- How do I apply for nursery class places?
- Will my child be given priority for a reception place if they currently attend the nursery class at the school?
- When does my child have to start school in a reception class?
- My child is summer born. Can I delay when they start school until they are statutory school age?
- Do I need to apply for a reception place if my child has special educational needs?
- What if my child needs to go to a named school for medical reasons?
- How many schools can I apply for?
- Is my child more likely to be offered a place if I only apply to one school?
- Which type of school can I apply for?
- How are Newcastle schools organised?
- Will my child be given priority for a reception place in a school if I rank that school first on my application form?
- What do you mean when you say that the local authority co-ordinates admissions for reception places?
- Do I need to provide any proof to support my school application?
- Can I tell you my reason for wanting a particular school?
- Will it make a difference if my application is submitted late?
- My application is late but I have extenuating circumstances
- Which address should I use for my child's application?
- What address do I use on my application if I am moving house?
- We are a service family being posted to Newcastle. How do we apply for a school place?
- What do I need in order to apply online?
- I’m having technical problems accessing the website, who can help?
- Where can I get help to fill in my application?
- If I apply online should I submit a paper form as well?
- How will I know if you have received my application?
- Can I change my preferences after submitting my application?
- What happens if someone uses a fraudulent address or gives other false information on their application?
- Is a first come, first served system used to allocate places?
- On offer day, why would I not be offered my preferred school?
- If I am not offered my preferred school on offer day, how many waiting lists can I be on?
- Can I ask to be on a waiting list for a lower preference school?
- Can the offer of a place be withdrawn?
- Rights of appeal
- How secure is the information I have provided you about my child?
- How do I pass on a comment, suggestion or make a formal complaint?
- What are infant class size limits?
Admissions to a nursery class or nursery school are not managed by the local authority. You should contact the setting directly for nursery admissions information including how and when to apply. Applications should be made directly to the early years setting. Please note there are no feeder links between any nursery setting and how reception class places are allocated. There is no advantage in attending a specific pre-school setting. Children in a nursery class are not given priority for reception places in the school.
For more information on applying for nursery schools or classes see here.
Will my child be given priority for a reception place if they currently attend the nursery class at the school?
No. There is no automatic transfer from a school nursery class into the reception class, nor will a nursery child have priority for a place in the reception class. There is no advantage in attending a specific pre-school setting when reception places are allocated.
Newcastle schools offer all children the opportunity of a whole year in reception regardless of their birthday. Children born between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2013 may start school in September 2017.
Children must be in full time education once they reach statutory school age. This starts from the term after the child’s fifth birthday.
- Children becoming 5 years old between 1 September and 31 December are of statutory school age at the beginning of the term after 1 January.
- Children becoming 5 years old between 1 January and 31 March are of statutory school age at the beginning of the term after 1 April.
- Children becoming 5 years old between 1 April and 31 August are of statutory school age at the beginning of the term after 1 September.
Once you have a confirmed school place, it is possible to delay your child’s start date until they reach statutory school age, but you must inform the Headteacher in writing that you wish to defer entry to the school. Your child’s place at the school will then be kept open for them to join at the later date. Your start date must be within the same school year.
Please bear in mind if you delay your child’s start date that your child will be placed in a class of children who have already had the opportunity to adapt to school life and make friends in their class. You may not be able to keep your child in a nursery or other early years setting during this period.
Keeping your child at home until they reach statutory school age because you have not been offered a place at your preferred school will not increase your chances of being offered the preferred school. By the time your child reaches statutory school age, there may be no places left in schools close to home and the only place available for your child may be some distance away.
In exceptional cases it may be possible to delay entry to school for a full year or for a child to be placed in a different year group. This must be supported by evidence and agreed by both the local authority and the school admission authority. Places will not be kept open for an academic year; a new application should be made next year. Contact us to discuss.
If you wish to discuss educating your child at home, please contact us on 0191 278 7878 (Ask for School Admissions).
All children born between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2013 can apply for a place to start Reception in September 2017. However, children born between 1 April and 31 August do not become statutory school age until 1 September 2018. This means that parents can opt, if they wish, to ask for their child to start school a year later than their normal year of entry. Please note that you have the right to ask for your child to start school a year late, but there is no legal requirement for a school to agree to your request. The decision will be made by each school's admission authority based on the individual circumstances of the case and in the best interests of the child. A decision by one admission authority is not binding on another admission authority.
