How will you process my application?
All applications received by the closing date of midday (12 noon) on 15 January 2018 will be considered together in the first round. Late applications will be considered in the second waiting list run. 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 legal requirement is called equal preference. Places will be offered up to the admission number of the school or academy. The admission number for each school is shown in the schools’ information. This number is the maximum number of children the school can take in the reception class. It takes into account the size of the school and is calculated using a formula from the government. If there are enough places then they will be offered to all applicants. If the school is over-subscribed, places will be allocated according to the admission arrangements for that school.
- We will co-ordinate the information from each admission authority (such as an academy, faith school or another local authority) and ensure that every child is only offered one place.
- We will be told by every admission authority if they can offer your child a 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 your child is not eligible for a place at any of your preferred schools, we will offer a place at the nearest alternative school that has a space after all on time applicants for that school have been considered.
- We will repeat these steps until every child has been offered a place.
You must inform us of a change in circumstances after you have applied that could affect your child's application, such as change of address or if an older sibling who you have named as a sibling link will no longer be in the preferred school in September. Failure to do so could result in the withdrawal of an offer of a school place.
Is a first come, first served system used to allocate places?
No. All applications received by the closing date of midday on 15 January 2018 will be considered together in the first round.
When will I hear the outcome of my application?
If you applied online, you can log back into your application on 16 April 2018 to find out the school we have offered your child. Follow the instructions online to accept or decline the school place by 30 April 2018.
Most parents will also receive an automated email alert on 16 April to tell you that the online application system is live. There is no direct link between the timing of the email and the moment the website goes live. You do not have to wait to receive an email in order to access the website. If you do not receive an email alert, this could be for different reasons. The most common are that you ticked a box on the online form asking not to be notified by email, or your mail server has delayed the delivery of the email or sent it to your spam or junk mail folder. You can log into the online application system without having received an alert.
If you applied on time on paper we will post you a letter second class on 16 April 2018. Offer information will not be given out by phone.
Every parent must respond to confirm whether you wish to accept or refuse the school place by 30 April 2018. If you do not respond by this date we may withdraw the offer and reallocate the place to another child.
If you changed your original preferences after 15 January 2018 or applied late, we will contact you with your child’s school offer on 4 June 2017.
We will only discuss admission related queries with the parent or carer who submitted the application unless we are given written consent by the parent/carer to discuss the application with another relative or carer who contacts us.
On offer day, why would I not be offered my preferred school?
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.
Every year we publish information to show how the places at each school were allocated on national offer day according to the school’s oversubscription criteria.
What can I do if my child is not offered a place at my preferred school and I am not happy with the school offered?
If you are not offered your highest preference, you are advised to accept the school place you have been offered to ensure your child has a school place for September 2018. Accepting the place offered will not affect your chance of getting a place at a school you prefer more, either through the waiting list process or through an appeal.
If we do not offer your highest preference, your child will automatically go on the waiting list for any school ranked higher than the school we did offer. For example if you are allocated your third ranked preference you will be placed on a waiting list for the schools you ranked first and second. If a place becomes available at a later date, we will withdraw the current offer, even after you have accepted it, and allocate your child a place in the higher preference school. At any point you may only have one school offer.
The above process will happen automatically. If you do not want to go on the waiting lists for higher preference schools you must let us know in writing or you could lose the place you were originally allocated at the lower ranked school.
Waiting lists are ranked in line with the school’s oversubscription criteria, not based on the date the application was received. Your child’s position on a waiting list will therefore change over time. Please note we are unable to tell you where your child sits on a waiting list. Waiting lists are only re-ranked at the point when a place becomes available.
If I am not offered my preferred school on offer day, how many waiting lists can I be on?
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.
What happens if you offer me a lower preference school but I am happy to accept the place and do not want to remain on the waiting list/s for higher preference schools?
If you are happy to do so, you must accept the offer of the lower ranked school within 10 days and you must also let us know in writing that you want your child removed from the waiting list for the initially higher ranked school/s. If you do not do so, your child will automatically be added to the waiting list/s for the higher ranked school/s. And if a place becomes available at a later date we will withdraw the current offer for the lower ranked school and offer your child a place in the higher preference school.
Can I ask to be on a waiting list for a lower preference school?
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 4 June 2018. This will overwrite your original application. We will not process change requests made on the online acceptance form.
When will places that have become available since offer day be reallocated?
The first waiting list process run will take place on 4 May 2018 and will only include applications that have been received on time (by midday, 15 January 2018). If you are successful in gaining a place we will contact you with your new offer. Please do not call us because offer information will not be given by telephone.
Late applications and changes will be included in the second waiting list process run and applicants will be notified of offers on 4 June 2018.
Can I change my preferred schools after offer day?
Yes. If you wish to change your preferences, for example to apply for a school that was not included on your initial application, you must make a new application. The new form will cancel and replace the original. If you wish to keep any of your initial preferences they must be included in any updated application.
Late changes will be processed in the second waiting list run on 4 June 2018. You must send us the late change application by 14 May 2018 to be included in this process. We will contact you if we can offer a higher preference at this time.
After this date we will add new applications on to waiting lists and reallocate school places from waiting lists on a weekly basis where spaces have become available. Waiting lists are ranked in line with the school’s oversubscription criteria, not based on the date the application was received. Your child may therefore go up or down the waiting list for any school.
Rights of appeal
If you are not offered a place for your child at your preferred school you have the right to appeal against the decision to an Independent Appeals Panel. However please be aware the panel has very limited grounds to allow an appeal for reception, year 1 and year 2 because of infant class size legislation which limits these year groups to a maximum of 30 children per qualified teacher.
- 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.
Parents are advised to consider their case carefully and seek independent advice from the Appeals Service by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0191 277 7427. You can also read more information about making an appeal here. You will not improve your chances of winning an appeal by refusing the allocated alternative school place - this has no bearing on your appeal. Appeals forms should be returned by 21 May 2018 to ensure the appeal will be heard before September 2018.
Once I accept a school place, what then?
We inform every school of the names of the children we have made offers to for Reception places and whether the parent has accepted or refused the place. We update this regularly and after every round of offers to ensure they have up to date information.
The school will then contact you at some point in the Summer term to invite you to an Open Evening in the school, when they will introduce the class teachers, advise on how you can prepare your child leading up to the first day and the importance of regular attendance, and share information such as term dates, the school day, uniform requirements and so on.
Can the offer of a place be withdrawn?
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.
Help and support
If you have any further questions after reading this guidance, please contact us directly. We will respond as soon as possible but at busy times our response times are 3 working days for phone calls and up to 10 working days for written correspondence.
Phone: on 0191 278 7878 (ask for “School Admissions”)
Access, Admissions and Attendance Service
Newcastle City Council