Parents of young children are being urged not to miss the closing date for school place application.
Leicestershire County Council is reminding parents that if their child is four before September 1 this year, they need to apply for infant or primary places by January 15.
Applications for children who are moving from infant to junior school also need to be sent in by the same date.
Starting school is not automatic and all parents need to apply.
The transfer process is the same for a local authority school or a recently-converted academy, said the council.
Late applicants will have the lowest priority and may not be offered a place at any of their preferred schools, or even their catchment area school.
Ivan Ould, the county council’s cabinet member for the children and young people’s service, said: “It is very important that all parents apply on time to give their children the best possible chance of being offered a place at their preferred school.
“If parents are late and there are a lot of requests, even if they live next door to the school, they are unlikely to get a place for their child.
“Applying online is easy, cost-effective and secure and by reducing stationery and postage costs, it also saves the council money.”
Online applicants will receive an email acknowledging receipt and be able to view the decision on April 16, 2014.
Parents can also apply by post if they wish.
To find out more, visit: www.leics.gov.uk/admissions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0116 305 6684.