If your child is born between 1 April and 31 August 2013 and you would like your child to be considered for admission in September 2018 rather than 2017, you must write to the local authority in the Autumn of 2016 setting out your reasons and providing any relevant supporting evidence. Please specify the schools (admission authorities) that you would like to consider your request for delayed admission. The local authority will forward your request to the schools and they will each consider the request and advise you of their decision.
It is important that you send in your request in good time to receive a response before the closing date for applications for 2017 (midday, 15 January 2017). If all the schools you are interested in refuse your request, it means you will still have time to apply for a Reception place for your child for September 2017 before the closing date. Alternatively, you can keep your child at home during 2017/18 and then apply for Year 1 places rather than Reception places for September 2018.
Please note that a positive response from a school does not mean that your child has a guaranteed offer of a reception place at that school in 2018. It just means that the school has agreed to consider your application in the admissions round in 2018 alongside all the applications from children for whom that is their normal year of entry. The application will be considered in the same way as any other, against the oversubscription criteria in the admission policy. It is your responsibility to apply for a place in the relevant admissions round.
If your child is not able to be offered a reception place at your preferred school in 2018, there is no guarantee that a reception place in an alternative school will be offered. This will depend on whether another school is willing to accept your child as a delayed admission. If a reception place is not available, your child will be allocated a Year 1 place in the nearest school available with a place.
You cannot apply for a place for September 2017 and defer your child's place until September 2018.
You do have the right of appeal if you are refused a place in your preferred school, but you have no right of appeal specifically against being refused a place in your preferred year group. You can complain using the school's formal complaints process.
Finally, if your child is offset and taught in a year group that is not their normal age group, please note that you will need to repeat this process at transfer time to request that the secondary/middle/high school also agrees to consider the application as a delayed admission in the appropriate admission round. It is the decision of the individual admission authority whether to accept your child in a different year group or expect them to join their age peers. For example, if your child is attending secondary school and offset by one year, you will need to discuss school transfer with the LA and your preferred secondary schools when your child is due to start year 5, i.e. when they would ordinarily have been entering year 6.
If your child has an Education Health and Care (EHC) Plan that names a particular school, you do not need to apply for a reception place as they will be admitted to the named school. In all other circumstances you must apply for a reception class place.
Even if your child is being assessed for a possible placement in an Additionally Resourced Centre (ARC) or special school, you should apply for a reception class place in a mainstream school. There are limited places available in ARCs and special schools and it may not be possible that your child can be offered a place in either at this point in time. If you do not apply for a mainstream school, your child may not have a school place for September.
The majority of children with special educational needs are able to have their needs met at any mainstream school. Your child’s application will be assessed and ranked against the school’s admission policy oversubscription criteria if there are more applicants than places available.
If you feel your child should attend a specific mainstream school on medical grounds and medical reasons are included in the admission policy of the school(s) you are applying for (this can be where the child or one or both parents has a disability that means that the child can only go to one school) you must provide a letter from an appropriate health professional by midday, 15 January 2017 explaining why the named school is the only school that the child can attend. If the evidence is late it may not be considered when places are allocated. The evidence will be assessed by the admission authority and either upheld or rejected. The case is unlikely to be upheld if the preferred school is not the child’s nearest school. Please note no medical cases considered in 2014, 2015 or 2016 prior to national offer day were upheld and not all schools have medical reasons included in their admission policy.
To help you decide which schools to apply for, read the information on their website which specifically explains the support they can provide to children with SEN or disabilities. Read their admissions policy and information about how places at the school were allocated in previous years. This will give you an idea how likely it is that your child would be offered a place. Arrange to visit the schools and talk to them about how they can support your child. We always advise that parents apply to their nearest non-faith school as you are more likely to be offered a place at that school.
Please note there is no automatic transfer from a school nursery class into the reception class, nor will any nursery child have priority for a place in the reception class. If your child is currently receiving additional support in a pre-school setting or is undergoing assessment, the professionals involved will share all this information with your child’s new school.
