Apply to move school

Before you apply

Applying to move schools for an in-year place should only be done if:

  • you are moving house
  • you want to move your child from their current school for any other reason

An in-year place refers to starting at a new school after the schools intake has normally happened. This is September of reception year for primary and infant schools, September of Year 3 for junior schools and September of Year 7 for secondary schools.

You do not need to make an in-year application for your child to start:

When applying for a school place in advance of starting in any of these year groups, applying for a school place is a separate process.

You can apply for an in-year place at any time, but a school will only hold a place for six school weeks. There is no guarantee that a place will be available at your preferred school.

If you wish to list a grammar school on your application form, you need to arrange to sit their admissions test. Contact the school directly prior to application.

You can use our directory to learn more about a school.

You can use our nearest school search tool to find the schools closest to your home address.

Our Going to school in Lincolnshire guide can provide further information about applying to move schools.

School transport

You should check if your child is eligible for free or post-16 school transport before applying, as this might influence which schools you choose to apply for.

Applying if you are moving house

If you are moving house, you can apply for a school place before you move. The application will be based on your current address unless you are a member of the UK armed forces or returning crown servants, where different rules apply.

You can apply for any mainstream school in Lincolnshire online, except Lincoln University Technical College (UTC). You must apply to this school on the UTC website.

You need to ensure your moving date is correct on your application and contact us if that changes before a place is offered.

You need to ensure that you include your child's current school information on your application form so we can see if your child is already attending a school within a reasonable distance from home. If you include this, it will help ensure your application is completed on time.

A reasonable distance is:

  • five miles from primary school
  • 10 miles for secondary school (or the three closest Lincolnshire schools, if there are not three schools within 10 miles)

We will advise you of the outcome of your application within 15 school days. If none of the schools on your application can offer you a place and you do not have a school within a reasonable distance of your home address, we will look for the closest school with a place for you.

This search will be done within 15 days of your arrival in the county or in advance of a move for a forces child.

If your application is unsuccessful, you should contact the schools listed to update your reserve list position once you have moved.

Apply to move school

Applying because of school issues

If your child is unhappy and wants to move schools, you should discuss this with your child’s headteacher first. 

Only make an in-year application if the issue cannot be resolved.

If you are considering moving schools because your child is at risk of being excluded, email for advice.

Apply to move school

Service personnel and crown servants

You can apply for a school place in advance of a forces move. Unless you have a posting, this will usually be based on your current address. If you have a posting, a future address can be used.

If you do not have a future address, you can apply using your unit postal address. You can also use this rather than your future address if you prefer.

You can apply six weeks in advance.

We will follow the schools admissions policy when considering your application. You must send us proof of your posting.

We will ask the schools you apply for if they wish to offer you a place, even if they are full. They will comply with their policy when making this decision.

If no schools you list can offer a place, we will offer you a place at the closest school to your new address with spaces available. This will be done before your move if you have a posting order. If you do not have a posting order, this will be done when you arrive.

If you are not offered your preferred schools and choose to appeal, the appeal may be treated differently for a forces child.

For further advice, email

Apply to move school

In-year school offers

We will advise you of the outcome of your application within 15 school days. For most schools, we do not make decisions on cases, but we do pass on their response to you.

We only make the decisions for one secondary school (Spalding High School) and infant, primary and junior schools that we maintain. For other schools, we tell you the decision of the school's admissions authority.

If a school has not responded to your application within 15 days, we will write to tell you this. You may wish to complain to the school.

Where a school offers a place, you will not be given a start date, but you will be given a timeframe in which to contact the school.

No school offer

When no school listed on the application offers a place and if you:

  • live in Lincolnshire, and your child is not on a school roll, you will be offered the nearest school with a place.
  • are moving to Lincolnshire and have provided a move date and an intended address within the next six weeks, we will source an alternative school place within 15 days of your arrival.
  • live in Lincolnshire but already have a suitable school place, we will not make a new offer.
  • do not live in Lincolnshire, we will not find another school place for you.
  • have not provided a move date or new address, we will only make a new offer once you provide this information.

School refusal reasons

After the year which the students enter the school (e.g. Year 3, Year 7), the school can refuse for three reasons:

  • they feel that admitting a further student would cause prejudice to the other students on roll.
  • the school has space, but the child has challenging behaviour, and the school feels that admitting them would cause prejudice.
  • the child has been permanently excluded from two or more schools in two years (exceptions apply).

Challenging behaviour

Where a school has space, they may ask your child's previous school whether they have challenging behaviour. Where the school has reason to believe this is the case, they may refer it under the fair access protocol. We will let you know if this happens, as it may take longer to get a place. These must be agreed upon within 20 days of the referral.

Make an appeal

If a school does not offer you a place, you can appeal. To do this, please follow the appeals process.