How will you process my application?

When we receive your application, an initial check is carried out to make sure we have all the required information. We will contact you if we need additional information. We also assess whether your child’s application should be dealt with under the Fair Access Protocol. If everything is in order, each school you list on your form is considered as a separate application. 

If you have applied for a school or academy that manages its own in year admissions, we will forward them your application. Otherwise we will consider your application on the school’s behalf.

Places in schools will be offered up to the admission number of the school or academy. You can find this in the school’s information. It is the maximum number of students the school or academy can accommodate, taking into account the size and layout of the buildings, and is calculated using a government formula.

  • You will be contacted by the school/academy or the local authority and told the outcome of each application.
  • If there is a space in a school and your child is the only applicant, you will be offered the place.
  • If the school is oversubscribed, any available places will be allocated according to the admission arrangements for that school.
  • If none of the schools you listed can offer a place and your child needs a school place, check the website for schools with current vacancies or contact us to discuss alternatives.
  • If none of the schools you listed can offer a place but your child already has a place at a school they can continue to attend, we will not offer an alternative school.

Please note if you have more than one child, it may not be possible to offer places for all the children in the same school.

How long will it take to process my child’s application?

If all required information is provided with your application, you should hear the outcome from the school/academy or local authority within 15-20 school days of submitting the application.

These timescales may be delayed if information is missing from your application or if your child’s application is being considered under the Fair Access Protocol. Also please note that school places are not offered during holidays when schools are closed.

What is the Fair Access Protocol?

  • We are required by law to operate a Fair Access Protocol to ensure that potentially vulnerable children can quickly access school places and that all schools admit a fair share of these pupils who for a variety of reasons need more support.
  • Some of the questions on the application form are included to help identify more vulnerable children to try to ensure appropriate support can be put in place for them at their new school. If we decide that your child should be considered under the protocol, the Fair Access Officer will contact you.

What am I required to do when I receive an offer of a place for my child?

You must respond within 5 school days of an offer to accept the place or the offer may be withdrawn.  The offer is made on the expectation that the place is taken up within 10 school days of being offered.  The date your child will actually start the school is agreed between you and the school after you have confirmed you accept the place.

If your child is offered places by two schools, please respond to tell them/us which you are accepting.  If you are happy with your offer and do not want to be considered by the second school on your application, please contact us in writing by email or letter and we will close this application.

What happens if my child does not take up the offer of a place?

If you do not respond to an offer, the school or the local authority (depending on who made the offer) will contact you to advise you that the offer will be withdrawn unless you do respond.

  • If your child is on roll and attending another school, the place will be withdrawn if you do not respond.
  • If your child is not attending another school, the offer will be withdrawn and we will pass your child’s details to the Children Missing Education team. We will start legal proceedings if your child is not receiving full time education. 

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.  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 an offer is withdrawn as a result of fraudulent or misleading information, 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.

What happens if I am not happy with the school I have been offered?

Many Newcastle schools are full and only have occasional vacancies when a child leaves the school. If a school is full, it cannot offer your child a place even if it means you have to travel further to get to another school. If your preferred school is full, you cannot keep your child at home without any education while you wait for a place.

If you are not offered your preferred school, you have the right to appeal to an independent appeals panel. However, as the majority of appeals are not upheld, it is important to be realistic. Check the latest vacancy information for schools with spaces and contact us for advice. Accepting an alternative school place 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. 

What are waiting lists and how do they work?

If your child is not offered a preferred school straight away, most (but not all) schools in the city keep waiting lists.  This means your child will be considered for a place if one becomes available later on, and you will be contacted if it becomes possible to offer your child a place. 

Read the school’s admission policy to find out if your preferred school keeps a waiting list and for how long. Many clear their lists every term and you would need to reapply if you still wanted your child to be considered. Our school AZ will link you to every Newcastle school website where the admission policy for that school will be published.

Waiting lists are ranked based on the school’s oversubscription criteria, but usually this happens only at the point that a place becomes available. This means it is not possible to tell you where your child ranks at a particular point in time.  Please note that children without a school place do not have priority over children who already attend a school and the length of time a child has been on the waiting list is also not taken into account. 

What can I do if I have more than one child and only one child is offered a place?

We advise you use the latest vacancy information as a guide for which schools may be able to admit all the children before you make any application. 

It frequently happens that only one child in a family can be offered a place in a preferred school. If you accept the offer for one child, your other child/children will need to attend a different school and you will need to make arrangements to get all the children to their schools on time.

Alternatively, you can refuse the place offered but ask the school/academy to keep your children on the waiting list until places can be offered for all of them.  We can help you find an alternative school that can admit all your children in this situation. Contact us directly for help and advice.

How do I appeal against being refused a place?

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 the statutory class size limit of 30 children per class.  Parents are advised to consider their case carefully and seek independent advice from the Appeals Service by email to or phone 0191 277 7427.  You can also read more about making an appeal here.

  • If you want to appeal for more than one school or one child you will need to appeal separately for each one. 
  • You can only appeal for a school if you applied and were refused a place.
  • 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.
  • You will not improve your chances of winning an appeal by refusing an alternative school place.
  • Submitting an appeal does not affect your position on the waiting list.

How do I pass on a comment, suggestion or make a formal complaint?

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 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:

Page last updated: 
1 September 2017
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