Do not apply for a reception place at a specific school on the basis that it has an ARC because your child will not be admitted to the ARC (Additionally Resourced Centre) in this way. Placements in ARCs and special schools are decided by an SEN Assessment Panel. Parents cannot apply for places in an ARC or special school.
If you have any specific concerns, please discuss these with the schools you are considering applying for and with the professionals supporting your child. Alternatively contact us on 0191 278 7878.
Read the admission policy first to check whether medical reasons are given priority when places are allocated at the school. If it is not stated in the policy, the school cannot lawfully consider medical circumstances.
If medical reasons are included in the admission policy (for example where the child or one or both parents has a disability that means that the child can only go to one school) you must provide a letter from an appropriate health professional by midday 15 January 2017 explaining why the named school is the only school that the child can attend. If the evidence is late it may not be considered when places are allocated.
The evidence will be assessed by the admission authority and either upheld or rejected. The case is unlikely to be upheld if the preferred school is not the child’s nearest school. Please note no medical cases considered in 2014, 2015 or 2016 prior to national offer day were upheld.
If your child has special educational needs and you feel they should attend a specific mainstream school on medical grounds, please be aware that the case will be assessed on the same basis as described above. The majority of children with special educational needs are able to have their needs met at any mainstream school and your case is unlikely to be upheld.
You can list up to four state schools, of any type, in any local authority on your application. Each school listed counts as a separate application so the more you list the greater your chances of getting a preferred school. Before you apply for any school, read the school’s admission arrangements to understand how places are allocated. Find your nearest school using our online school finder.
No. It will not improve your chances. Do not waste the opportunity to apply for four schools. We strongly advise you to use all your preferences so that you are considered for other schools if your first preference school is not successful. If you only name one school on your application and we are unable to offer your child a place there you will be offered an alternative school with spaces. This might not be near your home.
You can apply for a reception place at any type of school on our application form except an independent school. Independent schools are funded through fees paid by parents. They set their own curriculum and admission policies. If you want to apply to an independent school you should contact the school direct. The local authority co-ordinates the admissions process for every other type of school (these are called state schools) and will forward the applications on to the school if it is its own admissions authority.
Before you apply for any school, read the school’s admission arrangements to understand how places are allocated. If there are more applications than places available, the school or local authority will apply these admission arrangements and allocate places accordingly up to the specified admission number. You can find these on the school pages of our website.
You must submit any evidence required in the timescale requested. If you are applying for a school place for faith reasons, the school may ask you to provide evidence of faith. This may be a certificate of baptism, letter of support from a minister or faith leader, letter from a mosque or suitable equivalent. Schools will contact you directly for this information, however, this does not mean that you have been allocated a place at the school. It is therefore important that the information on your application form (such as address and telephone number) is correct and up to date.
If you apply for a state school and an independent school and are offered a place at both, please tell us which school place you are accepting. If you do not apply for a state school and your child is not offered a place at an independent school, you are unlikely to get a place at your preferred state school if you apply at a later date.
Newcastle has both a two-tier and three-tier school system. These school systems have a different transfer age.
In most of Newcastle, children are educated in a primary school from age 4 to 10 before transferring to secondary school at the end of year 6. In the Gosforth, Great Park and Dinnington areas of Newcastle, children are educated in first schools (age 4 to 8) and transfer to middle school at the end of year 4 (age 9 to 12). From middle school children normally transfer to the Gosforth Academy at the end of year 8 (age 13). A transfer application form needs to be completed for each move.
Most first and primary schools have a designated feeder link school to which pupils usually transfer. In order to secure a transfer place, parents have to apply in exactly the same way as parents applying for reception places.
Will my child be given priority for a reception place in a school if I rank that school first on my application form?
No. Every application for a school is considered in exactly the same way against the school’s admissions criteria regardless of whether it was ranked as first or fourth preference. The order you list the schools only matters if we are able to offer you a place at more than one school, then we will offer you the school you ranked highest.
Please list your schools in order of preference with the school you most want first. If a place is available at more than one of your preferred schools, we will allocate a place at the one that was listed highest. It is important to understand that:
- Listing four schools of the same type (for example, faith schools) does not mean that your application for any of these schools will be looked at more favourably.
