On the tabs above you will find further information about enrolling in P1 and transferring from P7 to S1 for catchment and non catchment children.
New P1 & S1 Intake
Starting primary school and moving on to secondary school are two very important milestones both for children and their parents. The Council realises this and has a range of policies and procedures in place to make each transition as smooth as possible for all concerned.
This page provides information on registering your child for school. While all parents have a right to express a preference for a particular school, it is important to recognise that, due to the increasing birth rate, there are fewer places available for children living outside the catchment area and this means more placing requests are likely to be refused each year.
For the P1 Intake, even if you plan to request a place at another school we strongly recommend that you visit your own local catchment primary school on Primary Schools Open Day, 4 November 2014 - date to be confirmed , as you will be offered a place in your catchment school if your placing request is unsuccessful.
All our schools offer a high quality educational experience and visiting your local catchment school will give you an opportunity to find out more about the school, staff and the curricular and extracurricular opportunities available. Most parents choose to send their children to one of their catchment schools.
When deciding the school you wish your child to attend, there are a number of important points you need to consider.
- Places are allocated to children based on their residence. All parents must provide proof of residence for a catchment place when they register their child for school.
All schools have two catchment schools, non-denominational and Roman
Catholic. You should choose your preferred school of these two.
Your child is only entitled to a place in the primary school where they attend
nursery if you live in the catchment area of the school.
Catchment places will only be guaranteed to children living in a primary
school catchment by 28 February 2015.
Where a denominational Roman Catholic school is oversubscribed with
catchment children, priority will be given to catchment baptised Roman
- If your placing request is successful for one child, this does not guarantee that requests for younger children will be successful. This could mean that your younger children would attend a different school to their older brother or sister.
Starting Primary School (P1)
What age should my child start school?
The table below shows the school year when your child should start primary school:
Child born between:Child will start school in:1 Mar 2010 – 28 Feb 2011August 20151 Mar 2011 – 29 Feb 2012August 20161 Mar 2012 – 28 Feb 2013August 20171 Mar 2013 – 28 Feb 2014August 2018
Parents of children due to start school, and who attend a City of Edinburgh nursery school or class, will receive a letter in October about starting school. This letter will tell you what your catchment schools are and how to register your child for P1.
If a child is of school age but has not reached age 5 by the start of the new school session, usually mid-August, their school place can be delayed until the start of the next school year. However, only children with January and February birthdays are entitled to received a continued, funded nursery place at either a City of Edinburgh Council nursery or a partner nursery should their parents request this.
Continued funding for a nursery place for children whose birthdates fall between August and December is not an entitlement and is at the discretion of the child’s resident local authority. This is the case even when a child has received just one year of pre-school funding. Applications for delayed entry have reduced considerably over the past two years and increasingly most children of this age are successfully supported in Primary 1.
We recommend that you register your child for primary school even if you are planning to apply for delayed entry.
If your child is not of school age, you may make an application for early admission if you feel your child is ready for school. Your child’s nursery head teacher must support your request and an assessment of the child will be required.
Further information is available at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/earlyyears.
Which Primary School should my child attend?
For every address in the city there is a catchment non-denominational primary school and a catchment Roman Catholic primary school. If you would like to check the catchment schools for your home address go to www.edinburgh.gov.uk/catchmentmaps. Here is a link to Sciennes Primary's catchment map.
Most parents choose to send their child to a catchment school; however you have the right to express a preference for another school, although we cannot guarantee that we can meet these requests.
How do I register my child for primary school?
You must register your child at your preferred catchment school during registration week, 10 – 14 November 2014. It is important to recognise that if you live outside the school catchment area, attending the nursery class in a particular school does not entitle your child to a place in the primary school.
Our Roman Catholic schools are often oversubscribed with catchment children. We cannot therefore guarantee your child will get into your Roman Catholic catchment school. In the event of a Roman Catholic school being oversubscribed priority will be given to baptised Roman Catholics where evidence of baptism has been presented by 28 February 2015.
What paperwork do I need for registration?
