THIS week, as thousands of youngsters return to school after the summer break, parents are being urged to get their applications in for places next year.

And for the first time, parents in Swindon will be able to apply for their child to go to the University Technical College in next year’s intake.

The process for applying for school places has now begun and the council are urging parents to fill out a form as soon as possible.

This month sees the opening of the UTC, which works closely with local businesses to offer an engineering focused curriculum, and children entering Year 10 will be able to apply to join.

Last year a high number of first preference choices were given, with 92 per cent of applicants to primary schools getting their first pick while the figure was 94.2 per cent in secondary schools.

However, parents are being asked to put down three choices just in case their first choice is oversubscribed.

Coun Fionuala Foley (Con, Chiseldon and Lawn), the Cabinet member for Children’s Services said: “In Swindon we do very well in providing school places and meeting parents’ preferences as to where they would like their children to be educated.

“But it is extremely important that parents give us their second and third preferences as well, and not just their first preference.

“This gives them the best possible chance of getting their children into a school that is the most acceptable to them if their first choice can’t take all the applicants.”

The deadline for parents to get their applications in for the UTC and secondary schools is approaching fast. If applications are not received by October 31 then the council have said they cannot guarantee people will get their first choice.

Parents wanting a primary school place have several months longer but must have their application in by January 15 to be sure of a place.

There are a number of ways in which to submit an application and all details, as well as the oversubscription policy can be found be visiting schoolplaces.

Anyone who is looking to submit an application can also contact schools directly by visiting the council’s One Stop Shop in Beckhampton Street, or contact the council’s School Admissions Team either by phone on 01793 445500 or by e-mail at

Letters will be sent to parents and carers detailing the offer of a school place for their children next year on April 16 for primary and junior places, and on the March 2 for secondary places.