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Is your child about to start in year 6? It’s time to apply for their secondary school place!

08 August 2022

Parents of children who are starting year 6 this September are strongly advised to list four preferences when applying for their child’s secondary school place for next year - to avoid losing out on their preferred school for September 2023.

While next September may feel a long way off, parents of children who are about to start in year 6 and living in Nottinghamshire should start thinking about their application for secondary school and apply before the application deadline on Monday 31 October 2022.

Those applying should check Nottinghamshire County Council’s website to find all the information they will need to help them to make an informed decision.

Parents are being advised to make sure they fully understand the admission criteria for the schools they are considering applying for, and whether their child would have a good chance of getting a place at one of those schools, before completing their application.

The council is urging parents to make use of all four of their school preferences, as only making one preference does not ensure that a place is allocated at that school.

If parents only list one school on their application and there are no places available at that school, an alternative offer is made but this is not automatically at the catchment area school or the nearest school to their home.

Places can only be offered at the next closest school with places available after all other on-time applications have been processed – so if other families nearby have used all four of their preferences, their children will have a better chance of getting a place at a nearby school and those who only listed one preference could be admitted to a school further away. 

Using all four school preferences gives parents and their child the best chance of getting a place at a school they are happy with.

Councillor Tracey Taylor, Nottinghamshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Starting a new school is a big milestone and I know that parents and their children may already have strong ideas about which secondary school they want - or don’t want –to attend.

“It is very important that parents apply on time and it’s crucial that they identify four preferences. The good news is that last year, nearly 97 per cent of families that applied for a secondary school place on time were offered one of their preferred schools.

“I urge parents to please make sure they have read the admissions to schools guide and the admissions criteria for the schools they are interested in by visiting the council’s website.

“It can be heart-breaking when a child does not get the school place they want, but if parents have made sure to list four schools on their application, that truly is their best chance of getting a school that they are happy for their child to attend.”

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 nottinghamshire.gov.uk/schooladmissions. Those who apply online will receive email confirmation that the application has been received.

Parents who have previously used the online application system are advised that the service has moved to a new application portal, so they will need to create a new account on the portal in order to apply.
 
Secondary school offers will be made on the secondary school National Offer Day, Wednesday 1 March 2023.

When making their application, parents should:

1) Apply on time – by 31 October 2022. 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) 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 2023-2024, which can be found: 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 nottinghamshire.gov.uk/admissions or call 0300 500 80 80. 

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