Don’t miss out on your child’s secondary school place

07 September 2017


Parents of pupils who are due to start secondary school in Nottinghamshire in September 2018 are reminded that now is the time to start thinking about applying for a place. 

The application process for children transferring from primary schools to secondary schools in September 2018 will close on Tuesday, 31 October 2017.

Nottinghamshire parents will need to apply through Nottinghamshire County Council, even if they wish to apply for schools 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 has just gone into Year 6 at primary school, it’s now time to start thinking about applying for a place at secondary school for next September. 

“This time around it might also 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 always be the same as yours. 

“The good news, however, is that last year, 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 for a place is online at and this is the method the County Council advises parents to use. Parents submitting their application online will receive an email confirming that their application has been received.
When making an application parents are strongly advised to:

1) Apply on time – the closing date is Tuesday, 31 October 2017.  The importance of applying on time cannot be stressed enough and failure to do so could severely restrict a parent’s chances of their child getting a place at one their preferred schools.  If parents miss the October deadline, their application will only be processed after all the on-time applications.  Parents should be aware that, by that time, the schools they might really like their child to attend might all be full. In that case, the County Council will make an alternative offer of a place at a school which could be at a distance from your home address 

2) Use all of your preferences – parents should make sure that they use all four of their preferences rather than just making one preference and limiting their options. This way 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 – parents are urged to include at least one school within the four preferences where their child will have high priority within the school’s admission oversubscription criteria and are therefore most likely to get a place. Information about the criteria can be found on the Council’s website.  
The previous priority given to children living out of catchment who have a sibling connection has been reinstated in relation to 2018/19 admissions for schools where the County Council is the admissions authority.

However, academies are able to set their own admission oversubscription criteria and parents are advised to check these carefully as they can differ from school to school. They should also note that there are only two schools in the county where the Council is currently the admissions authority and these are in the process of converting to academy status

4) Include other relevant information - in the application, parents also need to make sure they mention any information that is relevant to their application 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 2018-2019.

5) Schools with an intake in Year 10 - children due to move into Year 10 in September 2018 may also wish to consider other opportunities for education.  University technical colleges and studio schools have an intake at Year 10.  Children living in Nottinghamshire will have received a letter informing them of schools within a reasonable travelling distance of the local authority area and how to apply.

The Council’s committee chairman for children and young people’s services, Councillor Philip Owen, stressed the importance of parents applying on time and using all four preferences: “It is crucial that parents give themselves the best possible chance to get their child into their preferred school - if the application is late or only one school is listed, this could substantially reduce their chances of getting their child into one of their preferred schools.”

Over 70% of those 168 parents who didn’t get one of their preferred schools for September 2017 only made one preference.

Parents also need to be aware of possible changes to school travel entitlement.

“The County Council currently provides home to school transport above and beyond what is legally required. Whether we can continue to afford to do this in the future is subject to further consideration,” continued Coun Owen.  

No change is expected before September 2019, which is a year later than published in the Admissions to schools: Guide for parents 2017-2018.  

He added: “This means that parents making a preference for a school which is not their nearest or catchment school may not be able to secure transport provided by the County Council after September 2019.”

It remains the parents’ responsibility to make sure their child gets to school. 

The Council is advising parents to read its home to school transport policy if they think this change may affect them:

Secondary school offers will be made on Thursday 1 March 2018 by email to those who apply online. Parents and carers who apply by post will be sent notification by second class post that day. 

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

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