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River Primary School

River Primary School


Admissions into Primary School 2024



You must apply for a primary school place if:

  • your child is due to start primary or infant school (reception year)
  • your child is at infant school (year 2) and is due to start junior school (year 3)
  • your child is at primary school (year 2) and you want your child to move to junior school at the start of year 3


What to do

Applications for transfer to primary school for both reception year and year 3 (junior school) in September 2023 will open on Friday 3rd November and will close on Monday 15th January 2024.



If your child is due to start primary school in September 2024 you will be offered a place on Tuesday 16th April after 4pm.


You will need to accept or refuse the offer directly with the school by Tuesday 30th April.



If your child is due to start primary school in September 2024, you can appeal if you are refused a place at one of your preferred schools on National Offer Day (Monday 16th April 2024).


You must submit your appeal before Monday 14th May 2024 for it to be considered by Tuesday 16th July 2024. Any appeals received after this time will be heard within 40 school days from the deadline, or where reasonably possible in line with updated guidance from the Department for Education.


For late applications, appeals should be heard within 40 school days from the deadline for lodging appeals where possible, or within 30 school days of the appeal being lodged where reasonably possible in line with updated guidance from the Department for Education.





In Year Admissions


We welcome any family interested in in their child joining one of our schools; please come and meet with us and visit the school before applying for a school place. A change of schools might be sought for all sorts of reasons and it is very helpful if these reasons are understood so that we can help as much as possible. It is important for parents and carers to see the school in action so that an informed decision can be made and this is also a good way for us to establish the important home/ school partnership.


Applications must be made using the In Year Casual Application form below. Once complete, this form must be returned to the office at the school that you are applying for. Please ask if you need any assistance; we would be happy to help in any way that we can.

What happens next?

The school will process all applications, and aims to notify parents of the outcome of their application in writing within 10 school days. If there is a place available, it will be offered and a start date agreed. If there is more than one application for an available space, the school’s oversubscription criteria will apply (see below) and the place will be offered to the eligible child. If no places are available, you will be informed and asked whether you wish your child to be placed on the waiting list. In this case, the school will make contact if a place becomes available. Parents also have the right to appeal against the refusal of a school place. For more information please see the Appeals section below.


Entry into Foundation Stage


There are 60 places at River for new entrants in the Foundation Stage each year.  Class sizes in Key Stage One are not permitted to exceed 30. 


Oversubscription Criteria

The oversubscription criteria for all Community and Voluntary Controlled primary schools are as follows:


Before the application of oversubscription criteria, children with an Education, Health and Care Plan which names the school will be admitted. As a result of this, the published admissions number will be reduced accordingly.


If the number of preferences for the school is more than the number of spaces available, places will be allocated in the following priority order:


  • Children in Local Authority Care or Previously in Local Authority Care – a child under the age of 18 years for whom the local authority provides accommodation by agreement with their parents/carers or who ceased to be so because they became subject to an adoption, residence or special guardianship.
  • Current Family Association - a brother or sister in the same school at the time of entry where the family continue to live at the same address as when the sibling was admitted – or – if they have moved – live within 2 miles of the school, or have moved to a property that is nearer to the school than the previous property as defined by the ‘Nearness’ criterion (below). In this context brother or sister means children who live as brother and sister in the same house, including natural brothers or sisters, adopted siblings, stepbrothers or sisters, foster brothers or sisters.


  • Health and Special Access Reasons – Medical, health, social and special access reasons will be applied in accordance with the school’s legal obligations. Priority will be given to those children whose mental or physical impairment means they have a demonstrable and significant need to attend a particular school. Equally this priority will apply to children whose parents’/guardians’ physical or mental health or social needs mean that they have a demonstrable and significant need to attend a particular school. Such claims will need to be supported by written evidence from a suitably qualified medical or other practitioner who can demonstrate a special connection between these needs and the particular school.


  • Nearness of children's homes to school - we use the distance between the child’s permanent home address and the school, measured in a straight line using Ordnance Survey address point data. Distances are measured from a point defined as within the child’s home to a point defined as within the school as specified by Ordnance Survey. The same address point on the school site is used for everybody. When we apply the distance criterion for an oversubscribed Community or Voluntary Controlled school, these straight line measurements are used to determine how close each applicant’s address is to the school.


In the event of any of the above criteria being oversubscribed, priority will be given based on distance as described above with those closest being given higher priority. In the unlikely event that two or more children in all other ways have equal eligibility for the last available place at the school, the names will be issued a number and drawn randomly to decide which child should be given the place. The County Admissions procedure is followed on an annual basis, with parents being informed of the decision regarding a place for their child on a variable published date. After you have been informed that your child has been offered a place, you will receive information regarding our induction programme for children joining our Foundation Stage so that you and your child can become familiar with school and can start in September with confidence.


Waiting Lists

Parents of children who have not been offered a place at the school may ask for their child’s name to be placed on a waiting list. The waiting list will be operated using the same oversubscription criteria listed above. Placing a child’s name on the waiting list does not guarantee that a place will become available. This does not prevent parents from exercising their right to appeal against the decision not to offer a place. It is possible that when a child is directed under the Local Authority’s Fair Access Protocol they will take precedence over those children already on the list. The Waiting list will be re-ranked, in line with the published oversubscription criteria, every time a child is added. A Waiting list will be held for at least the first term of the academic year in oversubscription criteria order.


Where an offer has been made, the school will provide for the admission of all children in the September following their fourth birthday. Parents can chose to defer the date their child is admitted to the school until later in the school year, but not beyond the start of the term after their child reaches compulsory school age and not beyond the beginning of the final term of the school year. Where parents wish, children may attend part-time until later in the school year, but not beyond the start of the term after their child reaches compulsory school age. If you are considering this for your child, please discuss this with the headteacher.


Request for admission outside of birth year

Requests for admission to Foundation Stage outside of the normal age group should be made to the Executive Headteacher as early as possible in the admissions round associated with that child’s date of birth. This will allow the school and admissions authority sufficient time to make a decision before the closing date. Parents are not expected to provide evidence to support their request to defer their application, however where provided it must be specific to the child in question. This might include medical or Educational Psychologist reports. There is no legal requirement for this medical or educational evidence to be secured from an appropriate professional, however, failure to provide this may impede a school’s ability to agree to deferral. Parents are required to complete an application for the normal point of entry at the same time, in case their request is declined. This application can be cancelled if the school agrees to accept a deferred application for entry into Foundation Stage the following year. Deferred applications must be made via paper RCAF to the Local Authority, with written confirmation from each named school. Deferred applications will be processed in the same way as all applications for the cohort in the following admissions round, and offers will be made in accordance with the oversubscription criteria. Further advice is available at Please use the link below.


Parents whose applications for places are unsuccessful may appeal to an Independent Appeal Panel set up in accordance with sections 88 and 94 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998. Appeals must be made in writing and must set out the reasons on which the appeal is made and include your child's name, address, date of birth, the name of the school you are appealing for along with reasons for wanting a place at the school. You may include supporting documents if you wish. Parents/Carers also have the right to make oral representations to the Appeal Panel. Further information is available at Appeals should be made to the appeals team at Kent County Council at or:

Appeals Team

Room 2.24

Sessions House