kept by the Council. Parents wishing to know if their address is in a particular catchment area can contact the Admissions Team.

Service Premium

A child will qualify for the Service Premium if their circumstances satisfy any of the following:

  • one of their parents is serving in the regular armed forces (including pupils with a parent who is on full commitment as part of the full time reserve)
  • one of their parents died whilst serving in the armed forces and the pupil receives a pension under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme or the War Pensions Scheme##

Proof of this criteria may be provided in a letter from the service parent’s commanding officer, confirming employment, or evidence of the receipt of a service pension.

Denominational grounds

Evidence of parent/carer’s regular church attendance at services held bythe Church of England or other Christian fellowship must be certified by the vicar or someone else of authority in the church, using the Local Authority’s Supplementary Information Form (SIF) which can be found on the council website, alongside this policy.

‘Regular’ is defined as ‘attending worship services at a Church of England church or local ecumenical partnership at least twice a month for the previous two years before the deadline for admissions set by Southampton City Council.’

‘Christian fellowship’ is defined as ‘a worshipping fellowship who confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the Bible and therefore seek to fulfil together their common calling to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; who are members or participant observers of the World Council of Churches of the World Evangelical Alliance.’


Distances are measured based on the shortest walking distance using public roads and footpaths. Distances are measured from home to school for all children. These are calculated using a computerised mapping system that uses data supplied by Ordnance Survey. Distances are measured from the point designated in the system as the home address to the point designated in the system as the mid-point of the nearest open pedestrian gate to the school, using public roads and footpaths considered safe for children to traverse.

Entry into Year R

Reception classes

The offer made to parents for reception class on the initial offer date is of a full-time place from the start of term after 1 September 2023. Schools normally wish to stagger entry into school from that date and arrange for some initial part time attendance to ensure a smooth transition from pre-school / home into school.

Flexibilities exist for those parents who do not feel that their child is ready to start school in the September following their fourth birthday. It is possible for them to access:

  • Part-time admission to the allocated school from the September following their child’s fourth birthday. This should be discussed with the headteacher of the allocated school.
  • Defer their child’s entry until later in the school year but not beyond the point at which they reach Compulsory School Age, and not beyond the beginning of the final term of the school year. This should be discussed with the headteacher of the allocated school.
  • Defer their child’s entry until the September following their fifth birthday. Parents must make an in-year application and the pupil would start in Year 1.

Parents of summer-born children, that is children born between 1 April and 31 August, may, in addition, choose to send their child to school in the September following their 5th birthday and may request that their child is admitted out of their normal age group to Reception Year rather than Year 1. Any parent wishing to request for their summer-born child to start school outside their normal age group should submit this via the online form available on the Southampton City Council website.

For all requests it is vital to understand that at each transition (starting reception, moving from infant to junior, primary to secondary, secondary to college) the decision whether to maintain the placement in a younger or older year group must be made by the admission authority for the school. As such, there is no guarantee that it will continue throughout the child’s education and a new parental request must be made before each transition. As a general rule, requests should only be made once per phase transfer, unless there has been a significant change in circumstances.

One admission authority cannot be required to honour a decision made by another admission authority on education out of normal age group