Parents are being encouraged to take advantage of the festive period to apply for their children’s primary school places for next September.
Children are entitled to start school in the September after their fourth birthday, meaning parents/carers of children born during the period 1 September 2013 and 31 August 2014 must apply by 15 January 2018.
Essex County Council has warned that any applications submitted after the deadline will only be considered once all on-time applications have been determined.
The council has also encouraged parents to use all four of the preferences available and to check the admissions criteria for each school they wish to apply for to ensure they have the best chance of being offered a preferred place.
Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said: “Starting school for the first time is a big milestone in a child’s life and it is crucial that applications for school places are received on time to give children and their parents the greatest chance of being considered for a school they want.
“We appreciate the Christmas holidays can be busy for families, but they can also be an ideal time to get things done away from the demands of normal everyday life.
“I would encourage any parents who haven’t already applied for their child’s reception place to get their application completed over the festive break.”
Essex County Council spent about £74million creating 2,535 new places across Essex for September 2017 and was therefore able to offer a record percentage of children their parents’ preferred place.