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Primary schools in Kent

Primary education covers infants from 4 - 7 years, juniors from 7 - 11 years and primary which is both i.e. 4 to 11 years. You may find that your local school is any of these. Your child reaches the Government recognised compulsory age to start school at the beginning of term after their 5th birthday. Every parent has the right to educate their child at home.
Local Admission Procedures
You can obtain more information about schools in your area by telephoning the schools you are interested in; looking at the prospectus or visiting their websites. It should also be possible to arrange an appointment to look around the schools. More information is available from the following links: Performance tables at the DCSF website and Ofsted Reports at the OfSTED website.

A good place to start finding out about getting your child into primary education is to download and read the 'Admission to primary school' booklet. You should be given a copy of this by your child's school, or it can be viewed online. A print copy can be obtained by contacting the Primary Admissions Team.

The Admission to Primary School booklet contains:

  • advice to parents about deciding which school they feel is most suitable for their child
  • specific information about each school and admissions criteria for schools that are their own admissions authorities (i.e., those schools which are Voluntary Aided or Foundation)
  • information about the admissions process and the admissions criteria for all Kent's Community schools

Read the admissions criteria and process very carefully to help you predict your best chance of achieving your first preference school.

Applying online Use the following link to find out more: Kent Online Admissions

General Primary Admissions To apply for a primary school place at your local school register an 'interest in future admissions' at a local school to ensure that you receive an application form at the appropriate time. This does not give your child priority for a place because your child's name has been down longer than any other child.

If you have recently moved to the area or planning to do so, and you would like to change your child's school, you should telephone schools in your area to establish if they have a vacancy in your child's year group. If there are no vacancies contact the Admission Team.

For application forms for primary schools in Kent contact the KCC Education Office on 01732 525013, or the school directly if it is a aided/foundation school.

The decision as to when 4 year olds will be admitted is made by the school and reviewed annually. You will need to contact the Headteacher to find out when exactly your child can be admitted. Legally you can keep your child out of education until the term after they are 5, so you are therefore not obliged to accept the offer of early entry. However, the place may be offered to another child. Some schools operate September only entry so you will need to check this as well.

When your child reaches 3 they are eligible for free early years education. Sessions in reception classes of schools count towards this, so if your child attends preschool in the morning and reception classes at school in the afternoon you will have to pay for the preschool sessions, as the reception class is counted as your free early years education.

Some frequently asked questions

Where can I obtain information about local schools? Telephone schools to obtain a prospectus, and look at their website if they have one. Arrange an appointment to look around the school.
How do I apply for a place at my local primary school? When you have decided which school you want, inform the school and you will be sent an application form at the appropriate time.
When do I have to apply? There are different closing dates depending on whether the school is community/voluntary controlled or an aided/foundation school, so check these in advance. Community/voluntary controlled schools are controlled by the LA and aided/foundation schools are controlled by the Governing Body of that school. If you miss the closing date you will be in the same position as families who move into the area, which is that the LA will try to help you but cannot guarantee you a place in your preferred school.
I want to change my child's school/I am moving into the area. What should I do? Telephone schools in your area to establish if they have any spaces. If not, contact the Admission Team This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Do Kent schools have catchment areas?
Catchment areas do not exist but schools may indicate whether places have been offered in the past to children who live near you.
When will I hear what school my child has been offered? The LA will post offers to parents who apply in writing; otherwise places will be offered by email - the date will be published on the KCC web site..
If I do not receive an offer at one of my preferred schools, how can I appeal against this decision? All appeals for a community school must be lodged in writing with the Local Education Office explaining your individual circumstances and why you are appealing for a particular school. Appeals for Foundation/Aided schools should be addressed to the Clerk of Governors at the school itself, highlighting your reasons for appeal. Foundation/Aided schools are their own Admissions authorities in their own right and the Local Authority have no jurisdiction over their intake. Parents must appeal by the date cited on the web site for any school that they have named on their Reception Common Application Form.
How are places allocated? Places are allocated in the following order for Community and Voluntary Controlled Schools

  • looked after children
  • parental wishes
  • attendance at a linked infant school (if appropriate)
  • denominational preference
  • current family association
  • health reasons
  • nearness of children's homes and ease of access to schools

Aided and foundation schools have their own admissions criteria which are published in their prospectus. To get some idea if your child is likely to be admitted it might be helpful to ask the Headteacher if the school was over-subscribed last year, whether all local children got a place, and if not, how many did not get a place.

If your preferred school is an infant school you should check with the headteacher what happens at junior age.

The following is an exert from the KCC website "On 16 March 2004, Kent County Council announced a change to the pattern of the school year following extensive consultation with teachers, parents, school governors, unions and neighbouring authorities. At the start of this consultation there was a desire from schools for more even and predictable teaching blocks throughout the year and a widespread recognition that the annual changes to the date of Easter create the most disruption to regular school terms. Taking this on board and in keeping with neighbouring authorities, KCC plans to introduce a school holiday in the first two full weeks in April each year, while Good Friday and Easter Monday will become school holidays when they do not fall within that two weeks. This new calendar will start in all community, community special and voluntary controlled schools from September 2005. Governing bodies of foundation and voluntary aided schools are responsible for setting their own term dates however. However it is hoped that all schools will continue to work with this common calendar. KCC has also drawn up indicative calendars for future academic years based on the same pattern. These are subject to formal consultation with schools in due course. Headteachers believe that standardising the school year will mean it is easier to plan and develop the curriculum in six blocks of a more equal length."


You will get help with transport if your child fulfills certain criteria, check with the Education Office on the above number regarding your individual circumstances.

Kent provides free nursery schools, or classes within Primary Schools, for children under the age of 5. There are often long waiting lists for these classes and places are not guaranteed so it is best to get your child's name on the list as soon as you are able to do so.

Contact details

Kent County Council, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone , Kent , ME14 1XQ
Telephone: 01622 671411
Fax: 01622 694091

INDEPENDENT EDUCATION You may decide that you want your child to be educated privately in which case you need to look at independent schools - see our links for more information.

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