Time to apply for your child’s secondary school place

If your child is due to start secondary school in September 2020, you can apply from now until the closing date, Thursday 31 October 2019.

Nottinghamshire residents need to apply to Nottinghamshire County Council even if their preferred schools are in other areas such as Nottingham City or Derbyshire.

Nottinghamshire County Council’s service director for education, learning and skills, Marion Clay, said: “It probably seems no time at all since parents were looking for a reception place for their child and deciding which schools to apply for. 

“However, if a child is about to start in Year 6 at primary school, it’s time to think about applying for a secondary school place for next September. 

“This time around it might feel more complicated because your child may have strong ideas about which secondary school they want – or don’t want – to attend, and their ideas may not be the same as yours. 

“The good news is that, last year, nearly 98% of families who applied for a secondary school place on time were offered one of their preferred schools. Applying within the deadline is key.” 

The easiest way to apply is online at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/schooladmissions. Parents who apply online will receive email confirmation that their application has been received.
Parents are strongly advised to:

1) Apply on time – by Thursday, 31 October 2019.  If parents do not apply on time, they substantially reduce the chances of getting a place at one of their preferred schools.  Late applications will only be processed after all on-time applications.  By then, the schools that parents would really like their child to attend might all be full, so the County Council will make an alternative offer of a place at a school which could be at a distance from the home address. 

2) Use all 4 preferences – so that they are more likely to be offered a place at a school they are happy for their child to attend.  

3) Check the admission oversubscription criteria – and include at least one school within the four preferences where their child will have high priority within the admission oversubscription criteria and will therefore be most likely to get a place. Information about the criteria can be found on the Council’s website.  
All secondary schools in Nottinghamshire are now own admission authority schools and have their own oversubscription criteria – this can vary from school to school.

 4) Include other relevant information – in the application, parents should mention any information which may affect how the admission oversubscription criteria are applied.  They should also tell the Council if they are moving house as this may affect how their application is considered.  It is important to read the relevant sections in Admissions to schools: Guide for parents 2020/21, which can be found: www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/admissions.

The Council’s committee chairman for Children and Young People’s Services, Councillor Philip Owen, stressed the importance of applying on time and using all four preferences: “We cannot stress strongly enough the importance of applying on time and identifying four preferences. If you apply late or only list one preference you may substantially reduce the chances of getting your child into your preferred school.

Last year, of those families that were not successful for any of their preferences, 58.4% had expressed only one preference.”

Secondary school offers will be made on Monday, 2 March 2020. If parents apply online an email will be sent on this day if they have opted to receive an email outcome. All online applicants can log in to the online application service to view the outcome of their application.

For parents who apply by telephone or by completing a paper application, the outcome of preferences will be posted second class on Monday, 2 March 2020.

For more information about the application process, schools, the number of places available or how places are allocated, please visit the website at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/admissions  or call 0300 500 80 80. 

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