Do I need to apply for an in year place for my child?

Yes. A child cannot be considered for a place in a school unless the parent/carer has made an application.

How soon in advance of needing the place can I apply?

You should not apply more than 4 weeks in advance as we cannot hold places for you. Places are offered in the expectation that they will be taken up within 10 school days. We are unable to offer places further ahead than this. The only exception to this is if you are currently in the UK armed forces or a crown servant.

How will I know if you have received my application?

Applications that include a mobile number or email address will be acknowledged by text or email. Applications without these contact details will not be acknowledged unless you include a stamped addressed envelope. 

Can I change my preferences after submitting my application?

Yes. If you want to change your school preferences, send us a new paper form.  Your original application will be cancelled and replaced with your new application.

We are a service family being posted to Newcastle.  How do we apply for a school place?

We understand that families of UK service personnel and other crown servants are subject to frequent movement within the UK and from abroad. If you or your partner is currently employed as UK service personnel or crown servants please tick the box on the form and include an official Ministry of Defense, Foreign Commonwealth Office or Government Communication Head Quarters letter which confirms the relocation date and quartering address where applicable. If you include this information we are able to process your application in advance of your move provided this is within a reasonable time, for example we cannot process applications for the next academic year until after the May half term.

Your child will not take priority on waiting lists because you are service personnel or a crown servant, but if you include the requested information we are able to process your application in advance of your move provided this is within a reasonable time. You may also find the evidence checklist useful when completing the application form.

How many schools can I apply for?

If your child is aged 5 to 16, you can apply to be considered for two maintained schools or academies in any local authority on your in year application. These are called “preferences”. To apply for a place in a school sixth form contact the school directly.

How do I decide which schools to apply for?

Before you apply for any school:

  • Be realistic. Newcastle schools are very popular. Look at which Newcastle schools currently have spaces. Many schools will not have a place in your child’s year group so you may have to accept a different school than the one you would prefer. We are unable to reserve places for children who apply in year.
  • Depending where you live, the nearest school with a space may be in a different council area. 
  • Read the admission policy for the schools you are interested in to understand how places are allocated if there are more applicants than places. Different schools apply different rules. Our school AZ will link you to every Newcastle school website where the admission policy for that school will be published.
  • Look at the school website for information about the school and the latest Ofsted inspection judgement.
  • Make an appointment to visit the schools you may be interested in.

Which type of school can I apply for?

You can apply for a place at any type of school or academy 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.

If you want to know more about the different types of schools, please see the Glossary of admission terms (pdf). Also see our general information about education in Newcastle (link to webpage).

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 to decide which child or children will be allocated places.

Do I need to provide any additional information to support my application? 

If you need to provide evidence to enable your child’s application to be considered against the school’s admission criteria, it will say so in the admission policy for the school or academy. It is your responsibility to provide this so that it can be considered when places are being allocated. Our school AZ will link you to every Newcastle school website where the admission policy for that school will be published.

Admission authorities will not give an application priority against any of the following criteria unless you provide supporting evidence. Please note that not every school includes these criteria within their policies.

  • Faith reasons – send the school your proof of faith directly.
  • Previously looked after status – send the local authority a copy of the adoption, child arrangements or special guardianship order that confirms that the child was looked after (in care) immediately prior to the order being granted.
  • Medical reasons – send the local authority a letter from an appropriate health professional explaining why the named school is the only school that the child can attend.

The evidence you submit will be reviewed by the admission authority for the school/ academy and either upheld or rejected. Please note submitting evidence does not guarantee an offer of a place.

You may also find the evidence checklists useful when completing the application form.

Which address should I use?

The address you give must be your child’s current permanent address at the time of filling in the application. The address of a childminder or relatives must not be used. You must include proof of address, such as a council tax bill, utility bill, rental agreement or solicitor’s letter confirming completion date. We do carry out spot checks on addresses and we will withdraw places if fraudulent addresses are given. Please do not send original documents.

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 and the address where the child is registered with a GP in order to determine what will be considered to be the child’s main address. You may also find the evidence checklists useful when completing the application form.

What happens if someone uses a fraudulent address or gives other false 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 and your child has not yet started school 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.

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.

Information for families applying from overseas

All children of compulsory school age living in Newcastle have a right to education. However if a child will only be resident in the UK for less than half a term, it may be reasonable to refuse admission to a school.

Children who hold full British Citizen passports, or have a passport endorsed to show a right of abode in the UK, or who are European Economic Area nationals, can make an application from overseas. Other children from overseas do not generally have automatic right of entry to the UK. Any application for a school place will not therefore be accepted until the child is living here. An endorsed passport or entry visa will be required with the application.

