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.

School admission (enrolment) policy

Our policy covers the admission of pupils to our primary and secondary schools.

Enrolling for Primary 1

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

Children turning 5 before the end of February 2021 will enrol in January 2020 to start school in August 2020.  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.

Exact enrolment dates and instructions will be advertised online and in local papers once they're confirmed.

You need to register at your child's catchment school even if you want to request a place at another school. 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)

Transferring schools / moving home

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.

Moving to secondary school

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


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

Write to the Head of Education, Children, Young People and Lifelong Learning, 122-124 Irish Street, Dumfries, DG1 2PB please.

Page last updated: 26/11/2019
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