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School places

We deal with school enrolments and requests for places at local schools. Most children start school when they're between 4 years 6 months and 5 years old but it is possible to start children early or later in certain circumstances.

Catchment areas

All of our schools cover areas known as catchment areas. You can apply to any school but children living in the catchment area get priority when allocating places.

We can't guarantee that places will still be available at your child's catchment school if you make a request for a non-catchment school and aren't successful.

Enrolling for Primary 1

The school year starts in August and children enrol in the January before they start.

You must register your child at their catchment primary school to start in August 2017 if they'll be five on (or before) 28 February 2018. Enrolment of pupils into P1 will take place at your child's catchment school between 9am and 3.30pm on:

  • Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 January 2017

When you enrol you'll have to provide proof of the child's:

  • date of birth (birth certificate)
  • home address (a recent council tax or utility bill)

Children born between 1 September and the last day of February can choose to start primary school later. Children born between the first day of March and the last day of August can also apply for deferred entry.

Moving to secondary school

Pupils normally transfer to the secondary school associated with their primary school between the ages of 11 and 12. Your child's school will provide further information on the process when the time comes to transfer.

Transferring schools

Children moving schools (or into the area) should contact their local school directly. The school will be able to provide forms and deal with the request.


You can challenge a decision within 28 days of receiving a letter of refusal from us.

Write to the Director of Children, Young People and Lifelong Learning, Woodbank, 30 Edinburgh Road, Dumfries, DG1 1NW.

Page last updated: 05/12/16