Apply for a school place

Before you apply

Parents or carers must apply for their child to:

If your child needs a school place in a different year group or at another point in the year, you need to apply to move school.

You must check if your child is eligible for free or post-16 school transport.

Please read the relevant brochure:

To find out more about a school, use our directory.

How to apply

You can apply for a school place in September online:

  • primary school admissions open on 16 November 2020 and close 15 January 2021
    • re-opens 17 April 2021 and closes 17 May 2021
  • secondary school admissions open on 9 September 2020 and closes on 31 October 2020
    • re-opens 2 March 2021 and closes 30 March 2021

When you apply:

Service personnel and crown servants

You can apply for a school place in advance of a forces move. 

You can apply within the usual deadline for Reception, Year 3 or Year 7. At any other time, you must apply six weeks in advance.

We will use your unit postal or forces housing address to apply a school's oversubscription criteria. 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.

If none of them can offer a place, we will find you one at the closest school.

Foreign nationals

All European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss national children have the right to enter the country to access a school.

If you hold a General, Business, or Family Visitor visa to the UK, your child cannot study at an academy, local authority-funded school or further education college.

If you would like your child to study in the UK, your child must hold a Tier 4 visa to allow them to study at an independent school.

Your child must hold the correct entry visa before you make an application for a school place.

Make or amend a school application

School offer dates

If we receive your application on time, you will be able to collect your offer on:

  • primary schools - 16 April 2021
  • secondary schools - 1 March 2021

If you apply by paper form, we will post your offer on the same dates. We are unable to give out details over the phone.

If your application is late, we will process it after:

  • primary schools - 24 May 2021 then send you a letter
  • secondary schools - 5 April 2021 then send you a letter

SEND school places

Most children and young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) will have their needs met at a mainstream school or college.

If your child has an Education, Health and Care (EHC Plan):

You can only apply for a place at a special school if your child has an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.

If you believe that your child needs a special school please contact their SEND Caseworker to discuss.

If your child does not have an EHC Plan:

Your child will require an EHC needs assessment which will confirm their level of special educational need and determine whether they require specialist provision.

If an assessment has begun, you must apply online with your chosen school or college.

By week 20 of the process, we will decide whether an EHC plan will be made.

If a draft EHC plan is issued, we will contact you to discuss your chosen schools. You can then ask them to consider a place at a special school.

School appeals

You have the right to an appeal if your child does not get a place at your chosen school.

For a child with an EHC plan, you must contact your case worker.

For a child without an EHC plan, you must follow the appeals process for mainstream schools.

To find out more about SEND school places, visit the Local Offer.