How we allocate in-year school places

Checking your application

We will check that your application has been completed correctly. Incomplete or incorrectly completed forms will not be processed. We will contact you to discuss the action you need to take before we can continue to process your application.

Documentary evidence may be requested to verify your address. Applications may not be processed until this information has been received.

Checking if there are places available

We will contact the schools named as preferences on your in-year application form to check if there is a place available.

If a place is available

If a place is available for your child at one of your preferred schools we will notify you by email or in writing.

If a place is not available

If the published admission number (PAN) of your preferred school(s) has been reached in your child's year group we will be unable to offer a place at the school at that time. Parents or carers will be informed of their right to appeal against refusal of a place at any school for which they have applied.

We do not operate a 'catchment area' system, although some schools have a linked area defined within their admission criteria. However, it may not be possible to offer a place at your linked area school if the PAN has already been reached in your child's year group.

If we are unable to offer a place at any of the schools named as preferences, we will offer a place at the school which is nearest to your home address and which has a place available (provided that your child does not already attend a local school). Where your child already has a school place, we will not offer an alternative school.

Foundation, Trust, Academy, Voluntary Aided and Free schools are responsible for their admission arrangements. The Schools Admissions Team will liaise with these schools and inform them of your application. If a place is available we will notify you in writing and ask you to return an acceptance slip to the school.

Taking up your place

Once a school place has been offered, the child should start attending the school within 10 school days or by the date shown on the formal letter offering the school place. Occasionally, a start date which is slightly outside the 10 days may be agreed (after consultation between the school, parent and ourselves) according to the circumstances of the case.

Fair Access Protocol

Each local authority must have a Fair Access Protocol to ensure that unplaced and vulnerable children, and those who are having difficulty in securing a school place in-year, are allocated a school place as quickly as possible.

Why information is on a different website
We are in the process of adding information to this new unitary council website. Some pages will give you a link back to a previous council website to help you find what you need. Read more about the council changes.

Last updated 24 November 2021