What happens if you submit your child’s primary school application late – see what your council says

Most North East parents have until this weekend to apply for a primary school place for their children.

If your child’s date of birth is between September 1, 2018, and August 31, 2019, they will be starting Reception class at primary or first school in September 2023. People are being urged to submit their applications before the closing date.

But what happens if you don’t apply before the deadline? The answer is, you might not get a place at your preferred school. Below, we have rounded up details from each local authority in the North East and what they say about late applications.

Read More: Primary school applications deadline in your area and how to apply for a September 2023 place

Newcastle

Newcastle City Council says it is the responsibility of parents or carers to ensure that applications are returned directly to the local authority by the closing date. Its website states: “Any application for the normal admissions round received after the deadline will be deemed ‘late’. Late applications will be dealt with after all on-time applications have been processed and places allocated.

“Late applicants will not be made an offer on national offer day. They will be offered as part of the second waiting list process.

“Only in exceptional limited circumstances will late applications be considered at the same time as applications submitted on time. These include:

  • The illness/death of a close relative such that making an application during the application period was not possible
  • A move into Newcastle from outside the area after the deadline date. Confirmation of the new address must be provided (in the form of evidence of completion of purchase or a tenancy agreement)
  • Where there has been a delay in the LA receiving the application due to a LA administrative error

“Documentary evidence should be provided with the application to verify the circumstances which caused the application to be late. If evidence cannot be provided, the application will not be considered as an exception.

“The LA will determine whether the late application is considered as an exception. 30 January 2023 is the deadline for asking for a late application for a reception place to be considered as an on-time exception.”

North Tyneside

North Tyneside Council says: “If you don’t apply before the closing date, there is a risk that all available places in your preferred school will be taken and your child will be offered a place at another school. If you do apply after the closing date you must tell us why your application is late.”

The authority further adds: “We do not keep places for late applicants who already have an older child or children attending the preferred school.”

Northumberland

Northumberland County Council also says it is important to ensure your application is received by the deadline. It says: “If you don’t make an on-time application, there is a risk that all available places in your preferred school will be taken and your child will be offered a place at an alternative school. You must tell us why your application is late. We will consider your reasons and if they are exceptional we may consider your application along with those received on time.”

South Tyneside

South Tyneside Council says it is the responsibility of parents to ensure their application is received on time. It adds: “”If you return your application after 4.30pm on Monday 16th January 2023 your application will be considered as ‘LATE’ unless exceptional circumstances exist. You should be aware that this will reduce your chance of gaining a place at the school you want.

“Parents returning their application after the deadline date must give a reason why their application is ‘LATE’. The Local Authority will consider your reasons and if they are exceptional will consider your application along with those received on time.

“Applications received before 28th February 2023 for a good reason or in exceptional circumstances may be considered. Examples of what may be considered as a good reason or exceptional circumstances include a family who has just moved into the area (proof of ownership or tenancy of a South Tyneside property will be required in this case), other cases may be considered and each case will be decided on its own merits.

“Applications, which are not deemed to be exceptional, will not be processed until after 17th April 2023. However, parents will receive an offer of a school place on 17th April 2023 at their catchment area school if a vacancy exists or at the nearest appropriate school measured by shortest distance in a straight line. All applications received by the closing date will be considered before any applications received after this closing date unless exceptional circumstances apply.”

Gateshead

Gateshead Council advises parents to ensure their application is submitted before the closing date. Its admission documents say: “Application forms received after the closing date will be considered as ‘late’ unless exceptional circumstances apply.

“Examples of what will be considered as a valid reason include: a family that has just moved into the area or is returning from abroad (proof of ownership or tenancy of a Gateshead property will be required in these cases). Other circumstances will be considered and each case decided on its own merits based on the evidence provided.”

Sunderland

Sunderland City Council says on its website: “If your application is received after 15 January 2023 it will be considered as ‘late’ and this may reduce your chance of getting a place at your first choice school. Late applications (received between 16 January 2023 and 3 March 2023) will only be considered after those that are received on time, unless there is a genuine reason.

“Examples of genuine reasons would be a family moving into the area or returning from abroad; a lone parent that has been ill for some time or has been dealing with the death of a close relative; a change of circumstances for a ‘looked after’ or ‘cared for’ child. Please note that the genuine reason must be explained on the application if you would like your application to be considered as such.

“If your application is received or an existing application is changed after 3 March 2023, it will be considered after all others received. Most parents who were refused a place last year were as a result of applying late. We do not keep places back for late applicants who already have an older child or children attending the preferred school.”

County Durham

Durham County Council states: “Applications received by the closing date of 15 January 2023 take priority over late applications. However, applications which are received for good reason after the closing date because of very exceptional circumstances will be accepted and treated as on time applications, provided they are received on or before 5 March 2023, the date the allocation procedures begin.

“If you believe that there are very exceptional circumstances which prevented submission of your child’s application form by the stated deadline, then you must inform us in writing providing evidence so that we can consider why you were unable to submit an application form by the deadline of 15 January 2023.

“We will consider each case on an individual basis and the decision will be final. You need to be aware that if it is agreed to consider your child’s application as late for very exceptional reasons this does not mean that your child can be offered a place. It simply means that your child’s application will be considered in accordance with the admission criteria along with all others which were received on time.

“Late applications which are received between 16 January 2023 and 5 March 2023 will be considered and, as far as possible, will be offered a school place on 17 April 2023.”

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