THERE are less than two weeks left for parents to apply for a primary school place for their child in Hampshire.

Parents with a child due to start school or move to a junior school in September this year have until Monday, January 15 to apply for Reception Year, or Year 3 at a junior school.

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This year, the county council has introduced several library drop-in sessions for parents who would like some additional guidance.

Those who require support with their applications are encouraged to attend one of the following remaining sessions in January:

• Tuesday 9 January – Havant Library, 9.30am-3.30pm - The Meridian Centre, Elm Lane, Havant, PO9 1UN

• Wednesday 10 January, 9.30am-3.30pm – Andover Library, Chantry Centre, 53 Chantry Street, Andover, SP10 1LT

• Thursday 11 January, 9.30am-3.30pm – Farnborough Library, Pinehurst, Farnborough, GU14 7JZ

There is no requirement to book ahead on any of the sessions; parents can simply turn up and school admissions team staff will be available to support.

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Councillor Steve Forster, Hampshire County Council’s cabinet member for education, said: “With the deadline for primary school applications fast approaching, we’re keen to encourage parents to apply on time and to name three preferences on their applications. Together, this will give them the very best chance of being offered a place at one of their preferred schools.

“We would also remind parents that they can log back into the school admissions system and amend their applications at any time before the 15 January deadline. This means that if you have already applied but haven’t named three preferred schools, you still have the opportunity to update your application with any additional preferences. We would urge any parents in this position to do this, to help them secure a preferred outcome.”

Parents yet to apply for September 2024 primary school places can now go online.

It is strongly recommended to name more than one school to maximise the chances of being offered a place at a preferred school.

Those who do not gain a place at a preferred school will be allocated a place at their catchment school if places remain or the nearest school with space, which could be some distance away.

Parents who intend to apply for school transport need to name their child’s catchment school as one of their preferences, to be considered for transport assistance. Assistance may be available where the eligibility criteria is met.

Those who apply online and on time will be notified of the outcome of their application on April 16, 2024.

For more information about the admissions process, visit the county council's website.