You must present the following documents when you register:
- your 2014/15 Council Tax demand notice;
a current utility bill (in your name);
your child’s birth certificate;
- your child’s proof of RC baptism (if your preferred catchment school is Roman Catholic).
Please note these are the ONLY accepted forms of proof.
If you are unable to provide any of the above documents at the time of registration you will be referred to the School Placements team.
After you register you may be asked to provide this proof again at a future date. The Council is entitled to make random spot checks as part of fraud prevention. If false addresses are provided to gain a placement, the place will be removed.
Do I need to register for my child’s catchment school if I plan to make a placing request for another school?
Even if you do plan to make a placing request, it is important that you also register with your catchment school to ensure that a place is available for your child if your placing request is unsuccessful.
I don’t currently live in the catchment area but plan to move into it. Will I get a place for my child?
We will allocate your child a place if you move into the catchment area by 28 February 2015. We do try to reserve places [one place in each class] for families who may move into the catchment area after this date but cannot guarantee this. If we are not able to give you a place immediately you will be placed on the waiting list for the school.
What happens if I have bought or rented a house in another catchment area and have proof of this but will not move in until after 28 February 2015?
We do not allocate a place at your new catchment school until you have actually moved into your new house. We cannot guarantee a place in your new catchment school if you move after 28 February. As above we do try to reserve places [one place in each class] for families who may move into the catchment area after this date but cannot guarantee this. If we are not able to give you a place immediately you will be placed on the waiting list for the school.
If you are moving into the city from another Council area, or from outwith Scotland, and we cannot offer your child a place in your catchment school after you have moved address we will offer a place in the nearest school to your home with an available place.
What happens after I have registered my child?
Your catchment school will contact you in mid-April to confirm your place and provide information on induction visits to the school.
When the school session begins in August, children are normally admitted gradually and attend mornings only for the first two weeks. This helps the children to settle into their new life at school. The Head Teacher will advise exactly what will happen for your child.
Can I request a different school?
You have the right to express a preference for a school in a different catchment area, and this is called a placing request.
Moving from Primary to Secondary School (S1)
Which secondary school will my child be allocated?
Parents of children in P7 who attend a City of Edinburgh primary school will receive a letter in November about moving to secondary school.
Please note you will be allocated a place at your catchment secondary school based on your home address, not the primary school they currently attend. This means that if your child is attending a non-catchment primary and if you want them to attend the secondary school associated with that school you would need to make a placing request.
Every address within Edinburgh has a non-denominational catchment secondary school and a Roman Catholic catchment secondary school. If your child attends a non-denominational primary school, your child will be allocated a place in your non- denominational catchment area secondary school. Similarly, if your child is attending a Roman Catholic primary school, the Roman Catholic catchment area secondaryschool will be allocated. However, if you wish your child to attend your other catchment area school you can request this after you have received your letter in November.
In the event of a Roman Catholic school being oversubscribed with catchment children priority will be given to baptised Roman Catholics where evidence of baptism has been presented by 28 February 2015.
Schools will normally contact parents in mid-April to confirm places for catchment children and offer invitations to an induction visit.
What happens if I live in another local authority area?
If your child attends a City of Edinburgh primary school, the Council informs each neighbouring local authority of such children, allowing a place to be reserved at the appropriate school in your area. If you wish your child to attend a secondary school in Edinburgh you will need to make a placing request.
If you live within the catchment area of Kirknewton Primary School in West Lothian, your non-denominational catchment school is Balerno Community High School. Your child will be allocated a place in this school.
What happens if I live within the City of Edinburgh area, but my child attends a primary school in another local authority area?
Local authorities will inform the Council of such children and a place will be allocated at your appropriate catchment secondary school. If you wish your child to attend a secondary in the same authority as the primary school, you must contact the relevant authority.
What happens if I plan to move address?
We will allocate you a place in your catchment school if you move into the area by 28 February 2015. We do try to reserve places for families who may move into an area after this date but cannot guarantee this. If we are not able to give you a place immediately you will be placed on the waiting list for the school.
