Parents and carers with children entering primary, junior or secondary school for the first time next year need to apply for school places now.

For first-time parents or those unsure of how to give their child the best chances, we’ve got you covered.

It comes as Swindon Borough Council has issued a reminder for parents this week on the deadlines. 

The application deadline for secondary schools in Swindon and Wiltshire is October 31, 2023.

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This will apply to parents of children who were born between September 1, 2012 and August 31, 2013.

Parents of children starting primary school, born between September 1, 2019, and August 31, 2020, have a little bit longer.

The deadline for this isn’t until January 15, 2024.

If your child currently attends infant school and is moving up to a junior school, you will also need to apply for a transfer.

Swindon Advertiser: School applications are open for parents School applications are open for parents The child will not automatically qualify for a place at a junior school, even if they attend the connected infant school. Preferences must be submitted by January 15, 2024.

These closing dates follow national guidelines.

This year, parents can apply for up to three schools for their child, with the option to put their most preferred school as their first choice, and local councils highly recommend you fill in all three preferences to get the best outcome.

You can submit your application via your local council’s website, either Swindon Borough Council for parents in Swindon or Wiltshire Council for the rest of Wiltshire.

In 2023, 92.5 per cent of families nationwide were offered their first-choice primary school, while 82.6 per cent were offered their first-choice secondary school.

Applications submitted after the deadline has passed will be considered as a low priority, and the child concerned will be allocated a school place after all other applications have been considered.

To avoid this situation, get your application in with plenty of time, and if you are unsure of how to complete the application, attend a drop-in session for support.

These drop-in sessions will be held at North Swindon Library between 10am and 2pm on Wednesday, October 11, 2023, as well as two sessions at Swindon Central Library from 10am-4pm on October 24, 2023 and January 9, 2024.

Those with children entering secondary school will be informed about the outcome of their application on March 1 2024 and those with children entering primary or junior school will be told on April 16 2024.