- Places are allocated by an electronic database based on the information provided by the parent or carer. Staff cannot influence results.
What do you mean when you say that the local authority co-ordinates admissions for reception places?
The local authority (Newcastle City Council) is required by law to co-ordinate the admission process for all reception places in state schools and academies for all children living in Newcastle. The co-ordinated arrangements ensure that every child is only allocated one school place, by the home authority they live in.
If your child lives in Newcastle, applications for school places must be submitted to Newcastle city council. You need to apply to us even if you want to apply for a school place outside of Newcastle. If you live in another local authority, you must apply to them even if you want a place in a Newcastle school. We can only process applications for children who live in Newcastle. It is your responsibility to apply to the correct local authority. We will share your information with other admission authorities and they will inform us if a place can be offered. We will contact you on the outcome.
If you are required to provide evidence to support your application, it will say so in the admissions policy for that school.
- If you are applying to a school for faith reasons they may ask you for proof of faith, however, this does not mean that you have been allocated a place at the school.
- If your child was looked after by the local authority and immediately afterwards was subject to an adoption, child arrangements or special guardianship order you must provide evidence of this by midday 15 January 2017 if you wish to be considered for a school place under this criterion.
- You may be asked to provide proof of your address.
You will need to submit any evidence in the timescale requested by the school or local authority or it may not be considered when allocating places.
Yes but we can only look at information directly related to your application where it means that you qualify under an admission rule. Any other information will not be taken into account. “The school is easy to get to”, “the school is near grandparents who will be helping with the school run”, “cousins attend that school”, “I’ve visited the school and really like it”, “all my child’s friends go there”, “my child went to the school’s nursery” are all examples of information that will not have any bearing on your application.
Yes. If your application is received after midday 15 January 2017, it will be processed after we have processed all the on time applications. You are unlikely to get a place at one of the schools listed on your form and you will not receive your school offer until 5 June 2017. Evidence must also be submitted on time or will not be considered.
If you provide evidence with your application to explain why it was late, the admission authorities for the named schools will consider whether they will accept your reasons as exceptional and process your application as though it was received on time. The latest date for any late application to be submitted and considered as an exception is 3 February 2017. Beyond this date, it will be treated as late.
By law you must use the permanent address at the time of application at which your child is living with a parent or the person with parental responsibility. The address of a childminder or relatives must not be used. We carry out address checks and may ask for additional proof of address. Using a false address is taken extremely seriously (it is committing fraud). If not convinced your address is genuine, we will withdraw any offer of a school place and may take other further action.
If your child lives at more than one address Monday to Friday (for example due to a separation) the address used should be where your child lives most of the time. Only one address can be used. If your child lives at two addresses, the local authority will consider the evidence available such as the address of the parent/carer that claims the child benefit or child tax credit. If these benefits are not claimed, evidence of the address where the child is registered with a GP will be accepted in order to determine what will be considered to be the child’s main address. It is the parent/carer's responsibility to prove residency if requested.
The address you give on your child’s application must be your child’s permanent address at the time of application. If you move house after submitting your application, write to us with proof of your new address which can be (1) a letter from your solicitor (or builder if your house is a new build) confirming your completion date or (2) a signed rental agreement that shows the start of your tenancy. You must also provide proof that you and your child are resident at the new address.
- For your new address to be used for national offer day we must have received evidence by 3 February 2017 which confirms that you are resident at the new address.
- For a new address to be used for the second waiting list run we must have received evidence by 15 May 2017 which confirms that you are resident at the new address.
If you live in England, you should apply for a reception place to your home local authority; if you live anywhere else, apply directly to us. Please also contact us directly and forward an official Ministry of Defence, Foreign Commonwealth Office or Government Communication Head Quarters letter which confirms your relocation date and quartering area address. The application and supporting evidence must be received
- By 3 February 2017 to be used for national offer day allocations
- By 15 May 2017 to be used for the second waiting list run
All you need is access to the internet and an email account. We encourage you to apply online because:
- Applying online is quick and easy to do.
- You will get email confirmation that your application has been received.
- There is no risk that your application will get lost in the post.
- The system has security procedures that prevent anyone seeing information they are not entitled to.
- You can check and change the details on your application up until the closing date. (Remember to resubmit your application every time you view your application even if you have not made any changes).
