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Apply for pre-school and school places

How to apply for pre-school and school places in West Lothian through the Pupil Placement section.

Nursery or pre-school is now referred to as 'Early Learning & Childcare' and ELC is used to indicate this provision throughout the information below.

West Lothian Council provide education as the following :

1.    Early Learning & Childcare 2 year old provision

2.    A) Early Learning & Childcare 3 and 4 year old provision

       B) Early Learning & Childcare 3 and 4 year old provision - Flexible provision

3.    Wraparound Care

4.    Early Learning & Childcare Additional Year (or deferral of P1)

5.    Primary School Places

6.    Secondary School Places

Please expand these Headings where listed below for more information related specifically to that provision.

Applying for a Place 

The Pupil Placement section deals with all applications for ELC and wraparound, and deals with applications for the August primary one (P1) and secondary one (S1) intakes.  Schools deal with applications for other stages and for P1 and S1 after the pupils start school.  To apply for a school, ELC or wraparound place you must complete an on-line application form.  If you are unable to complete an on-line application, paper versions of all application forms are available from schools, nursery schools, libraries, Council Information Service Offices and from the Pupil Placement Section. An on-line form for applying for ELC 2 Year Old provision will be available as soon as possible.

Full details of the application process are set out in the Policy documents in Related Documents. Each Provision has an application form(which requires to be completed and submitted), a Policy document (which explains the policy and process for that provision) and a Guidance notes (which lists establishments that provide this provision and contact details/times for them). 2 year old provisions guidance is in the form of a flowchart.

The Pupil Placement Section has a database with details of children under 19 living in West Lothian.  We get information from letters we send to households, from the Health Board when children are born, from application forms and from the schools databases.  If we have your child's details on our database we will write to you to ask you to apply for ELC, P1 and S1 at the appropriate times.

1. Early Learning & Childcare 2 year old provision

Your child is eligible for 600 hours of ELC provision from the start of the first term after their 2nd birthday, if you are the child's parent/carer and you are in receipt of:-

  • Income Support
  • Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
  • Employment Support Allowance (income based)
  • Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (CTC) but not Working Tax Credit (WTC) and your income is below £16,105
  • Both maximum CTC and WTC with income less than £6,420
  • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • Universal Credit - monthly earned income does not exceed £610

You will find further guidance in:

2 B) Early Learning & Childcare 3 and 4 year old - Flexible provision

ELC Provision - Increase in Flexibility and Choice - Session 2017/18

West Lothian Council consulted parents in 2013 and 2015 on how they would like to see flexibility and choice in ELC provision increased. As a result of the 2013 consultation, a new model of ELC provision was piloted at four establishments in Session 2015/16. This proved popular and following the 2015 consultation, the new model of provision was made available at 9 establishments in Session 2016/17.

The new model of provision (2 full-day provision) allows children to obtain their 600 hours of early learning and childcare across two days with attached wraparound care, so that the provision is available from 8.00am to 6.00pm on any two days from Monday to Thursday.

The provision consists of two 8 hour sessions of early learning and childcare lasting from 8.00am to 4.00pm.

Parents/carers using this provision are given the option of purchasing wraparound care from 4.00pm to 6.00pm. Wraparound care is charged per session.

Parents/carers have the option of purchasing a packed lunch (for current price please ask establishment staff), or providing their own packed lunch, as is current practice in the council's wraparound care service.

This provision has been available at the following nine establishments since August 2016:

  • Bathgate West Nursery School, Bathgate
  • Bonnytoun Nursery School, Linlithgow
  • East Calder Primary School Nursery Class, East Calder
  • Glenvue Nursery School, Livingston
  • Knightsridge Early Years Centre, Livingston
  • Linlithgow Primary School Nursery Class, Linlithgow
  • St Nicholas' Primary School Nursery Class, Broxburn
  • Southdale Primary School Nursery Class, Armadale
  • Whitdale Early Years Centre, Whitburn

and at Mid Calder Primary School Nursery Class  since August 2017. A pilot is also being trialled in 2017/2018 at Boghall Nursery and Deans North Nursery (Within Deans Community High School), where the 2 full-day provision is available on school holidays (except the Christmas holidays, Good Friday, Easter Monday and the May Day holiday as all wraparound care establishments closed on these days) that is 50 weeks of the year.  A child allocated the 2 full-day provision would therefore attend the 2 full-days allocated from 08:00-16:00 free during term time and purchase wraparound care from 16:00-18:00 if required on the same 2 days.  Then could also purchase either 08:00-16:00 (£23) or 08:00-18:00 (£27) as wraparound care on school holidays (except the dates mentioned above as all establishments closed) at wraparound rates.  This new option gives working parents access to the same cover on holidays as during term time.