If your child currently lives outside the UK or has recently arrived in the UK, please provide proof of arrival in the UK, for example copies of travel tickets or boarding passes. Contact us if you have any difficulties providing this information. As long as proof is provided showing that the child will be resident in Newcastle within 10 school days of the application being made, we will process the application. 

We will also require proof of address in order to process the application. If you are moving to the UK but do not have a confirmed address, we are unable to consider your application at all until you are able to provide us with the address where the child will be living. We cannot use the child’s proposed Newcastle address for distance purposes until the child is actually living here.

You may also find the evidence checklist useful when completing the application form.

Information for families moving house

We appreciate that moving home is stressful and that you want to prepare for your move as far in advance as possible. However, when places are offered, this is done on the basis that they will be taken up within 10 school days. This means that you will only be able to apply for a place up to 4 weeks in advance of your move.

If you are moving house, you must provide us with evidence that you have sold or are in the process of selling your current property or that your current lease agreement has ended. Please do not send in original documents.

We are not able to use your new address to measure distances until you have actually moved house. If you are moving to a rented property, you should provide evidence that you have either sold or are in the process of selling your previous property, or that your previous tenancy agreement has ended. This is because the address given must be your child’s permanent address and a rental property is not considered permanent if you have alternative accommodation available to you.

You may also find the evidence checklist useful when completing the application form.

Making an application if you have not moved house

It is extremely important that a child has continuity in their education. For this reason we strongly discourage unnecessary transfers between schools. If your child already attends school, you must discuss the reasons for requesting a move with the current school as it is important that you try to resolve any difficulties by working with the school rather than seeking to transfer. A school cannot ask you to withdraw your child from school or withdraw your child from the school roll without your permission or first establishing that your child has a new school place.

If you are thinking about a change of school unrelated to a house move, please consider the following before making your decision.

  • Each school teaches the National Curriculum in different ways and at different times of the academic year. How will your child cope with learning new arrangements and doing things in different ways? They may have done the work before, missed important earlier work, or find the work new or strange.
  • Children need to feel happy at school and relationships with the right friends, and with teachers, are an important part of this. Will your child be able to settle in and get to know new people quickly, so that their learning does not suffer?
  • How would your child get to a new school? If your child currently receives free school travel, they may not be eligible for this to continue if they move schools and you will have to pay for travel to school.
  • Will it be a problem for you if your children attend different schools? There is no automatic right for your other children to also transfer to the new school. Will you be able to transport your children to different schools at the appropriate times?
  • You might need to buy a completely new uniform, including PE kit.

Many things that worry parents, carers and children can be resolved without the need to move schools. Often moving schools does not resolve these concerns and could even have a bad effect on your child's education. If your child is unhappy at school you should speak to the Headteacher. Problems can usually be resolved quickly. 

Applications for students in year 10 and year 11

Particular care should be taken with students in year 10 and year 11. Moving a child’s school at this stage can be extremely difficult and detrimental when they are studying for specific examinations. When your child moves to a new school, it may not be possible for them to continue the same GCSE subjects they have already chosen. Increasingly students are starting GCSE subjects at the start of year 9. We advise you to discuss subject options with the schools you are interested in before you make an application. 

Applicants seeking to move schools in year 11 may find that it is too late in some cases for students to be entered for any GCSE examinations.

Depending on the student’s previous educational history and fluency in English language, applications for older students may be referred for consideration under the Fair Access Protocol and an alternative to a school placement may be sought, for example English lessons at college.

Do you need any information from my child’s current school?

If you are requesting a move from another school within the UK, especially within Newcastle, you should discuss your child’s move with their current school. Please ask the school to complete the school section of the application. It is important that we have full information about a child in order to process the application and help with their start at their new school. The information in the school section will not be used as part of the allocation process and your child will not be disadvantaged by any of the information on the form. If you do not provide this, there may be a delay in processing the form whilst we obtain the information. If there are reasons you cannot provide this section, please let us know when you submit your form.

Overseas applicants are encouraged to provide information from their child’s previous school if possible but this is not a requirement.

Do I need to apply for a school place if my child has special educational needs?

If your child has a Statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN) or Education Health and Care Plan you should contact the SEN team at the Civic Centre if you want to move schools. In all other circumstances you must complete the in year application form.

If your child is moving to Newcastle from overseas, and previously attended a special school or unit due to their special educational needs, please enclose details of your child’s needs and this special provision with your school application. This will help us to process your application more quickly and ensure appropriate support is provided within Newcastle.

What if my child needs to go to a named school for medical reasons?

Read the admission policy for the school 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. Our school AZ will link you to every Newcastle school website where the admission policy for that school will be published.

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 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 very cases are 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. 

How secure is the information I have provided you about my child?

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, 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.

Page last updated: 
10 August 2017
Was this page useful?