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Last chance for secondary school applications

Thursday, 27 October 2022

Image: Secondary school children working on group project

With the application deadline just a few days away, parents of children who have just started year 6 are being reminded to submit their secondary school applications before 31 October 2022.

Parents are strongly advised to list four preferences when applying for their child’s secondary school place for next year.

Nottinghamshire County Council is 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 understanding the school criteria and using all four preferences on an application is key.

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

Nottinghamshire parents who have already submitted their applications, are able to edit and resubmit anytime up to the deadline, so there is still plenty of time for parents to ensure their application is as good as it can be.

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.

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: “With the application deadline fast approaching, it is very important for parents to make sure their applications are submitted by Monday 31 October.

“Starting a new school is a big milestone and this can be a nerve-racking time for families, but submitting a solid application can help to reduce that anxiety.

“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 Those who apply online will receive email confirmation that the application has been received.

Parents who have applied online in previous years 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:

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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