About St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School

St. Mary’s Primary School is a Catholic  school which offers education to children aged 4 – 11 years. We are a one-form entry school with three mixed-aged classes organised as follows:


Years 1/ 2/ 3

Years 4/5/6

Visits to our school are warmly welcomed – please telephone the school office to make an appointment.

Each year, we also have an Open Day which prospective families are welcome to attend in order to see our school in action.

When to apply for a school place

The age your child will start school depends when their birthday is. Children can start school from the September after their fourth birthday.

These are the dates that children would usually start school and when to apply for a school place:

Child born between     Starts primary school   Apply between
1 Sept 2018 – 31 Aug 2019Sept 2023Sept 2022 – Jan 2023
1 Sept 2019 – 31 Aug 2020Sept 2024Sept 2023 – Jan 2024
1 Sept 2020 – 31 Aug 2021Sept 2025Sept 2024 – Jan 2025

If you are interested in a place in another school year please contact Mrs Cookson in the school office, who will be able to advise on the availability of places.

How to apply for a school place

If you are applying for a school place for your child who is due to start in Reception you are required to apply online using the Lancashire County Council website.

The deadline for applications for a primary school place in September 2024 is 15th January 2024

Applications can be complete online by following the link:

In Year Admissions Form

Admissions 2024-2025

Admissions 2025-2026

Supplementary Information Form


The school’s in year admissions will be administered by the governing body of the school. If you are new to the area or want to request a transfer to St. Mary’s Primary School, you may contact us directly to find out if a place is available for your child.

When a school is oversubscribed on parental preferences, then the following priorities apply in order:

1. A) Looked after children and those who have been previously looked after, (see note (x) below), then

B) Looked after children and those who have been previously looked after – those legally adopted from overseas (see note (x) below), then

2. Children for whom the Local Authority accepts that there are exceptional medical social or welfare reasons which are directly relevant to the school concerned (see note (i) below, then

3. Children with older brothers and sisters attending the school when the younger child will start, (see note (iii) below), then

4. Remaining places are allocated according to where a child lives. Those living nearest to the preferred school by a straight line (radial) measure will have priority, (see note (v) below.


(i) The medical, social and welfare criterion will consider issues relevant to the child and/or the family. This category may include children without an EHC Plan/Statement who have special needs.

(ii) As required by law, all children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs/Education, Health and Care Plan naming a school will be admitted before the application of the over-subscription criteria. Children who have a Statement for Special Needs/EHC Plan will have their applications considered separately.

(iii) Brothers and sisters includes full brothers and sisters, step children, half brothers and sisters, fostered and adopted children living with the same family at the same address; and full brothers and sisters living at different addresses.

(iv) The distance criterion will be used as the tie breaker if there is oversubscription within any of the admission criteria; it is a straight line (radial) measure.

If the Local Authority is unable to distinguish between applicants using the published criteria (eg. Siblings, those living the same distance from home to school, or families residing in the same block of flats) places will be offered via a random draw.

The distance measure is a straight line measurement (radial) between the applicant’s home address points and the address point of the school (co-ordinates provided by ordnance survey data).

(v) A child’s permanent address is the one where he/she normally lives and sleeps and goes to school from. Proof of residency may be requested at any time throughout the admissions process, (including after a child has accessed a school place).

(vi) The Local Authority will keep waiting lists for all Lancashire primary schools until 31 August 2022. These are kept in priority order using the school’s published admission criteria. From 1 September 2022, waiting lists will be transferred to and retained by individual admission authorities (the Local authority for community and voluntary controlled schools and own admission authority schools will each retain their own list). To comply with the School Admissions Code the waiting lists must be retained until at least 31 December 2022.

(vii) Children will not normally be able to start school other than at the beginning of the term unless they have moved into the area or there are exceptional circumstances.

