Admissions to Parley First School, In-Year Applications & Moving on to Middle School

Admissions Policies

Please click below to view the Trust admissions policies. Parley First School admissions policies are at the bottom of the page

Our school admits children between the ages of 4 and 9 (Reception to Year 4) in accordance with the Dorset Education Authority policy. Priority is given to families living in or transferring to the area normally served by our school.

If you live outside this area and would prefer your child to attend Parley First School you will be considered under the Authority’s policy on parental preferences.

Please do not hesitate to contact Dorset School Admissions, who will advise you of the procedure to follow.

All applications for school places must be made through the Local Authority where you live.

Applications into established year groups should also be made via the local authority. Application forms can be downloaded from their website via the following link: Dorset Council – School Admissions

Full details about admission can be obtained from:

Dorset Schools Admission Team
Strategic Services
County Hall
Colliton Park
Tel: (01305) 221060

Admissions into Reception Class

In Dorset there is a single entry date in September for all 4+ aged children.  All children who are 4 by 31 August will be eligible to start school in September.
Reception children are entitled to attend school full time from September however we offer the choice of a period of part-time attendance (i.e. mornings only).  At Parley this may be part time until October half term or until the start of the Spring term.
The statutory age for full-time education in England is the term following a child’s fifth birthday.

What happens next?

There is a strict timetable for applications.  For further details we recommend that you read the Parents Guide on the Dorset Schools Admissions website.
Be advised that if you send in late applications your child’s school maybe full and unable to offer your child a place.
Details of the application process for appeals can be found on the Dorset Council website on the link below:

Appeals against Applications

For a parent to submit an appeal to the Local Authority At least 20 schools days from the parent receiving notice of the refusal of a school place
Notice of the appeal hearing At least 10 school days before the appeal hearing
Appellants (usually the parents) to submit evidence 8 school days before the appeal hearing
Admissions Authority (the school) to submit their evidence 8 school days before the appeal hearing
The clerk (person organizing the appeal) sends appeal papers to the parents, the panel and the school 5 school days before the appeal hearing
Additional evidence from the appellants: sometimes the appellants want to provide additional information after seeing all the papers 5 school days before the appeal hearing
Decision letters sent to the appellants: this is the letter that tells the appellant if their appeal has been upheld or refused Within 5 school days of the hearing (wherever possible)
For applications made in the normal admission round appeals must be heard. Within 40 school days of the deadline for lodging appeals.
Appeals must be submitted by Friday 26 March.
For in year and late applications: those that came in after the deadline and have not been decided by the offer date. Appeals must be heard. Within 30 school days of the appeal.


At the start of the Summer Term, once we have received a final list of accepted places from the Local Authority, you will begin to receive communication from us.  During June each year an evening is arranged for parents to meet the Early Years teachers, the Headteacher, members of POPS (our PTA) and the Governing Body.  The evening will involve presentations, curriculum displays and a tour of the Reception Unit and whole school.  We are always pleased to answer questions or discuss particular issues with you while refreshments are served.

Pre-School Visits

Pre-school visits take place late in the Summer Term.  One afternoon, for two consecutive weeks the children are invited to share a wide variety of activities in the classroom becoming familiar with their new surroundings and staff.  Essentially it is a time for the children and staff to get to know each other.  Children will also become more familiar with the environment.

Parley First School In-Year Applications

In-year Applications are when you wish to move your child from one school to another part way through their time at a school.
Together with other schools in Dorset, and in accordance with statutory requirements, Parley First School has agreed to join the Local Authority’s co-ordinated admissions scheme for the entry admission and transfer process for 2022-23.  Therefore, the in-year application and allocation process will be handled by the Local Authority.

Full details of the application process and the application form, can be found on the Dorset website on the link below.

The Move to Middle School

Children living within the school catchment area usually transfer after Year 4 to Ferndown Middle School.
Transferring to middle school is a major event in a child’s education.  Staff from Parley First School and Ferndown Middle School liaise very closely to ensure that the transfer is happy and successful for all pupils.  A well established transfer programme takes place during Year 4.  This involves pupils, staff and parents who will have opportunities to meet middle school staff and to familiarise themselves with the school buildings.

The Ferndown Pyramid of Schools

Our school is proud to belong to the Ferndown Pyramid of Schools.  The Ferndown Pyramid is a well established community providing a rich environment for each stage of learning.  Close liaison between the schools ensures continuity and progression within the curriculum when children move on to their next school.
The Ferndown Pyramid of Schools share common aims and values.  Policies are developed collaboratively to ensure all pupils experience consistent attitudes and support throughout their education in Ferndown.