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Schools and education

Starting school or moving up to junior school from September (primary phase entry)

September entry

This covers those children born between September and August annually. Primary school admissions are for those pupils starting at primary, infant, first or junior schools. This is known as primary phase entry in admissions terminology. 

You will see a range of school types when looking at primary school education for your child. Each type of school covers a different age range: 

  • Primary schools: catering for pupils from Reception to Year 6, or ages 4 to 11. These schools are found all over the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM). After Year 6, pupils tend to move from primary schools to secondary schools.
  • Infant schools: catering for pupils from Reception to Year 2, or ages 4 to 7. These schools are found in Maidenhead. After Year 2, pupils tend to move from infant schools to junior schools.
  • Junior schools: catering for pupils from Year 3 to Year 6, or ages 7 to 11. These schools are found in Maidenhead. After Year 6, pupils tend to move from junior schools to secondary schools.
  • First schools: catering for pupils from Reception to Year 4, or ages 4 to 9. These schools are found in Windsor. After Year 4, pupils tend to move from first schools to middle schools.

Children in England can take up a full-time school place in a Reception class in the September following their fourth birthday, but there is no requirement for them to be in full-time education until the start of the school term following their fifth birthday.

When your child should start Reception Date of birth When to apply
September 2024 1 September 2019 - 31 August 2020 10 November 2023
September 2025 1 September 2020 - 31 August 2021 10 November 2024
September 2026 1 September 2021 - 31 August 2022 10 November 2025
September 2027 1 September 2022 - 31 August 2023 10 November 2026
September 2028 1 September 2023 - 31 August 2024 10 November 2027


An application must still be made at the correct time even if you wish to delay or defer your child's entry. You must still apply for reception class even if your child already attends the nursery at your preferred primary school. Full details are published in the  Admission into Primary School guide.

Applications are open to submissions between November and January each year, please review the key dates below for this year's specifics.

Process Date
Application opening date 10 November 2023
Application closing date 15 January 2024
Extended deadline for exceptional circumstances 31 January 2024
National Offer Day 16 April 2024
Processing of late applications begins 17 April 2024
Deadline to respond to a school place offer 3 May 2024
Deadline to submit a late application to be considered in the second round of allocations 3 May 2024
Offers to late applicants and allocations from waiting lists for all applicants 22 May 2024


Applications for a school place must be made through your home authority, this is the council where you live and to which you pay council tax. Residents can apply for schools outside of RBWM using this live application process. For example, parents living in RBWM near the river in Maidenhead may choose to apply to schools in Maidenhead, Buckinghamshire, or Slough through RBWM, without having to make a separate application to each local authority.  Similarly, residents near Shurlock Row may wish to apply to schools in Wokingham or Bracknell Forest areas, as well as those in RBWM, all through the same application form.  

RBWM holds two main ‘rounds’ of admissions offers. The majority of offers will be made on National Offer Day, for those applications submitted on time. The second round of offers, including late applications or late changes of preference, are made from Tuesday 22 May 2024. 

After the deadline for the second round, applications will then be processed in the order they are received. Please read the Admission into Primary School guide before applying. 

Please note: 

  • Parents must include preferences for all the places available on the application form. This is to ensure every child receives an offer of a school place in their local area. In the case of phases where less than six options exist, you should include all preferences available to you. For example, if you are applying for a junior school, you must include all three junior schools in your application, as only three junior schools exist in the local authority.  
  • Where a parent does not include all available preferences, they will be added for you in the nearest appropriate distance order.

Please access the Citizen Portal to apply.