(viii) Applications for school places which are received late will not necessarily be dealt with at the same time as those received by the set deadline. The reasons for a late application may be requested and where these are not exceptional the relevant admission criteria will be initially applied to all others received on time. The late application will be dealt with after this process.

Application forms received after the published closing date, will only be considered at that time if the following conditions apply:

(a) if the number of preferences received for the school is below the published admission number or:

(b) there are extenuating circumstances justifying a late application.

These may include:

(a) parents moving into the County after the closing date;

(b) parent/carer illness which required hospitalisation for the major part of the period between the publication of the composite prospectus and the closing date for applications.

(ix) Where a child lives with one parent for part of the week and another for the rest of the week only one address will be accepted for a school admission application. This will normally be the one where the child wakes up for the majority of school days (Monday to Friday).

(x) the highest priority must be given to looked after children and children who were previously looked after, but ceased to be so because they were adopted (or became subject to a residence order, child arrangement orders or special guardianship order). Further references to previously looked after children in the Code means children who were adopted (or subject to residence orders, child arrangement orders or special guardianship orders) immediately following having been looked after. This includes children who are legally adopted from overseas. Relevant, legal documents must be provided to evidence the adoption.

Shared Care Arrangements

When a child lives with one parent for part of the week and another for the rest of the week only one address will be accepted for a school admission application. This will normally be the one where the child wakes up for the majority of school days (Monday to Friday). Proof of residence may be requested at any time throughout the admissions process.

In the cases where a child lives with parents who have shared responsibility and the child’s time is split equally between two homes, the address of the parent who receives child benefit will normally be used. The Local Authority reserves the right to request further proof, in order to establish the home address, as fit the individual circumstances.

Where agreement cannot be reached:

Where shared care arrangements are in place, and parents/carers of the child submit two separate applications for different schools, the Local Authority requires parents to resolve matters between themselves, taking legal advice if necessary, and inform the Local Authority which application should be processed. The Local Authority will not become involved in private disputes.

The Local Authority has an obligation to process an application that has been submitted and signed by a parent with parental responsibility. We will consider the living arrangements and apply the shared care arrangement rules.

If there are any challenges to which address is to be used as a child’s residency, individual admission authorities will be consulted. In cases where parents are separated and both have retained joint responsibility, the application will be accepted from the parent who is in receipt of the child benefit and with whom the child primarily resides.

Where shared care arrangements are in place it may be necessary to establish the permanent home address for the child. In certain circumstances parent/carers will be asked to write to the Local Authority stating the number of days each week the child spends with them. The Local Authority may ask for evidence of which parent/carer was in receipt of child benefit at the point of application. If the parent/carer is not in receipt of child benefit, the Local Authority will ask for proof of benefit award notices; Tax Credit Award Notices and child’s registered address with the GP at the point of application. If the child’s home address cannot be verified the Local Authority reserves the right to request further documentary evidence to support any claim of permanent home address.

The Local Authority cannot release information or intervene where disputes or disagreements arise between parents in relation to any DETERMINED or submitted application for a school place.

We can only process applications from one address. If your child lives at another address from you or with another parent/carer from Monday to Friday, please provide the Parental Responsibility Order or Residence/Child Arrangements Order for the person the child lives with.

Further evidence can include:

  • a copy of a court order;
  • a letter from a solicitor setting out the arrangements;
  • a joint statutory declaration (prepared by a Commissioner for Oath);
  • a tax credit award notice (TC602) for current year.

Moving House

If you are about to move house, please contact the Area Education Office with your new address so that letters which are sent to you do not go astray. If you have already exchanged contracts on a house or have evidence of a confirmed offer of tenancy, you can ask for your child’s application to be considered from the new address. It is required that a family does not just own a property, in a particular location, but that they are actually resident in the property. Evidence of your/the child’s residency in the new property will be required.

We can’t accept a temporary address if you still possess a property that was previously used as a home address.

