Acorn Multi Academy Trust is the admissions authority for its member schools, responsible for the admissions policies and decisions on applications for admission.

We have an admissions policy for each academic year and they will be published on our policies page when they are proposed for consultation and after they have been determined annually. They are written to comply with the School Admissions Code 2021 and School Admissions Appeals Code 2022.

The local governing body plays an active part in the admissions process. 

Attending Marshwood CE Primary Academy

We welcome prospective parents to come and have a look around our school and meet up with the Head of School and the staff. Appointments can be easily arranged by calling the School Office on 01297 678224 or emailing

You can view our Admissions Policies on this website or contact Dorset Local Authority through the links below for more information about the admissions process.

Starting School for the First Time

Once you decide you would like a place in Reception or at any other time after this, you must make a formal application. You can do this by applying to the Local Authority and not direct to the school.

Apply for school place for the first time

For the Normal Round intake into school, children are offered places to start in Reception at the beginning of the September term after their fourth birthday. Children who are admitted to a vacancy at any time after this point are called 'In-Year' Admissions (see below).

We have a programme of induction for pupils new to our Reception class in the summer term before they start school. Children are welcomed for a series of taster sessions, enabling them to familiarise themselves with the classroom and the school, meet their teachers and the teaching assistants and have a chance to play with their new classmates.

In-Year Admissions

If you are planning to move your child during the year then all applications must be made in line with Dorset LA’s admission scheme. Further information and application forms are available from the Local Authority admissions team on 01305 221060 or on their website:

View Dorset Council's in year application

The admission limit for each year group is 10. Where the number of applicants exceeds places available, the allocation of those places is made according to the criteria set out in our Admissions Policy.

Transferring to Secondary School

Most of our children transfer to Woodroffe School, but some choose to transfer to Axe Valley Academy, Beaminster School, or Colyton Grammar School. We have close links with Woodroffe School and a full transition programme exists to enable children to make the move with ease and confidence. Parents will need to complete their secondary school application here:

Dorset transferring to secondary school

Useful Links

Apply for a school placeThe Woodroffe SchoolColyton Grammar SchoolAxe Valley AcademyBeaminster School

Admission appeals timetable for entry in September

Link to Dorset County Council Admissions Appeals Timetable

School Admission Appeals will be processed in line with the requirements set out in the School Admissions Appeals Code. Below is a timetable that sets out key dates for the appeals process, focussing on September 2024 entry. Key information has also been provided that sets out how in-year appeals will be dealt with.

Primary Phase Timetable and Deadlines

Offer letters posted to parents and carers on National Offer Day by Local Authority

16th April 2024

Deadline for acceptance of the offer by parents and carers

1st May 2024

Deadline for lodging an on-time admission appeal

16th May 2024

Appealing hearing dates

Between 10th June and 18th July

Our Admissions Policies

You can find our determined admissions policies 2024 and 2025 on our policies page . We review the school policy annually and may make changes if we feel this would be in the best interests of the school and our community.

Each academic year has its own policy document, with details about how to apply for a place in school from the start of Reception through to Year 6.

Click here to view our admissions policies

Dorset School's Admission Appeals Timetable

Local Authority to publish appeals: 28 February

  1. For a parent to submit an Appeal:At least 20 school days from the parent receiving notice of the refusal of a place
    at a school.
  2. Notice of the Appeal Hearing: At least 10 school days before the hearing
  3. Appellants (usually the parents) to submit evidence
  4. Admission Authority (the school) to submit their evidence 8 school days before the Appeal hearing.
  5. The Clerk (the person organising the appeal) sends Appeal papers to parents, the panel and the school.
  6. 5 school days before the Appeal - additional evidence from the Appellants. (Sometimes the Appellants wish to provide additional information after seeing all the papers)
  7. Decision letters sent to the Appellants. Within 5 school days of the hearing (wherever possible) (The letter that informs the Appellant if their Appeal has been Upheld or refused)
  8. For applications made in the normal way. Admissions Round Appeals must be heard within 40 school days of the deadline for lodging appeals (see a. above)
  9. For In Year and Late Applications - Within 30 school days of the Appeal (those that came in after the deadline being lodge and have not been decided by the offer date) Appeals must be heard.

Admission Appeals:

  • Must always be heard by a properly trained, competent, experienced and knowledgeable, independent panel
  • Have an independent Clerk to the Appeal Panel present, who has a clear understanding and knowledge of the School Admissions Code and the School Admission Appeals Code and can offer Guidance to the panel.

Dorset Council's Admissions Appeals Timetable