Frequently Asked Questions

Page updated on: 08/09/2023

The following FAQs should answer any queries that you may have about the Schools admissions process. Get in touch via the "Contact Us" tab if there is anything you need additional information about.


You can express a preference for which school you would like your child to go to. There is no guarantee of a school place at your preferred choice of school. If there are more applications than there are places, or the Year Group is already full you may not be successful in being offered a place.

You can check your Catchment area to identify the schools near to your home address. Just enter your postcode.


You will still need to apply. You will not be considered for a place unless an application is made, even if it is your local school with siblings already in the school.


Whilst living in the school catchment area gives you a higher priority for a school place, it does not guarantee a place at the school. Some areas have high populations, and some children may not be offered a place.

Find your Catchment area

For all children wanting to attend a Carmarthenshire school you will need to apply to Carmarthenshire Admissions.

You must apply to the County the school is located in.

Parents can apply for any School in any County.

Admissions is based on the pupil’s home address. The current nursery or primary school attended cannot be considered when offering places.

You can find out more about a particular school on the My local school Welsh Government website.

Most schools have a website that you can visit and read their prospectus online. If you do not have access to the internet, you can contact the school to get a copy of their prospectus. 

Ask to visit the school and talk to the Headteacher.

Information for Parents’ handbook

Parents and Carers have a right to express a preference to which school they would like their child to go to and give reasons for that preference. This is known as parental preference.

Expressing a preference does not guarantee your child a place at your preferred school.

Many parents prefer their catchment school because that often means that children can make more local friends and will be able to walk to school.

The application form will allow you to have 3 preferred choices. You will need to put the named school in your preferred order by ranking them as your 1st 2nd and 3rd choice.

If you only name one school and you are not successful in being offered a place there, you may not get a place at any other school that you may also like. As applying late will reduce your chance of getting a school place at your alternative school, as all of the places may have already been allocated.

When applying for a place at school is it always a good idea to apply for 3 preferred choices on your initial application form.

You must complete an application form for each stage of your child’s education (e.g. Nursery, Primary and Secondary).

All applications for Carmarthenshire’s Schools are made online. 

If you do not have access to a computer at home, you may be able to use one at your local library, other facilities such as community centres supported by the local authority and your local school.

If you decide to apply for Voluntary Aided School (Faith School) you can apply online but may be required to complete additional information directly with the school.

Voluntary Aided (Faith) Primary Schools in Carmarthenshire
Model Church in Wales VA Primary school
Penboyr Church in Wales VA Primary school
Pentip Church in Wales VA Primary school
St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Llanelli
St Mary’s Catholic Primary school in Carmarthen.

Voluntary Aided (Faith) Secondary Schools in Carmarthenshire
St John Lloyd Catholic Comprehensive School, Llanelli.


You must apply on line to Carmarthenshire County Council on the links below. Each application form will give the school start date based on the date of birth of your child.

If you move between schools there is no set start date. You can select a provisional date but this will need to be agreed with the school if you are successful in gaining a school place.

Parents can also contact schools directly to ask more about the school. 

If you are applying for a school place for the first time at Nursery, Primary or Secondary School you must apply through Carmarthenshire County Council website by the specific deadlines

The timetables will also be in the most recent Information for Parents Booklet.

Notices to advise of the deadlines can be found in local libraries, baby clinics, your doctors’ surgery as well as in schools, nurseries and on social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

You will need to follow the same application process. Remember to fill in all the relevant details. 

The child’s only or main current home address.

If you are planning to move address, you will have an option on the application form to include the new address.

You may be asked to provide evidence of your home address.

Where parental responsibility is stated, you must have consulted with and received the approval of all parties before applying.

If persons with parental responsibility are unable to agree on their choice of school, you will need to resolve the matter before an application is made. If an agreement is unable to be made on a school choice you will need to seek independent legal advice to resolve the matter before the application is considered.

Where there is shared responsibility for a child, and the child lives with both parents, or persons with a legal parental responsibility for the child, for part of the week, then the main residence will be determined as the address that the child lives for the majority of the week or where there is 50/50 residency it will be the address of the parent who is in receipt of Child Benefit.

Parents may be requested to supply documentary evidence to support the address used when offering a place.

If you are moving address and no longer require a school place at a Carmarthenshire school, please e-mail the Admissions team to cancel the school place.

If you are moving address but still require a school place, please e-mail the Admissions team with your new address details.

Applying after advertised closing dates will be considered as a Late Application.

By law children have to be in school full-time in the beginning of term after they are five.   

Children in Carmarthenshire can start full time education at the beginning of the term they turn 4 years of age.

In the case of Community and Voluntary Controlled schools the Local Authority, Carmarthenshire County Council is responsible for making the decisions.

For the Voluntary Aided (Faith )schools’ decisions are made by the Governing Body, which usually sets up an admissions panel to decide on the applications.

Admission authorities must admit children up to the number of school places available (admission number).
If there are more applications than the admission number, then the admission authority will offer places to children according to the list of rules for admitting children to school.

The rules, known as oversubscription criteria, are applied to every application for a school with more applications than places. They include if you live in the school’s catchment areas, if you have a brother or sister already in the school; the Information for Parents booklet shows the full list of the criteria and tiebreaker used when allocating places in oversubscribed schools.

No, Admission Authorities are the only ones who can allocate places.

Headteachers are not responsible for deciding who can attend their school or any other school.

It is not possible for any person or organisation to guarantee in advance a place for a child at a school. Any such comments or assurances must be disregarded by parents.

