Applying for your child to attend Eileen Wade Primary School.

All of the information on the starting school process is online at

Parents/carers are recommended to apply online using the website for the council in whose area they live. For those who live within the area covered by Bedford Borough Council the web address is

the online system for starting school 2024 goes live on 26th September 2023

The Bedford Borough Council Starting School Booklet will help you understand the application process. 

Information to parents September

Last day for Application Forms 15th January 2024

National Offer Day  16th April 2024

Admission appeal timetable 

Parents and Carers who wish to visit the school prior to their child's admission are always very welcome. Please contact the school to make an appointment.


Eileen Wade Primary School Admissions

Eileen Wade Primary School

Under the provision of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998, parents have the right to express a preference for the school they wish their child to attend. However, children usually attend the school which is nearest their home and each school has a catchment area determined by the Local Authority. Therefore, children who live within the catchment area and whose parents request a place at the school will normally be offered a place, but a catchment place cannot be guaranteed. Eileen Wade Primary School serves the local villages of Upper Dean, Lower Dean, Melchbourne, Shelton and Yielden. The number of pupils the school can admit each year is currently 10.

The statutory age when a child must start school is the beginning of the term following their fifth birthday. The LA and in particular Eileen Wade Primary School are committed to promoting and maintaining high standards in school for all its pupils. We also recognise the particular importance of making sure services for children under five are of the highest quality, so that every child has the best possible start to their education.

Children who are of pre-statutory age, ie. 4 years old, may attend Eileen Wade Primary School in the September of the school year in which they become five; This means they will complete one, two or three terms of pre-statutory education at the school, depending on their birthdate.

Applications for admission in September 2023 should be made in accordance with the Local Authority’s co-ordinated scheme. The timescales for the application process are set out in the Starting School Booklet, available with the application form from the school (Bedford Borough residents only) or the Local Authority in which the child lives.

If the number of requests for places exceeds the number available, then the following criteria will be applied, in rank order, to determine how the places will be allocated:

a) All ‘looked after’ children or children who were previously ‘looked after’ (see definition)
b) Pupils living in the catchment area with siblings at the school (see definition of sibling)
c) Other pupils living in the catchment area
d) ‘Very exceptional’ medical grounds (see definition)
e) Other Siblings (see definition)
f) Any other children

The following exceptions may result in the admission number for the school being exceeded:

• The admission of catchment area pupils, where the parent has expressed a preference (whether first, second or third) for the catchment school as part of the normal admissions round and in accordance with the published admission arrangements. This is not, however, a guarantee of a place

• The admission of pupils who have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) which names the school, when that pupil has either been assessed or moved into the area outside the normal admissions round

• The admission of pupils in accordance with the Fair Access Protocol

• The admission of pupils who have moved into the area, where there is no other suitable school within a reasonable travelling distance, or where the admission of an additional catchment area child would not prejudice the provision of efficient education or the efficient use of resources. Before admitting children under this exception, the governing body will consult with the Local Authority who will be able to advise whether the first of these conditions applies

• The admission of a looked after child outside of the normal admissions round as a result of a direction by the Local Authority acting as corporate parent.

• The admission of a child in very exceptional circumstances in which the Local Authority and the Headteacher are in agreement that not to agree to admit the child would be perverse.

• The admission of a twin or children from multiple births provided the admission would not cause a breach of infant class size limits.

Parents of pupils not offered a place at the school will have the right of appeal to an independent Admissions Appeal Panel. Any child refused a place at the school will be placed on a waiting list which will be prioritised according to the admissions criteria. Waiting lists for the normal year of entry will be maintained until the end of the Autumn term.


If you live in Bedford Borough and would like to apply for a place at Eileen Wade Primary School, please click on the link above.

Eileen Wade Primary School Admissions Policy