- Every time you change your online application, you will receive an email confirmation.
- The system is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week up until the closing date of midday 15 January 2017.
- You can log in to your application on offer day to see which school your child has been offered.
- You can accept the place offered online.
If you have forgotten your online password, please request a new one using the “Forgotten password” option on the login page. If you experience any other technical issues, please email us with full details to email@example.com.
We cannot personally resolve technical issues within the Admissions team and emails will be escalated to our technical support team for priority attention. Please note that our office hours are Monday to Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm.
You can get help filling in your application from one of the city’s Customer Service Centres or alternatively from any school.
No. You should submit one application. Do not submit both a paper application and an online application. Duplicate information can slow the process down. A paper application form can be obtained from any Customer Service Centre or school if you are unable to apply online.
Applications made online will be acknowledged by return email. Online application is a secure process with no risk that the application will get lost in the post.
If you submit a paper application form we are unable to provide a receipt unless you include a stamped addressed envelope. You are strongly advised to obtain proof of postage in case it is lost in the post. Make sure that you use the correct postage or the post office will not deliver the envelope and it may not arrive to us before the closing date. It is your responsibility to ensure that your application is submitted on time and to provide evidence of submission if requested.
If you apply online you can change your preferences online up to the closing date of midday on 15 January 2017. Remember to resubmit your online form every time you view it even if you have not made any changes. You will get a confirmation email each time you do this.
If you submitted a paper application, you will need to inform us in writing about any changes to your preferences before the closing date of midday, 15 January 2017. Please include your child’s full name and date of birth in any correspondence.
If you want to change your preferences after the closing date, you will have to send us a new paper form. Your original application will be cancelled and replaced with your new application. The new application will be classed as late and will not be processed until the second waiting list on 5 June 2017.
What happens if someone uses a fraudulent address or gives other false or misleading information on their application?
Every year we have cases where parents give false information about their home address to get a place at a particular school. You must make sure that everything you tell us is true and accurate. We carry out address checks and may ask for additional proof of address. Using a false address is taken extremely seriously. It is committing fraud. If not convinced your address is genuine, we will withdraw any offer of a school place and may take other further action. If the place is not removed because the child has been attending the school for some time, we will cancel the sibling link for any other children in that family. It is the parent/carer's responsibility to prove residency if requested.
We do all we can to make sure that fraud does not happen because it can prevent genuine applicants from getting a place at a school. If you have any concerns or information about the use of fraudulent addresses or other false information, please contact us in confidence.
Similarly, if you have applied on the basis that an older sibling will be attending the same school in September 2017 as the child you are applying for and this changes at any point before September 2017, (for example you have accepted an offer of a different school for the older sibling) you must inform the local authority immediately. A place allocated solely on the basis of an older sibling attending the same school in September 2017 will be withdrawn at any point prior to this date if the sibling will not be in attendance at the same time as the child you are applying for.
No. All applications received by the closing date of midday on 15 January 2017 will be considered together in the first round.
Each school you list on your form is considered as a separate application. Every application is considered in exactly the same way against the school’s admissions criteria regardless of whether it is ranked as first or fourth preference. The order you list the schools only matters if we are able to offer you a place at more than one school, then we will offer you the school you ranked highest. This is a legal requirement and is called equal preference.
- Our computer system is set up to apply the arrangements for schools that use the local authority admission policy.
- We will be told if another admission authority (such as an academy, faith school or another local authority) can offer your child a place.
- We will co-ordinate the information from each admission authority and ensure that every child is only offered one place.
- If just one school you applied for can offer your child a place, then that is where we will offer the place.
- If more than one school can offer your child a place we will offer you a place at the school you listed highest on your form. If two children have an equal right to a place, the place will be offered to the older child. The remaining child will be offered an alternative school.
- If your child is not eligible for a place at any of your preferred schools, we will offer the school nearest to your home address that has a space available.
- We repeat these steps until every child has been offered a place.
Each school has a specified number of places they can offer to children starting the school – the published admission number (PAN). If there are enough places, they will be offered to all applicants. However, if there are more applications for a school than the number of places available, all the applications will be ranked in accordance with the oversubscription criteria stated in the school admission policy and places will be offered in the priority order up to the admission number.
