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Final call for parents to make a solid school application

25 October 2021

Secondary school children working on group project

Parents across Nottinghamshire are being reminded to apply for their child’s secondary school places ahead of the 31 October deadline, and to ensure that their applications include four school preferences - before it’s too late.

For parents whose children have just started in year 6 and are due to begin secondary school in September 2022, there are just a few days left to make their secondary school applications, as the 31 October deadline fast approaches.

It is important for parents and carers to make sure they have submitted their application on time and to make sure they use all four school preferences. This way, parents are more likely to be offered a place at a school they are happy for their child to attend. 

Nottinghamshire County Council is strongly encouraging parents to look at the school admission arrangements to understand how their application would be considered for their preferred schools - making sure to include schools where their child would meet higher criteria.

It is important for parents to remember that there is no guarantee of a place at a school even if they live in the catchment area or attend a linked primary school, which is why using all four preferences on an application is key.

If parents include only one school on the application and their child does not meet the higher criteria for that school, they risk not being allocated a place at that school. The child would then be allocated a place at the next nearest school that has places available after all other applications have been processed, which could mean their child is allocated a school further away than the parents had hoped.

This is because places at other nearby schools will have been offered to those families who did list those schools as a preference on their application, so their preferences would be considered first.

Councillor Tracey Taylor, Nottinghamshire County Council’s Chairman for Children and Young People’s Committee, said:

“Last year, almost 97% of families who applied for a secondary school place on time were offered one of their four preferred schools, so it is really important that parents get their application in on time with all four preferences used – I cannot stress that enough.

“The last 18 months have been hard on everyone, especially for children who had to quickly adapt to virtual learning and then transition back to in-person school.

“I want the best outcome for all children and their parents in Nottinghamshire, so when it comes down to making your school application, please don’t rely on listing just one school. Use all of your four preferences for the best chance at getting your child into a school you are happy with.”

Any parents who have already submitted their application are able to edit their applications right up to the deadline, so anyone who has not made use of their four school preferences still has until 31 October to add additional preferences to their application. Those who applied online must remember to resubmit the application if they make any changes, otherwise the changes will be lost.

The easiest way to apply for a place is online via www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/admissions, but those without internet access can telephone 0300 500 80 80. If parents apply online, they can log in to their account on National Offer Day, 1 March 2022, to view their outcome. All other applicants will have a letter sent by second class post on National Offer Day, so this could take a few days to arrive.

Key information for parents to remember

1) Apply on time – by 31 October 2021. Applying late significantly reduces the chances of a child being allocated one of their preferred schools, as most places will have been allocated on National Offer Day to people who applied on time.

2) Use all four preferences – for the best chance at getting their child into a school they are happy with. 

3) Check the admission oversubscription criteria – and include at least one school within the four preferences where the child will have high priority within the admission oversubscription criteria. Information about the criteria for Nottinghamshire schools can be found on the council’s website. All secondary schools in Nottinghamshire 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. Parents should also tell the council if they are moving house, as this may affect how the application is considered. It is important to read the relevant sections in Admissions to Schools: Guide for Parents 2022-2023, which can be found: www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/admissions.

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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