Dates and deadlines

Posted on January 2nd, 2024

By far the most usual date when changes and innovations are brought in by the DfE is 1 September of each academic year. But there are some dates and deadlines that occur in the spring and summer terms. Here is a reminder for this calendar New Year.

Early years foundation stage

New EYFS frameworks come into force from 4 January 2024

There are now two separate EYFS frameworks – one for childminders and one for school and group- based providers. These apply from 4 January 2024. Providers are responsible for ensuring that they follow the correct version of the framework for their provider type.

New statutory document entitled ‘Early years qualification requirements and standards’ comes into force on 4 January 2024

The document sets out the minimum qualification requirements that staff must meet to be recognised as level 2, level 3 or level 6 members of staff for the purpose of working within the EYFS staff-to-child ratios. It also sets out the criteria that Early Years Practitioner (level 2) and Early Years Educator (level 3) and other qualifications of level 4 or higher must meet to be recognised as full and relevant by the DfE. These criteria outline the minimum skills, knowledge and understanding that a practitioner must demonstrate to deliver the EYFS and support the learning and development of young children.


From April 2024, working parents of two-year-olds (ie those who individually earn more than £8,670 but less than £100,000 a year) will be able to access 15 hours of free childcare.

Teacher training

Applicants considering coming to England to teach, or training to teach, languages or physics may be eligible for financial help from the government worth £10,000. The international relocation payment (IRP) is designed to cover some of the costs of moving to England. Applications open on 2 January 2024 and details can be obtained on

Admissions timeline

  • 31 January 2024 is the deadline for the completion of any consultation on proposed admission arrangements.
  • 28 February 2024 is the national closing date for academies and maintained school to determine their admissions arrangements for September 2025.
  • 28 February 2024 is also the national closing date for academies and maintained schools to publish their appeals timetable for 2024 on their websites.

Secondary school places

Offers of school places will be sent on 1 March 2024. The offer must be accepted by the deadline given in the offer letter.

Primary school places

  • The deadline for applying for a primary school place for September 2024 is 15 January 2024.
  • Offers of school places will be sent on 16 April 2024. The offer must be accepted by the deadline given in the offer letter.

Primary statutory tests timetable

Phonics screening (year 1)

The screening test will take place in the week beginning 10 June 2024.

Multiplication check (year 4)

This check must be administered to all eligible year 4 pupils between Monday 3 June 2024 and Friday 14 June 2024.

Key stage 2 SATs

  • 13 May 2024 English grammar, punctuation and spelling papers 1 and 2.
  • 14 May 2024 English reading.
  • 15 May 2024 Mathematics papers 1 and 2.
  • 16 May 2024 Mathematics paper 3.

Optional key stage 1 SATs (year 2

It is recommended that optional key stage 1 tests are administered during May 2024.

Academy conversion key dates

The following is the timetable for schools converting to academies.

Conversion date

1 February 2024

1 March 2024

1 April 2024

1 May 2024

1 June 2024

Completed documents to DfE project lead






Confirm commercial transfer agreement and terms of leases






Submit funding and supplementary agreements






Send academy’s bank details to ESFA






School census dates – all schools have to submit returns three times a year

Spring census

  • Census date 18 January 2024.
  • Return date 14 February 2024.

Summer census

  • Census date 16 May 2024.
  • Return date 12 June 2024.

Current DfE consultations

  • Elective home education guidance review – proposed changes to the non-statutory home education guidance for local authorities and parents – closes 18 January 2024.
  • Minimum service levels in education – possible regulations to implement minimum service levels in education services in Great Britain during strike action – closes 30 January 2024.
  • Guidance for schools and colleges: gender questioning children – the consultation is seeking views on the content of the guidance and whether it will help to support schools and colleges, teachers and leaders to make considered and lawful decisions in relation to children who are questioning their gender and the wider school and college community – closes 12 March 2024.

UCAS applications

Deadline for application for most undergraduate courses is 31 January 2024. Applications for medicine, veterinary medicine/science, dentistry and Oxbridge had to be submitted by 16 October 2023.

However, the UCAS deadline for apprenticeship places varies depending on the employer.

UCAS Extra applications can be made between 28 February 2024 and 4 July 2024.

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