Admission to School - Information for Parents 2023-2024

Choosing a school – Catchment areas

Key Facts:

  • Every school has a designated catchment area which it serves.
  • If the pupil resides within the designated catchment area of a school then you will stand a better chance of the application for admission to the school being successful. There is, however, no guarantee of a place.
  • Pupils who reside within the catchment area of a school will, subject to age and distance criteria, stand a better chance of qualifying for free transport to and from school – see transport policy.
  • Where a parent chooses a school which is not the nearest or catchment area school, then the parent will be responsible for transporting the child to and from school.
  • Parents can state a preference for a school, which is not the designated catchment area school. Subject to the limit on the number of pupils who can be admitted into the school not being exceeded and the correct procedures being followed, then admission will be granted.
  • When a pupil moves from primary to the secondary school, consideration of eligibility for admission to that school and also for free home to school transport will be based on home address and not the primary school attended.


Local / Catchment Area School

The Authority has identified a designated geographical area which the school serves which is referred to as the school’s catchment area. Details of a school’s catchment area are available at the school, on the County Authority’s website or available from the relevant Admissions Authority.

Whilst living in a school’s catchment area does not guarantee admission to the school it is an important factor as it will give the application a higher priority than those who live outside the catchment area and is also important as it is one of the key criteria in assessing eligibility for assistance with home to school transport.

Details of the home to school transport policy are provided in this document. Prior to making an application for admission to a school the Authority strongly recommends that you contact, discuss and visit your local school so that you are aware of the facilities and opportunities they are able to offer.

Find your local/ catchment area


Parental Preference

As indicated, the Authority advises that the first point of contact in making a choice of school would be the local designated catchment area school.

Whilst, in practice, most parents send their child to their local catchment area school, parents have a right to state a preference for different schools. If you wish to do so it is recommended that you contact the school you are considering before making a final choice.

Where you choose a school which is not your designated catchment area school or the nearest school to your home there are some practical issues which you need to consider fully prior to making a decision.

The first is that if a child does not attend the catchment area school or the nearest school to the home address and this decision is based on parental preference, then the responsibility, as well as the cost, of transporting the pupil to and from school, rests entirely with the parents/carer. Parents indicate that this can be a particular problem if they then subsequently have a younger sibling who is not admitted to the same school. It is prudent, therefore, to consider and plan for this possibility prior to making an application for admission.

The second issue relates to the stage at which pupils move from the primary school to the secondary sector. Admission to secondary schools is based on whether or not your home address is in the secondary school’s catchment area and not the primary school attended. Where, therefore, a pupil has attended a primary school which is not their designated catchment area school there is an increased probability that they may not be admitted to the same secondary school as their peers and fellow pupils.

These issues will not apply in many instances but as they have caused diffculties for parents in the past it is recommended that you consider and have planned for such eventualities before making your final choice of primary school.

The Admissions Authority and school governors will lawfully comply with any preference for a particular school which is expressed. As with all applications a preference for a particular school will need to be considered and assessed as part of the admission process to ensure that the Authority does not exceed the limit for admission of pupils to that school for the relevant year group.

The term used in this document when referring to the number which limits the number of pupils who can be admitted to a particular year group in a school is the admission number or AN. The admission number (AN) for each school is provided in the schedule of schools which forms part of this booklet.


Parental Preference - Twice Excluded Pupils

If a pupil has already been permanently excluded from two or more schools then, whilst a parent may express a preference for a school at which they wish their child to be educated, the Admission Authority does not have to comply with that preference for a period of two years from the date of the latest exclusion.

This does not apply to students with statements of Special Educational Needs (SEN), children below compulsory school age, children who have been re-instated, or who would have been re-instated had it been practical to do so, or looked-after children where the application for admission is made by the corporate parent.


Meeting Additional / Special Educational Needs

Some children have additional or special educational needs and or a disability that require extra provision to be made for them to be able to learn electivity. In these instances please refer to the Additional Educational Needs section of this booklet.

Additional Learning Needs


Home Education

Parents may also choose to educate their own children at home. This is known as Elective Home Education. The decision to home educate requires careful thought, as it represents a considerable undertaking in terms of commitment, time and cost.

If you are considering this option, then you are advised to contact the local authority, and seek guidance from the Elective Home Education Officer on 01554 742369 or email

Home Education


Classification of School

All Carmarthenshire schools are classified as co-educational schools in that they cater for boys and girls, and unless noted otherwise are day schools and not residential schools.

Secondary Schools are, unless noted otherwise, classified as comprehensive schools.

In accordance with the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 a limit of 30 pupils in a class being taught by one qualified teacher is placed on Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 classes.