How to apply for a school place
Depending on what type of school you wish to apply for, admissions policies of schools can differ. For example, if applying for a private school place, you would need to contact the school directly. When applying for a public school place, there are deadlines in which you need to apply and a dedicated portal to submit your child’s information.
Most schools have catchment areas which can mean that if you are located more than, for example, 0.5miles away from your first choice school, chances are that you may not get a place. However, you should still apply for that school because once places are allocated, parents do tend to change schools before school starts (in September) and beyond. If you want to find out the Ofsted report of any school click here.
- Private schools have their own admissions procedures so you would need to check with them directly.
The portal that is used by parents to submit applications for school places for Public Schools is called the eAdmissions Service. The portal gives information and guidance on how to apply online, finding your nearest school and your local authority details. If you want to find your local schools catchment area, click here.
- You must apply by 15 January for a Primary school place.
Primary school starting age is 4-5 years through to 10. Assuming that your child starts in September after he/she turns 4, you will need to apply by the January of that year. Dates do change slightly each year but the deadline is usually in January. If you are not sure when to register, as long as you have registered on the portal, you should receive an email from the eAdmissions Service informing you that you need to register your child’s place at a certain point. We suggest you don’t rely on this however and you should always check yourself.
You can register your child as soon as you have his or her’s birth certificate on the eAdmissions portal.
Follow this guide to apply for a Primary School place:
- Register on the eAdmissions portal if you have not already done so.
2. You will then receive an email with login and password.
3. Register your child’s details on the portal.
4. When applications are due, you will receive an email advising you it is time to apply.
5. Go onto the portal, log in.
6. Select your preferences (some schools allow you to choose up to 6 schools). Click apply.
7. When places have been allocated, you will receive either a written confirmation or an email from the portal with your child’s school place.
- You must apply by 31 October for a Secondary school place.
Secondary school starting age is 11 through to 16. If the school has a Sixth form, children will stay there until they are 18. If you are not sure when to register, as long as you have registered on the portal, you should receive an email from the eAdmissions Service informing you that you need to register your child’s place at a certain point. We suggest you don’t rely on this however and you should always check yourself.
Follow this guide to apply for a Secondary School place:
1. Log on to the eAdmissions portal.
2. Select your school preferences (some schools allow you to choose up to 6 schools). Click apply.
3. When places have been allocated, you will receive either a written confirmation or an email from the portal with your child’s school place.
If you are offered a Primary or Secondary place at a school that you do not wish your child attend, you have a few options:
- When your child has been allocated a space at a school, write to the admissions department of your local authority setting out your reasons as to why you want your child to attend a different school.
- You can also contact the school that you would like your child to attend to see if they can help. The school will be able to tell if you if there are any spaces available, if there is a waiting list or whether they are fully subscribed with no waiting list.
- School places can be fluid, ie they change daily even through the term times so don’t lose hope if you don’t get the school you wanted. Ensure that you are on the schools waiting list as quickly as possible.