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Admission to nursery classes at community primary and ‘all-through’ 3-16/3-18 schools

The Council is the admission authority for all nursery classes in community primary and ‘all-through’ 3-16/3-18 schools.

Children can access a part-time nursery place from the start of the term following their third birthday. Parents/carers who require a place in a nursery class will be required to submit an admission application. Application forms are available from (and, when completed, to be returned to) the Admissions Officer, School and Family Support Team, Port Talbot Civic Centre, Port Talbot SA13 1PJ. Parents/carers can apply for a place at the catchment school or express a preference for a placement at an alternative school.
Admission to a nursery class prior to the start of the term following the child’s third birthday can only be agreed in consultation with the Admissions Officer.

The number of nursery places available may differ to the admission number of full-time year groups within a school (Reception).
Children who are in receipt of a statement of special educational needs/ IDP which identifies mainstream nursery education within a community school will be guaranteed a place at that setting. Schools have a duty to admit children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs who have been placed in a school by the LA and these pupils are counted towards the number of pupils to be admitted unless their placement is within a school based Learning Support Centre.

The Council will consider each individual application received. If the number of applications exceeds the number of places available, places will be allocated according to the oversubscription criteria below, listed in priority order.

  • Oversubscription Criteria

a) Children looked after1 or previously looked after by a local authority in Wales, as defined in section 74 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 or England as defined in Section 22 of the Children Act 1989

b) Children who live within the catchment area of the nursery class for which an application is made.

c) Children who have an older sibling who will be on the register at the school at which the nursery class is based when they are admitted. A “sibling” is defined as a full sibling, a half sibling (i.e. one shared parent), a step sibling (i.e. the child of a person co-habiting with a parent), a fostered sibling or an adopted sibling. In each case, at the time of the application the sibling must reside at the same address as the child or young person. Any sibling connection must be clearly stated in the application. In the case of multiple births, if it is not possible to offer all children a place in the nursery class, the parents will be asked to decide which child should be offered a place first or the parents may wish to consider an alternative setting for all children.

If children are equally entitled to a place in the nursery in categories a) to c) above, priority will be given to the child living nearest. This is measured by the shortest walking/travel route between the home and the school. The Council uses a Geographical Information System to calculate the shortest distance.

In all cases evidence of permanent residence of the pupil at time of application must be supplied.

Once an offer of a school place has been made the Council will only withdraw that offer where the place offered has been on the basis of a fraudulent or intentionally misleading application from a parent (for example, a false claim to residence in a catchment area) which effectively denied a place to a child with a stronger claim. A school place will not be withdrawn once a child or young person has started at the school, except where that place was fraudulently obtained. In deciding whether to withdraw the place, the length of time that the child had been at the school will be taken into account. Where a place is withdrawn on the basis of misleading information, the application will be considered afresh, and a right of appeal offered if a place is refused.

The home address is considered to be the child’s along with their parents’ principal place of residence on the published date, i.e. where they are normally and regularly living. If a child is resident with friends or relatives (for reasons other than fostering arrangements) the friends or relatives address will not be considered in relation to application for admission to schools in Neath Port Talbot.

Where parents have shared responsibility for a child and the child lives with each parent for part of the school week then the home address will be determined as the address where the child lives for the majority of the school week, e.g. 3 out of 5 days. Parents will be required to provide documentary evidence to support the address they wish to be considered for allocation purposes.

No account will be taken of the particular primary school the child is likely to attend subsequently or to the length of time the school has been aware of the parental intention to apply for a place at the school.

Only applications received by the published closing date for receipt of application forms will be processed in the initial round of allocation of places. Application forms received after the closing date will be considered as late applications. These will be considered on a weekly basis once the initial allocation is complete and places will be allocated in accordance with availability.

As nursery education is non-statutory provision parents have no statutory right of appeal. If they are unsuccessful in gaining a nursery place, wherever possible, children will be offered a place within two miles of the child’s place of residence.

Attendance at a nursery class does not automatically entitle a child to a place at a reception class in the same school. A separate application will have to be submitted for admission to the reception class at the school the parent wishes their child to attend.

Although a separate policy provision, the Council recognises the inter-relationship between admission and home to school transport and advises parents to refer to the Council’s Home to School Travel policy when applying for a place at a school for their child. The policy is available at

* A looked after child refers to a child who is looked after by the local authority, in accordance with section 74 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 or under Section 22(1) of the Children Act 1989 at the time an application to a school is made and who the local authority has confirmed will still be looked after at the time of admission to the school. Previously looked after children: looked after children who cease to be so because they were adopted or become subject to a residence order, or special guardianship order immediately following having been looked after.