Apply for a school place

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.

Enrolment week 15-19 November 2021

Parents and carers of any child who is five years of age before 28 February 2023 need to enrol their child for primary school.

Enrolment week 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 2022 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 during enrolment week or as soon as possible after that.

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.

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

Deferred entry is where a parents would like their child to have another year in nursery rather than starting school. Legislation confirms that children do not have to start primary one until the August after their fifth birthday.

This option is available to children who will turn five years of age between 18 August 2022 and 28 February 2023.

Applications for deferred entry should be discussed with your head teacher or Early Learning and Childcare setting manager.

We are currently one of five local authorities in Scotland piloting the phased implementation of legislation that will come into force in 2023, where we guarantee a funded place for children who will turn five years of age between 18 August 2022 and 28 February 2023, where their parents want to defer the child's entry to P1.

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.

More information

For more information on school applications, contact:

  • the school you are applying to
  • our HQ Operations team online or phone 01835 825108
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