Applying for a school place - frequently asked questions

Where can I find out the availability of local school places in-year

You can contact the school directly, who will be able to advise whether they have any spaces available in your child’s year group. Please use the catchment finder to identify your catchment school or the Find a School pages for more information on other schools local to you.

If you are having difficulties finding a school place, please email [email protected] and we will be happy to advise. If you have applied for a school place and been refused, the admissions team will contact you with advice on the nearest school with a place available.

Where is my child on the school’s waiting list

You can contact the school directly, who will be able to advise your current position on the waiting list. Please use the Find a School pages for the school’s contact details. Your child’s position on a waiting list may move up or down:

  • Each time a child is added to, or removed from, the waiting list
  • When a child’s changed circumstances affect their priority

The position does not take account of the length of time your child’s name has been on the waiting list.

I have requested a password re-set and not received an email

Please email [email protected] for assistance.

What is a permanent address

The permanent address is the child’s normal place of residence. A business address, workplace address, relative’s address or childminder’s address will not be accepted.

Where parents are separated and the child lives at more than one address, only one address can be used. This must be the address of the parent with whom the child spends most of their time.

Do I have a right to a place at the school of my choice for my child

Parents do not have an absolute right to a place at the school of their choice. Parents have a right to express a preference for a school and admission authorities have a duty to comply with that preference except where it would prejudice what the 1998 School Standards and Framework Act calls ‘efficient education or the efficient use of resources’. If an admission authority is unable to meet a parental preference, parents have the right to appeal to an independent appeal panel.

How likely is it that I will be offered a place at my chosen school

You can work out your child’s priority for a place from the list of admission criteria in the school’s admission policy. The admission policy will also tell you how many places there are available.

You can also look at how many children were admitted under each admission category in previous years. However, you should treat this information with caution because circumstances can change from year to year. For example, if a new housing development opens in the school’s catchment area, it may affect the number of out-catchment applicants offered a place, due to the increase of catchment applicants.

What is my catchment school and am I guaranteed a place

Find your catchment school

If you apply to your catchment school, it is likely that you will have a high priority for a place but one cannot be guaranteed. Changes in the pattern of parents’ preferences and changes in local population may mean that some schools receive more applications than places available from families living in the catchment area. Please note that some schools do not operate a catchment area for school admission purposes. Always check the school’s admission policy to see how applications will be prioritised if the school is oversubscribed.

Should I apply for more than one school

It is strongly recommended that you name more than one school on your application to maximise your chances of being offered a place at a preferred school. If you are unsuccessful in gaining a place at your preferred school(s), you will be allocated a place at your catchment school (if places remain) or the nearest school with space, which could be some distance away. It is important therefore that you choose your preferences wisely (see Deciding which schools to apply for). Please note that naming the same school more than once will not increase your chances of being offered a place at that school.

Can I apply for a school outside of Hampshire

You can name any publicly funded school in England on your application form. If you name a school in another County, Hampshire County Council will pass your application to the relevant authority for consideration. We will then receive an outcome from the other authority and will notify you of this on the national notification date alongside your other preferences.

I live near the county boundary - are procedures and deadlines the same in other local authorities

For the main admission rounds, the deadlines for applications and notification dates have been set nationally. Parents of children living in Hampshire must follow the procedures set by Hampshire County Council. If you intend to apply to a school in another authority, it is wise to obtain the school’s prospectus and find out about the local authority’s procedures.

What happens in the event of a school closure

In the event of a school closure, specific arrangements will be determined by the Local Authority in collaboration with other schools in the area, in accordance with the School Admissions Code to secure provision for children in other local schools.

Further information will be published at the time for the specific schools affected.