Our tours are now complete for this year.  If you have not managed to look around the school, please click on the the New Entrants tab and there is a video tour of the Early Years area.

Children start primary school in the same academic year as their fifth birthday. 

St. James' is a popular school and applications often exceed places available.  Applications should be made via the Local Authority (online) by completing a Reception Common Application Form (RCAF); applicants must also complete a Supplementary Information Form (SIF) which should be handed to the school office.  Applications made without a SIF being completed and handed in to the school will be treated as being criterion 6 (see below).

All applications should be received by the school no later that the Kent County Council closing date for admissions, which is usually near the turn of the calendar year before the school year in which a child would be admitted.

Where applications are made outside the usual admissions rounds (called In-Year applications), a SIF will also need to be completed as this will determine where on the waiting list your child will be placed.  In-Year applicants also need to complete the In-Year Admission Form (below).

Oversubscription Criteria

Before the application of oversubscription criteria, children with an Education, Health and Care Plan that names this school will be admitted.  As a result of this the published admission number will be reduced accordingly.

  1. Children in Local Authority Care or Previously in Local Authority Care – a child under the age of 18 years for whom the local authority provides accommodation by agreement with their parents/carers (Section 22 of the Children Act 1989) or who ceased to be so because they became subject to an adoption, residence or special guardianship order under Part IV of the Act.
  2. Children who physically reside within the area described in Annex A - Residency must be on the closing date for applications and on the date on which places are offered.  Please download the SIF form below for details of the roads or parts of roads which comprise this area.  A map showing the area can be seen at the school office.
  3. Children who have a parent/foster parent/guardian who is a practising member of St James' Church included on the electoral role of the parish of St James', Tunbridge Wells at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting in the calendar year before the child could start school.
  4. Children who have a brother or sister at this school at the time of admission.
  5. Children who have a parent/foster parent/guardian who is a practising member of a local church (defined as being within a radius of 3 miles from the school) that is a member of the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland or the Evangelical Alliance.
  6. All other children.

Where there are too many fulfilling any one of the oversubscription criteria, children will be ranked in accordance with proximity to the school.  We use the distance between the child's permanent home address and the school, measured in a straight line using the National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG) address point data.  

For more information and a more thorough explanation of each criterion please download our SIF which is at the back of our admissions policy (below).

Our admissions officer, Angie Pierce is always happy to discuss any questions you may have regarding admissions to the school.


If your child is due to start Primary school in September 2024, you can appeal if you are refused a place at one of your preferred schools on National Offer Day (Tuesday, 16 April 2024). You need to submit your appeal before Tuesday 14 May 2024 for it to be considered by Tuesday 16th July 2024. Any appeals received after this time will be heard within 40 school days from the deadline, or where reasonably possible in line with updated guidance from the Department for Education.

For late applications, appeals should be heard within 40 school days from the deadline for lodging appeals where possible, or within 30 school days of the appeal being lodged where reasonably possible in line with updated guidance from the Department for Education.

Admissions FAQs:

Which secondary schools do children transit to after St James'?

We have many secondary schools in the town and beyond, and our children transit to many of them.  The numbers going to each school varies year on year.  Local secondary schools which have been popular over the last few years have been Skinners Kent Academy, Bennett Memorial, Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar School and Skinners. 

If I live inside the school catchment area, am I guaranteed a place at the school?

No, as it depends on the number of children applying from each category.  Where two parents apply within the same category, distance to the school becomes the determiner.  Therefore if 91 parents apply within catchment, then at least one will be disappointed, and that will be the parents living furthest away as the crow flies. 

Our child has Special Education Needs.  How will the school meet their needs?

If your child has Special Educational Needs it would be important to speak to our SENCO.  We will work with the parents before and after the child has started school to determine how best to support the child and meet their needs.