If you have not already submitted an application, please complete an on-line application form, or if you have submitted a form or your child is already attending ELC provision and you would like to change your choice to this new provision, please complete the on-line form at Additional information to add to submitted application or e-mail PupilPlacement@WestLothian.gov.uk stating your child's name, date of birth and your new choices.

2. A) Early Learning & Childcare 3 and 4 year old provision

The Council currently provides ELC places to three and four year olds. The Council also has partnership agreements for the provision of ELC with some private nurseries.

If you are applying for an ELC place, you can submit an on-line form after your child's second birthday. If you are applying for wraparound, you can put the details of your request on your child's ELC or primary application form, or you can fill in a wraparound application form if you decide to apply for wraparound care at a later date.

Please submit an on-line application if you wish to apply for either of these options.  ELC establishments, contact details, type of provision and times of sessions can be found in the guidance notes document below:

There are no catchment areas for ELC, but we do try to offer children places at local nurseries and take account of the school they are likely to go to.

3. Wraparound Care

We have set up wraparound care facilities at some of our ELC establishments in line with Scottish Government guidance. To be eligible for wraparound care your child must be in ELC for 3 or 4 year olds or attending P1 to P3. In line with Council policy, priority is given to ante pre-school and pre-school aged children for wraparound care places. It may be possible, where there is enough space, to offer wraparound care places to pupils in P1 to P3.

 

Wraparound care is not a free service, although we do everything we can to keep charges as low as possible.  We have to charge so that wraparound care is cost effective as required by the Scottish Government, and is reliable.  Wraparound care is charged per session, with an annual administration fee of £20.

For guidance and to find out which schools and nurseries offer wraparound care, for wraparound care opening times and charges per session, please view pdf icon 2-ELC 3 and 4 Year Olds and Wraparound Care – Guidance Notes [579kb].

Wraparound care is not available for P4-P7 children.  Details of Childcare are available from the https://www.scottishfamilies.gov.uk/.

Please complete the 3-Wraparound Care - Application Form

4. Early Learning & Childcare Additional Year (or deferral of P1)

Some children can defer entry into Primary 1, and may be able to apply for 'An additional year of ELC'. The entitlement and the process for this is explained in the 'Additional Year of 'Early Learning & Childcare' and School Education Policy' document pdf icon 4-ELC Additional Year (Or Deferral of P1) – Policy Document [20kb].

If your child is entitled to apply for an additional year of ELC, it is advised that you discuss with the nursery staff where your child attends.

Primary applications are issued each October/November for the following August Intake, however applications for an additional year of ELC are not available until the January.  You should complete the primary application form when you receive this and if you still wish to defer entry in the January you would complete the form for Application for an Additional Year of Early Learning and Childcare online.

5. Primary School Places

There are currently 67 primary schools in West Lothian.  The authority is divided into catchment areas for primary and secondary schools.

Each school is either denominational (linked to a particular religion) or non-denominational (not linked to any particular religion).  All the denominational schools in West Lothian are Roman Catholic.  Each home address has a catchment denominational school and a catchment non-denominational school, for both primary and secondary education.

You will find further guidance in:

6. Secondary School Places

There are currently 11 secondary schools in West Lothian.   The authority is divided into catchment areas for primary and secondary schools.

Each school is either denominational (linked to a particular religion) or non-denominational (not linked to any particular religion).  All the denominational schools in West Lothian are Roman Catholic.  Each home address has a catchment denominational school and a catchment non-denominational school, for both primary and secondary education.

Please complete the secondary school application here

You will find further guidance in:

Refusals and Appeals

If your ELC application is refused, the Pupil Placement Section will grant your child a place at your second or third choice school if available, and if not they will write to you to tell the closest available places.

If your P1 or S1 application for next session is refused the Pupil Placement Section will grant your second or third choice if possible, and if not they will allocate a place at a local school. If you apply for other stages or during the current school year and the school refuses your application, please contact the Pupil Placement Section and they will help you find a place for your child. If your primary or secondary application is refused, you have the right to an appeal. There are no appeals for ELC or wraparound placements. In West Lothian, all appeals against the refusal of places at schools are heard by the West Lothian Council (Placing in Schools) Appeal Committee.  The committee is independent of Education Services.

Please find Placing in Schools Appeals Committee leaflets in Related Documents.