Primary Schools Admission Guide

Our guide will help you understand more about the process and what to expect when applying for a place in primary school for your child.

Applying for a Reception place in the school year September 2019 - June 2020

A small number of primary schools have a Reception class/group for children who are aged four at the date of their admission but who are not yet compulsory school age (i.e. children whose fourth birthday is after 1 July in a year). 

Children in Reception do not follow the primary one element of the Northern Ireland curriculum and cannot be admitted until they reach their fourth birthday.

Which schools have Reception provision?

You can use the ‘Find a Primary School’ search facility to find out if a primary school in your area has a reception class.  Make sure to tick the box to show results which ‘Only include schools that provide Reception’.

Those schools that admit children into reception will also indicate this in their admissions criteria. 

It should be noted that the majority of primary schools do not have reception provision and where it does exist children of compulsory school age must be given priority. Therefore you should consider applying for a funded pre-school place through the separate pre-school admissions procedure. Click here for further information on applying for a pre-school place

How can I apply for a Reception place in a primary school?

  • The Parent Portal has closed as the deadline for making application for a pre-school or primary school place was midnight on Thursday 31 January 2019. 
    If you missed the closing date you can still submit a late paper application. You can get an application form any primary school.
  • If you had completed an online application you will need to provide your child's birth certificate, as well as any other supporting documentation required within the published admissions criteria of any of your preferred schools.  Documentation should be submitted to the school listed at first preference on your application by 12.00 noon on Friday 8 February 2019.   

NB For information on application to Preparatory Schools and Independent Schools you should contact the schools directly.

Can I apply for a pre-school place and a place in a reception class?

Yes you may apply for both a pre-school place and a place in a reception class.  These are two separate application procedures and therefore you will need to complete two separate applications. 

Admissions Helpdesk

If additional information is required or any difficulty is experienced, parents can contact the admissions helpdesk on:

028 9598 5595

Helpline open from 9am to 5pm

or email the relevant address listed below

Do you know that your choice and order of preferences could impact on your child’s eligibility for transport assistance?

Last updated: 01/02/2019