If your child is not offered a place at your preferred school, this means that more children applied for the school than there were places available, and other children ranked higher against the oversubscription criteria than your child.
Newcastle parents can have a maximum of four waiting list preferences, including schools within and outside Newcastle. The number will depend on which ranked preference you were offered.
The only way to ask to be on a waiting list for a school ranked lower than the school you were offered is by completing a whole new application form which will be considered in the second waiting list run on 5 June 2017. This will overwrite your original application. We will not process change requests made on the online acceptance form.
We reserve the right to withdraw an offer of a place in certain circumstances. By submitting your application you are stating that the information given is true and accurate, that you have read and understood the admissions guidance and the admission policy for each school you are applying for. Examples of when a place could be withdrawn include:
- Where you have given fraudulent or intentionally misleading information such as a false address.
- Where you have not responded to an offer within the stated timescale.
- Where the offer has been made in error.
- If you have not informed us of a change in circumstances after you have applied that could affect your child’s application, such as a change of address or if an older sibling will no longer be in the preferred school in September (loss of sibling link).
We will also withdraw offers if we are able to offer a higher preference school. We will remove the offer for any lower preference school even if you have accepted the place unless you inform us in writing that you wish to be removed from the waiting list for the higher preference school.
If an offer is withdrawn as a result of fraudulent or misleading information or because you have not informed us of a change in circumstances after you have applied that could affect your child's application (such as a loss of sibling link), you will need to reapply using the correct information. If a place is subsequently refused when your application is reconsidered, you have a right of appeal.
- If you want to appeal for more than one school you will need to appeal separately for each one.
- You can only appeal for a school if you have applied and been refused admission to the school.
- You cannot appeal if an offer is removed on the grounds of misleading or fraudulent information, unless you reapply for the school using the correct information and a place is subsequently refused.
- Submitting an appeal does not affect your position on the waiting list.
In addition to processing your application for a school place, under the data protection legislation we may use your application information to co-operate with our partners in health and youth justice to improve the wellbeing of children in the Newcastle area as required by the Children Act 2004. Information sharing between partner organisations is sometimes necessary to help provide better services.
In accordance with the School Admissions Code 2014, we are required to publish statistical data about the number of applications for places at each school, the number which were successful and the criteria under which they were accepted.
All admissions application data is stored, maintained and transferred by secure methods in accordance with the Data Protection Act. The online school admission system is regularly independently tested to guard against unauthorised entry. Please note, we will only discuss your child's application form with the named applicant. If you are happy for us to discuss the application with another party please indicate this on your application form or inform us in writing by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
We value customer feedback on what you feel we have done well, and on ways we can improve the information, advice and support we provide for parents. Please contact us by email, phone or post with any comments or suggestions.
If you have a complaint about the service please contact us in the first instance on 0191 278 7878 (Ask for “School Admission”) or email to email@example.com to discuss the problem. Usually most cases can be resolved in this way.
When you tell us what you are not happy with, we can try to put things right. In future, we can try to get it right first time. We will treat your complaint seriously and deal with your complaint positively. If you wish to make a formal complaint, you can:
- email firstname.lastname@example.org
- phone 0191 278 7878 and ask for "Complaints".
The law states that no infant class should contain more than 30 children with a single qualified teacher. This applies to reception, year 1 and year 2 classes. Children will be refused places if their admission would mean more than 30 children in a class.
The class size limit does not mean that all schools have to admit up to 30 children into each class. At some schools the size of classrooms and internal layout may mean that classes have to be smaller than 30.
Most schools in Newcastle have a reception intake of 30 (one class) or 60 (two classes). In some schools 45 children are admitted into the reception year (usually taught in two classes) and then children are taught in mixed age classes in the older year groups of the school, in other words year 1 and year 2 children may be taught in the same classroom.
This means the 45 children from year 1 and 45 children from year 2 are brought together into three classes each of 30 pupils, which therefore complies with the infant class size limit of no more than 30 children with a qualified teacher. Where the school organises its classrooms in this way, a maximum of 45 children can be admitted into reception because of the impact in future years.
If a school you are interested in organises its classes in this way and it concerns you, talk to the school about how it works.