If you make a permanent house move after applying, but before allocation procedures have been undertaken, you must contact the Area Education Office. You may be able to change your preferences if you are changing address to a more distant property and the allocation will be based on the new address. We normally require two forms of evidence to confirm a house move. It may on occasions be necessary to request additional documentation, depending upon individual circumstances.

Documents accepted to evidence a house move:~

Proof of purchase or tenancy agreement
Evidence of disposal of previous property
Council Tax document, evidencing the end of residency in previous home.
Council Tax document, evidencing the residency within your new home.

Other forms of evidence may also be accepted at the discretion of the County Council to cover individual circumstances.

If you move temporarily during the admissions process you must also discuss the matter with the Area Education Office. Temporary addresses are rarely accepted for admission purposes.

If you are moving to another area of Lancashire, details of schools in the area can be obtained from any Area Education Office. Admission Authorities will check address details and may randomly sample applications.

You must contact the Area Education Office if there are any changes in your child’s living arrangements during the application and allocation of places period.

Places offered for Lancashire schools may be subsequently withdrawn where misleading or inaccurate information has been discovered.

Applications from abroad (and other areas of the UK)

It is no longer required that families must be physically resident in Lancashire (or nearby) in order to apply within the annual intake processes.
Where families relocate or return to an address in Lancashire after a statutory closing date but during the allocation period (ahead of finalisation of offers) then there will be considered as a late application. Appropriate evidence must be provided of ownership and date of relocation and residence at that address.

Please note that late entry to the annual intake processes will not be possible after the statutory closing dates unless an exception is agreed by the Local Authority and / or the admission authority.

The Authority has a duty to co-ordinate admission arrangements for all Lancashire maintained schools. The Authority will ensure that all Lancashire parents whose children will attend a reception class receive the offer of primary school place on the agreed date.

In year admissions

Before you apply to change schools, you will need to speak to the current school and the school you intend to move to.

How to apply

The different types of schools and academies have different admission arrangements.

Follow the relevant link below for a list of schools of each type and how to apply:

You should not use this process if you are applying for

  • a school which is in another local authority area, such as Blackpool or Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council – please contact them directly
  • a child who has an education, health and care (EHC) plan – please contact the Inclusion Service for guidance
  • a Looked After Child – please apply directly through the local area education office

After you apply

Your application will be processed by the local area education office inline with the Admissions Code and fair access policy.

We’ll acknowledge receipt of your application and then write to you with the outcome within a maximum of 15 school days (this does not include weekends or school holidays).

There is no need to contact us before the 15 days have passed.

The Pupil Access Team privacy notice tells you how we process personal data.

Receiving a school offer

If the school you request has places, your child will be offered a place at the school and you will receive your offer letter via email. You must contact the school within 5 school days of the offer date to arrange school admission. The expectation is that the child will be admitted to the school within 15 school days after the school offer notification.

If the school you request doesn’t have any places, you will be notified via email to contact the area office to be advised of local availability. You also have the right to appeal against the refusal of a place in current Reception class to current Year 11.

Children already attending a local school

Where a child is already on roll at a local school, they must continue to attend until the date of admission to the new school.


If you are unhappy with your school offer you can appeal for any schools which at that time have no available places. Information and advice is available from the admissions team at your local area education office.

We advise you to visit the school you are offered before you go to appeal.

What to consider

Choosing your school preferences

When applying for admission to Lancashire schools you have the right to express more than one preference.

You should list your school preferences in priority order when you apply.

Research schools in your area (you can gain information from the school website and Ofsted reports).

If you need information to help with your application you can contact your local area education office for advice.

Available places

To find out whether a school has a place available, you can either contact your local area education office for community or voluntary controlled schools, or contact the school directly for schools co-ordinating their own admissions.

Application address

A child’s permanent address is one where they normally, live, sleep and go to school from. Proof of residence may be requested at any time throughout the admissions process. Addresses of relatives or friends must not be used and neither should addresses of any other properties owned by applicants. For further information please see the residency for school admissions page.


