Every household in the Scottish Borders is within a school catchment area. Normally you will be given a priority place in the primary or secondary school within your catchment area. However it is also possible to apply for a place in a school that is not in your catchment area.
Please note that your nearest school may not be your catchment school.
Session 2023/24 enrolment week - 21-25 November
Parents and carers of any child who is five years of age before 29 February 2024 need to enrol their child for primary school.
This can be done during enrolment week from 21-25 November. This is held every year to enable us to get as many applications in as possible and help with our planning processes for August.
Children who are moving from primary to secondary school in August 2023 will receive details of the local catchment school from their current primary school.
How to apply for a primary school place
Parents are required to complete our online form which will be available during enrolment week.
You will need to have electronic copies of your child’s birth certificate and proof of address such as a council tax letter or child benefit notice available to upload along with your application.
You will need to have a MyScotBorders account if you don’t have one already. Registering for an account is quick and easy, all you need is an email address and to provide some basic personal details. You are also advised to be logged into your MyScotBorders account before starting to complete the online form.
This form should be used for all enrolments, including all placement or other requests outside of enrolment week.
Once you have completed the form, you should contact the school to confirm the application has been made.
Free school meals, help with school wear and benefits
More information about free school meals and clothing grants is available on our website. You may also be interested in the information, advice and support available in relation to the current cost of living crisis.
What happens after you apply
Your catchment/preferred school will be in touch with more information in due course.
In most cases, a place will be available and the headteacher will give you details of start dates, uniforms and a copy of the school handbook.
In the unlikely event that the school is full you may be directed to the nearest alternative school with places.
Deferred entry to primary one
Legislation changes in August 2023 will mean that children do not have to start primary one until the August after their fifth birthday. Parents can defer the date their child starts primary school if their child turns five years of age from the school commencement date in August.
This will mean a guaranteed further funded year in an ELC setting.
This is available to children who will turn five years old between 16 August 2023 and 29 February 2024.
Applications for deferred entry should be discussed with your head teacher or ELC setting manager.
If you would like to apply for this, complete the application form selecting the start date 'next academic year from August 2023' and ticking the box for deferred entry.
Applying to your preferred school - making a placing request
You should apply directly though our online school enrolment form. The placement request section is included in the application. All pupils applying to a school other than their catchment should complete this.
Current P7 pupils wishing to apply for a secondary school place other than their catchment school must also complete this form.
Once a young person reaches school leaving age, they are entitled to make their own placing request.
Entry to P1 or S1 requests will not be considered until the demand is assessed against the number of places available. You will be advised of the outcome of your request by the end of April, provided you make your request on time (February).
Whenever possible we will agree to placing requests. However, in some circumstances this may not be possible and the placing request will be refused.
If your child attends a school outwith your catchment area, it is your responsibility to arrange transport. School transport will not be provided.
For more information on school applications, contact:
- the school you are applying to
- our HQ Operations team online or phone 01835 825108