You should list up to three schools or academies in your child's application and reason for your preferences (optional). Put the schools or academies in preference order, this means your first preference at number one.
Choosing only one school or academy, or repeating the name of the school or academy two or three times will not improve your chances of being offered a place at your first preference.
If you choose to list just one preference, we will still process your application. However, if you do so and that school is oversubscribed, we will make you an offer of a school place at the nearest school to your child's home address with places available. This school may be further away from your home address than your preferred school.
If you decide to choose a school which is not the nearest school to your child's home address this may have implications for transport to that school. See our Home to secondary school transport page for details of the home to school transport policy.
To assist with the transition arrangements for children, information from your child's educational record may be shared with the council. This may include but is not limited to data on behaviour, attendance, SEND, your child's attitude to learning, child's social skills, emotional intelligence and self-awareness, links between the family and school, school moves, involvement from external agencies such as One Point, Educational Psychology, Behaviour support. This data is shared in line with the Education (Pupil Information) (England) regulations 2005. Should you require more information regarding the information sharing, please contact the Data Protection Officer for your child's current school setting.
Where applications for infant / primary and junior school places are received by the deadline of 15 January 2024, and you subsequently wish to change the order of your preferences, you can do so up to 5 March 2024. However, if you wish to change or add schools to your initial application after the deadline of 15 January 2024, this new preference will be processed as a late application.
We will treat your first, second and third preferences as separate applications and work out if your child qualifies for a place. If your child qualifies for more than one school or academy you have listed, we will offer a place at your highest preference. If you cannot be offered one of your preferences, you will be offered a place at the nearest suitable school or academy to the child's home address with places available.
The definition of a 'suitable school / academy' for our admissions purposes is a maintained school / academy that offers an efficient, full-time education suited to the age, ability, aptitude and any special educational needs of the child. If you would like more information about our schools, please contact them directly. You can find contact details for schools and academies within County Durham on our Find a school or college page.
Places are allocated by strictly applying the admission criteria for the school. The oversubscription criteria (used to rank applicants) for all community and voluntary controlled schools can be found on our How primary school places are offered page.
To request the oversubscription criteria for voluntary aided (faith) schools and or an academy that has its own school admissions oversubscription criteria (Browney Academy, New Seaham Academy, Sacriston Academy or Ouston Primary School) please contact the school or academy directly.