Your child needs to be able to travel to school easily, safely and on-time.

For help with travel costs, the nearest school is measured by walking distance. If travel cost is an important factor in your school preference or you are in any doubt over the distance between your home and a school please check with the area education office.

If your child is unhappy in their current school

If your child is unhappy in their current school for whatever reason, for example alleged bullying or not getting on with a teacher, you should first contact the headteacher and discuss the problems before changing schools.

It is important that you consider whether a move is really the best option. School transfer is very disruptive for any child and it is not encouraged if the problem can be resolved by the school.

If this matter cannot be resolved, the standard in year admissions procedure will apply.

What to think about if you are considering a change of school

Moving to a new school is an important step for all children.

If you have moved house it may be essential to move your child, however, if a school move is not absolutely essential you should carefully consider the implications for your child.

Some of the things which you must think about if you are considering a change of school for your child are:


This is especially important for secondary aged children, and particularly for those in years 9, 10 or 11. A new school may not necessarily be able to exactly match your child’s existing curriculum commitments.


On average statistics show that school moves lower examination results.


It can be helpful for a child who is presenting challenging behaviour to move to a new school. However, this is normally only where the behaviour is linked to the existing school. If strategies to help a child have already been put in place these can be disrupted by a school move. This can lead to further difficulties.

It is usually better for the child if the family work with the existing school to help to address and resolve any difficulties.

If your child does move schools to address challenging behaviour, they may stay on the roll of their old school for an interim period. If the change of schools is not successful they would go back to their old school.

Peer group / friends

If there are difficulties consider if these would be resolved by a school move?

There could be similar issues, even in a new school. It is often better to work with the existing school to address matters. Moving a child away from an established peer group may adversely affect achievement.


A change of schools during the school year can disrupt a child’s education if they are already in the middle of a specific piece of coursework.


Schools set their own uniform requirements and the council does not generally provide help with the cost of school uniforms. We only offer assistance in very exceptional circumstances.


Schools set their own start and finish times. You need to consider the implication of these on your child and in relation to your personal day to day schedule.

Admission Appeals

The arrangements for the admission of pupils to primary schools in September 2024 will, as far as possible, conform to the following timetable.

1 September 2023 – Apply from this date

School places are not allocated on a first come, first served basis. All applications received up to the closing date are given equal priority, but if you miss the deadline, a late application may reduce your chance of getting your preference of school.

15 January 2024 – National closing date for primary applications (statutory).

During this period all applications are processed and all preferences are considered against the published admissions policy. Where there are more applications than places available, decisions are made as to which children should be offered the available places. We will liaise and exchange information with all other admission authorities including neighbouring local authorities. The allocation and offer of a primary school place is finalised.

16 April 2024 – Offers issued to parents*

(The national offer date is 16 April, if this date falls on a weekend or a bank holiday, offers are sent the next working day.)

Appeals and waiting lists

If you are unhappy with the outcome of your application you can find out about the appeals process or add your child’s name to waiting lists for other schools.

The situation will change for many families as the reserve list and appeal processes roll forward.


Governing bodies of voluntary aided, foundation schools, academies and free schools and the Local Authority will do everything possible to meet your wishes before an appeal becomes necessary.

You will be informed about other available places. It would be helpful if you visited the offered school if you have not already done so.

However, if you are still dissatisfied, you have the right of appeal to an Independent Admissions Appeal Panel, whose members played no part in the original allocation of places.

You will be informed how to appeal in writing. Appeal hearings will take place throughout the summer term. You can appeal for a place at any school or academy.

If a place has already been refused at appeal, the admissions authority will only consider a second appeal for a place at the same school or academy in the same academic year if they consider that there has been a relevant, significant and material change in the family’s circumstances (since the original appeal hearing). If this is the case a second appeal hearing may be agreed. Individual admissions authorities will decide in relation to re-appeal requests.