What happens if I have bought or rented a house in another catchment area and have proofs of this but will not move in until after 28 February 2015?
As above we do try to reserve places [one place in each class] for families who may move into an area after this date but cannot guarantee this. If we are not able to give you a place immediately your child will be placed on the waiting list for the school. Allocation of places is based on when you become resident in a house not when you buy or rent it.
If you are moving into the city from another Council area, or from outwith Scotland, and we cannot offer your child a place in your catchment school after you have moved address we will offer a place in the nearest school to your home with an available place. Your child will also be placed on the waiting list for the catchment school.
Can I request a different school?
You have the right to express a preference for a school in a different catchment area, and this is called a placing request.
Making a Placing Request for a Non-Catchment School
Parents have a right to express a preference for another school and these will only be granted if places are available after places have been allocated to children living in the catchment area. It is important to recognise that the rising birth-rate means there has been a reduction in the number of successful placing requests in recent years.
Our guidance on how we manage placing requests is outlined in the question and answer section.
How do I make a placing request?
You must complete an application form, available online at www.edinburgh.gov.uk/schoolplaces. Paper copies are also available at any nursery or primary school in the city. The closing date for applications is 24 December 2014. Receipt will be acknowledged either by return letter or email within 14 days of your request. Please note if you are making a placing request and it is successful, you will not receive support with travel expenses.
Can I apply for more than one school?
You can only make one placing request initially. On the application form you are required to tell us your preferred catchment school – in the event of your request being refused the Council will try to reserve a place in your preferred catchment school.
Please note that even if you are submitting a placing request for a primary school you must also register at your preferred catchment school. It is very important that you give us all relevant information in support of your request. This may include medical evidence and reports from any other services or agencies that may have been involved with your child.
How do you decide which placing requests are successful?
Classes are not normally created for non-catchment children. When there have been more placing requests received than there are places available in an individual school, they are considered by the Committee on Pupil/Student Support which meets in mid March each year. This is a committee of elected members of the Council, and they determine the priority order for all requests. This priority order will be used to allocate any available places, with the remainder being placed accordingly on a waiting list.
The Committee has the authority to prioritise individual applications where the reasons for the request are deemed exceptional. Otherwise, requests are normally prioritised in the following order:
Children who will have older brothers/sisters who are attending the requested
school in the next session;
Children who are resident within the City of Edinburgh Council area, but who
do not have brothers/sisters who will be attending the requested school in the
Children who are not resident within the City of Edinburgh Council area, and
who will not have brothers/sisters attending the requested school in the next
When will I be informed of the outcome of my placing request?
The Council will give their decision in writing by 30 April 2015 to all parents who submitted placing requests by 24 December 2014.
What happens if my placing request is granted?
If your placing request is granted, you will receive a letter confirming you have a place. At this time, if a place was reserved in your preferred catchment school, this will be withdrawn.
The granting of a placing request for one child does not guarantee that a future placing request, for the same school, for a younger brother or sister will be granted and this could mean that your children will have to attend different schools. You will be asked to sign a form to acknowledge this. You will be responsible for all transport arrangements and costs which may arise.
What happens if my placing request is refused?
If your request is refused you will receive a letter explaining the statutory grounds for refusal which the Council must use by law. It will also give you details about your right to appeal against our decision. A place will normally be reserved at your preferred catchment school (as indicated on your application form) and you will be given an opportunity to make a second preference request for an alternative school.
For all schools where placing requests are refused, a waiting list is created and your child will be placed on this.
Management of Placements
The City of Edinburgh Council manages the provision of school places using principles and practices outlined below;
- Pupils living in the City of Edinburgh Council area have priority over incoming requests from outside the Council area;
The Council will endeavour to accommodate catchment pupils at their
Placing requests for non catchment pupils should be met, subject to available
capacity and consistent with the efficient use of resources;
The most efficient arrangement of class size and provision of teaching staff is
sought for each school after taking account of demand for catchment places;
Additional classes are not normally created to specifically cater for non-
catchment placing requests in the primary sector. This includes the potential
need to create additional classes in subsequent years beyond the P1 stage;
First year intake limits, classroom size restrictions and limits on the overall
pupil numbers will be applied where necessary to assist in managing school
Separate catchment boundaries are drawn for denominational and non-
denominational schools at both primary and secondary level (pupils having
the option of attending either catchment school, subject to availability of
- In areas of the City falling outwith established catchment areas (for example, the new Waterfront development); the Council defines which establishment is an ‘appropriate school’ for pupils – normally judged on distance and geography.
