PARENTS have been encouraged to use the festive period to apply for their child’s primary school place for next September.

Parents will children born during the period September 1, 2014, and August 31, 2015, must apply for places by January 15.

Essex County Council has warned that any applications submitted after the deadline will only be considered once all on-time applications have been determined.

Parents have also been encouraged to use all four of their preferences and check the admission criteria for each school.

Ray Gooding, education boss at County Hall, said: “Starting school for the first time is a big milestone in a child’s life and it is crucial that applications for school places are received on time to give children and their parents the greatest chance of being considered for a school they want.

“The deadline for applications is January 15 so I would encourage any parents who haven’t already applied for their child’s reception place to get their application completed over the festive break.”

Applications can be made online at