For Voluntary Aided (Faith) schools’ decisions are made by the governing body, which usually sets up an admissions panel to decide on the applications.


For Voluntary Aided schools there are usually criteria relating to the Church that the school belongs to. It is important to check what the criteria are when you make an application. Voluntary Controlled schools have the same oversubscription criteria as the Local Authority community schools.

You must do your best to get your application in to the admission authority by the published deadline. If you are late submitting your application, it will not be looked at with the ones that were on time. Should all the places be allocated to the applications received before the closing date, this could mean that your child will miss out on a place at your preferred school.

Starting school for the first time (the Normal Admissions Round)

All admission authorities set out a timetable for notifying parents of decisions on the designated National Offer Days in Wales about school applications submitted on time. This can be found in the Information for Parents booklet.

The National Offer Days are:

For Primary schools 16 April or the next working day.
For Secondary schools 1 March or the next working day.
For part-time Nursery in October.

Applications submitted after the closing date will be considered in subsequent rounds usually on a monthly basis.


Changing schools during the academic year (Outside the Normal Admissions Round)

If you are moving between schools during the academic year, you should find out if the application has been successful within 15 school days or 28 calendar days, whichever is soonest.

Parents should check their Junk and Spam inboxes if they have not received notification of a decision by the end of the National offer day.

Parents who have not received a decision should email with the Application reference number.
The Application reference number can be found on the confirmation e-mail that was sent to you after you submitted an application.

Parents must have applied for the relevant academic year relating to the national offer day.

Parents must e-mail if they wish to change their school choices.

Applications are processed in the order that they are received. Parents may be asked to submit a new application.

Changes made after the published closing dates will be considered as late applications

Please e-mail the Admissions Team with the child’s full name, date of birth, the school(s) you have applied for or the reference number.

Any child who is not given a place can be added to a waiting list: you will need to request for your child to be added to the waiting list by e-mailing

Children must be kept on this list until the 30 September in the school year in which they applied. Sometimes a place will become available in early September, because children expected at schools have gone to another school for some reason. Sometimes no places become available.


If any places become available to be offered, Admission Authorities will look at all the children on the waiting list, along with any new applications received in line with the Admissions oversubscription criteria/rules for allocation.

Being on the waiting list may not guarantee a place at the school.

Check the email Inbox of the email address you used on the application form.

You will be asked to click “accept or decline the place”.

It helps the Local Authority and the school prepare for your child starting school if this is confirmed promptly.

Once a place has been accepted, parents need to contact the school to agree a start date.

A child cannot start in the school until the place has been accepted.

Parents have the right to Appeal against a decision to refuse a school place (full-time school only)

Parents should consider applying for alternative schools.

If you have not been offered a place at your preferred choice of school, you have the right to appeal to an Independent Appeals Panel (there is no right of appeal for nursery applications).

The Appeals panel will consider your case for your child attending the school and the Admission Authority’s case for turning down your application. The appeals panel will be responsible for making the final decision and is legally binding.

When applying for a place at school it is always a good idea to think about other schools that you would also be happy with in case your first choice is not available.

If you only ask for one school, then you could end up with no school and only have places available at a school you may not wish them to attend.

Parents can only Appeal for children of full-time school age, those in full-time nursery through to Year 11.

If your child is of part-time nursery age you cannot appeal about a refusal to offer a place.

If your child is refused a place, you have the right to appeal to an Independent Appeal Panel, except those whose child has been permanently excluded from two schools or those refused part-time nursery.

The refusal email will explain the

  • reasons for refusal.
  • information about your right of appeal details of how to make an appeal.
  • details about where you should send your notice of appeal.
  • deadline to appeal will be stated in your letter of refusal.

Your appeal will be heard in private.

If there are a lot of appeals for one school the first stage of the appeal may be done as a group and have other parents present who have also appealed.

The appeal hearing will follow the pattern set out below:
Stage 1

  • The presenting officer will explain why the admission authority turned down your/the application(s) (e.g. the school would be too crowded).
  • Parent will have an opportunity to question the admission authority’s reasons for refusal.

If at this stage the Panel decides that there was no need to refuse a place, for instance, if the school would not be too crowded, the hearing will end, and the parent will be informed that the appeal has been successful.

If the Panel decides that there were reasons for refusal on the grounds that the school would be too full, then a second stage will follow, these will always be individual (private) appeals.

Stage 2

  • The parent will explain why their child should be provided with a place at the school even though it is full.
  • The Panel and the admission authority will have an opportunity to question the parents’ reasons.
  • The Admission Authority will then sum up the case.
  • You will also have an opportunity to sum up your case.

The Panel will listen to all sides of the case and may ask questions at any time if they need clarification or more information to reach a decision.

The Panel’s decision should be sent by written notification within 5 working days. Group Appeals may take longer.


If you have appealed and it has been unsuccessful you would not have a right to a second appeal for the same school in the same academic/school year.

Admission authorities may consider a new application if there has been a significant change in your circumstances.

You can reapply for a place in another academic/school year and also have a fresh right of appeal if you are not successful in obtaining a place.

In the first instance, please contact Democratic Services or Admissions.

The Public Service Ombudsman can only investigate written complaints about mismanagement of an Admissions Appeal Panel. They do not deal with complains where a person feels the decision taken is wrong.

Public Service Ombudsman can be contacted at:

Public Service Ombudsman for Wales
1 Ffordd yr Hen Gae
CF35 5LJ
Telephone (01656) 641150)

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