Supporting children with additional support needs
My child has additional support needs. Will they get the support they need in a mainstream school?
All children have the right to an education in a mainstream school where possible. If your child needs additional support to attend a mainstream school an assessment will be carried out to ensure their needs can be met. While we do try to support children in mainstream schools, a small minority of children with additional support needs may require a place in a special school or class.
Further info: www.edinburgh.gov.uk/asn
I would like my child to attend a special school or class. Is this possible?
Yes. If you wish to make this type of request please discuss this with an Educational Psychologist employed by the Council before making your request.
Further info: Tel: 0131 469 2800
English is not my child’s first language. Will they get additional support?
Throughout Edinburgh there are many pupils for whom English is an additional language. Some may require extra help to develop their English language skills and our English as an Additional Language Service (EAL) works in partnership with schools, homes and other agencies to support pupils.
Further info: www.ealedinburgh.org.uk
Can my child attend Edinburgh’s Gaelic School?
Gaelic Medium Education is offered at nursery, primary and secondary levels. Edinburgh has a dedicated Gaelic Nursery and Primary School, Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pairce. Any parent who wishes their child to be taught in Gaelic can apply for a place at the primary school by contacting the headteacher. No previous knowledge of the language is required. Secondary Gaelic education is currently available at James Gillespie’s High School for pupils who have completed a Gaelic Medium primary education.
Further info: www.edinburgh.gov.uk/gaelic
Specialist Education Provision for Talented PupilsThe Council offers a range of specialist provision for talented pupils, allowing them to receive specialist tuition in their chosen field alongside their academic studies.
I would like my child to attend the City of Edinburgh Dance School – how do I apply?
The dance school is based at Broughton High School. Current P5/P6 pupils can audition for a place on the P6/P7 ‘Talented Young Performers’ course at Broughton High School which runs for two hours every Friday afternoon throughout the academic year. The students will participate in ballet, contemporary and jazz dance classes.
Current P7 pupils can audition for a place at the dance school which means they will attend Broughton High School for their secondary education. Students who attend the dance school will be put through the Royal Academy of Dance Ballet exams and SQA National 5, Higher and HNC Professional Stage Dance as well as having the opportunity to study AQA A-Level Dance.
Further info: Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgTel: 0131 332 7805
I would like my child to attend the City of Edinburgh Music School – how do I apply?
The music school, a national centre of excellence, is based at Flora Stevenson Primary School and Broughton High School. A specialist music education is delivered in a range of musical styles. Please contact the school to find out how to apply.
Further info: Web: www.edinburghmusicschool.co.uk Email: email@example.com
Tel: 0131 332 7805
I would like my child to attend the Scottish Football Academy – how do I apply?
The Scottish FA Performance School for South East Region is based at Broughton High School. It offers talented young footballers the opportunity to develop their physical, mental and technical ability within the daily curriculum. Application forms will be available to current P7 pupils prior to Christmas, with 1st stage trials taking place in February/March.
Further info: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
TransportCan I get transport for my child?
The Children and Families Department will assist with travel if the distance between the home address and catchment area school is two miles or more for children attending primary school and three miles or more for children attending secondary school, based on the most suitable walking route. This also applies if the Children and Families Department asks your child to attend a non-catchment school. Assistance with travel will not be given if you have chosen to send your child to a non-catchment school.
Further general information on placing children in schools can be found in the Scottish Government publication Choosing a School: a Guide for Parents, available online.
Email: email@example.com Tel: 0131 469 3033
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0131 529 2103
School Catchment Areas
Email: email@example.com Tel: 0131 469 3351