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Has your child recently started in year 6? It’s time to apply for their secondary school place!

Thursday, 14 September 2023

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Parents of children who have started in year 6 this September are being reminded to submit their secondary school applications before the application deadline on Tuesday 31 October 2023, to give them the best chance of being offered a preferred school.

Nottinghamshire County Council is strongly advising parents in Nottinghamshire to list four preferences when applying for their child’s secondary school place for next year.

Those applying should 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 have higher priority within the 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 understanding each school’s admission criteria and using all four preferences on an application is key.

If there are no places available at the parents’ preferred school, an alternative offer may be made but this is not automatically at the catchment or nearest school. Places can only be offered at the next closest school with places available after all the on-time preferences have been processed. This means their child could be offered a place at a school further away.

Councillor Tracey Taylor, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “Whilst next September may feel a long time away, having just started a new school year, it is very important that parents make sure their secondary school applications for next year are submitted on-time by Tuesday 31 October. Please also use all four preferences on the application.

“I must stress that this does not necessarily guarantee your child a place at your preferred school but gives you the best chance of getting a school that you would be happy for your child to attend.

“The good news is that last year, more than 97 per cent of families that applied for a secondary school place on time were offered one of their preferred schools.

“I would advise parents to visit the council’s website and make sure they have read the admissions to schools guide and the admissions criteria for the schools that they are interested in”.

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

The easiest way to apply is online at Those who apply online will receive email confirmation that the application has been received.

Secondary school offers will be made on the secondary school National Offer Day, Friday 1 March 2024.

When making their application, parents should:

1) Apply on time – by Tuesday 31 October 2023. Applying late significantly reduces the chances of their 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) Check the admission oversubscription criteria – and include schools 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.

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

 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 2024-2025, which can be found at:

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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