Three is the magic number when applying for secondary school places for September 2024

Parents and carers with children due to move to secondary school next year can now apply for their child’s school place for September 2024. Secondary school applications are open from today, 11 September, until 31 October

Sep 11 2023

Parents are being strongly encouraged to name three schools on their applications, to give them the best chance of being offered a place at one of their preferred schools.

Councillor Edward Heron, Hampshire County Council’s Cabinet Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: “Each year, the County Council receives more than 15,000 applications for children moving into secondary education. Our admissions team always works incredibly hard to meet parental preferences as far as possible. Families can help improve the success of their applications by submitting them on time and making sure they indicate three school preferences.”

Where three schools are named, very few children are not offered a place at one of these preferences. However, where it is not possible to offer a place at any of the schools named, the Local Authority will offer a place at the catchment school (if places remain) or the nearest school with a space. Assistance with transport may be available to this school, where the eligibility criteria is met. However, parents will need to name their child’s catchment school as one of their preferences if they intend to apply for school transport.

In the circumstances where a refusal letter is issued for a school, children will be added to a waiting list for the next available space at that school. Often spaces become available because families move home or decide on a different school. Any parent who is unhappy with the place that has been allocated for their child can appeal against the decision.

Parents can now go online to submit their applications. Paper forms can also be requested by emailing [email protected] or from any Hampshire school. Parents who apply online can log back into the system to amend their applications at any time before the closing date on 31 October 2023. Applications must be resubmitted after making any changes. Anyone who needs to make changes to a paper application should contact [email protected]

Parents who applied online and on time will be notified of the outcome of their application on 1 March 2024, and two to three working days later by letter if they applied using a paper form.

Application advice

  • Name three preferences to give yourself the best chance of being allocated a preferred school choice
  • Use the County Council’s school catchment area finder to check the catchment school for your address
  • Name your catchment school as one of your preferences should you wish to apply for help with transport to school
  • It is helpful to read the schools’ admissions policies and look at previous years’ admissions data. This will give an indication of how many places schools can allocate and the criteria that will be used to allocate places

For more online guidance, parents should visit the Education and Learning pages on the County Council's website.