Starting school is a big milestone for your children and for you. We want to help make that big step a little easier by ensuring that the school or schools you choose give you a say in how your children are taught and, if there is more than one reception class, in whether they are taught together or apart.

However you apply for your children's primary school, it's important to take your time to choose the school that suits your family situation best and speak to the staff about how they approach educating twins, triplets, or more. Consider whether it's important to you to keep them together, or whether a larger school with multiple classes would be more beneficial to your children's development.


Always make sure that you note on the application that you are applying for multiples.

Often, the application form will have a question about whether they are a twin, triplet or more. However, if your local authority doesn't provide this information within the application, it's important that you add this as a note or special consideration to their application so that they are considered together, rather than as two individual applicants.


Two girls in grey school uniform smile at the camera


Book the application dates into your diary early

All children in England aged 5-16 are entitled to a free place at a state school. This doesn't necessarily mean that it's the school closest to you, or the school attached to a preschool that your children may currently be attending.

If you're applying for your child to start primary school in the school year during which they turn five, this is called a 'normal round application'. It's important to ensure that you have chosen your schools and applied for places ahead of the primary school application deadline, which is usually at the start of the calendar year. For example, you may need to apply for a school place before January 2024, if your child is due to start school in September 2024.

You will find out on National Offer Day (which is usually in April in England) which school your children have been allocated to.

Find out more about normal round applications and how places are allocated.

Normal round applications


Applying for a new school during the school year

There are a number of reasons why you may need to apply for a school place outside of the 'normal round' applications. This is called an 'in year application', or a 'casual' application. If you miss the normal round application deadline, then it will also be treated as a casual application and it will be assessed once the normal round places have been allocated.

Find out more about casual, or in-year, applications.

In year applications


What if my child has special educational needs?

The majority of children's educational needs are met by state schools, however if you are concerned about your child needing additional support for their learning, it's important to speak to your child's doctor, health visitor or local authority to get advice.

Find out more about applying for school for children with Special Educational Needs (SEN).

SEND applications


Can I delay or defer my children's start at school?

Parents of multiples might be concerned about their children starting school at the same time as others in their age group, due to them being more likely to have been born prematurely, at low birth weight, or experience developmental delays.

Find out more about how to delay or defer your children's start at school.

Delaying or deferring


How to appeal primary school admissions decisions

Occasionally you will be disappointed with the allocated primary school place for your children, or they may get allocated to different schools.  Depending on these circumstances you may want to appeal this decision.

Find out more about how to appeal my children's school allocations.

Appealing applications

Preparing your twins, triplets and more for primary school

Starting school is a huge milestone for any child, so we've created resources, guides and advice to help you navigate this big step.

Read our advice on how to prepare your children for primary school.

Preparing for primary school


Further help and resources from Twins Trust

We understand that there are a lot of questions around your children starting primary school - especially when twins and triplets are more likely to experience developmental delays and prematurity. The below resources can help you feel confident and supported with this next stage of parenting.

Online community

Our online community groups offer a supportive environment for parents or carers of twins, triplets or more.


Our helpline, Twinline, is here to support you, answering questions about feeding, sleeping, starting school, friendships, getting to grips with the teenage years, or anything else multiples related.

Professional Referral Service

We have a team of volunteers - all professional experts in their field - who can help families of multiples with educational and development issues.


Access downloadable content as a Twins Trust registered user
Register as a free user, or if you are already registered sign-in, to access further information, including our individuality factsheet.



Personal stories from parents of multiples
Let it go
Whether you're punching the air or weeping into the sink, Twins Trust’s Co-Head of Family Services, Louise Bowman, offers tips on a good start at school.
Over to you
Together or apart can be a vexed question for parents when multiples start school. But what do the children think?
Second time lucky
Twin mum Verity Snook on her triplet childhood and the lessons learned from some less than sensitive school handling.