Use the quick links below to navigate our information. If you have a question that hasn’t been answered in the summary information, you may find the information you need in our frequently asked questions section

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You must respond within 5 school days of an offer to accept the place or the offer may be withdrawn.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school or the local authority (depending on who made the offer) will contact you to advise you that the offer will be withdrawn unless you do respond.

  • If your child is on roll and attending another school, the place will be withdrawn if you do not respond.
  • If your child is not attending another school, the offer will be withdrawn and we will pass your child’s details to the Children Missing Education team.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

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. It will not always be possible to offer you the place you want for your child. If a school is full, we cannot offer your child a place even if it means you have to travel further to get to another school.

If you are not offered your preferred school, you should accept the school place you have been offered.  It will be the closest school to your home that currently has a place for your child.  Accepting the 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. 

If your preferred school is full, you cannot keep your child at home without any education while you wait for a place.

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.

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. Admission policies can be found on the schools webpages.

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. 

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.

Where can I get further information and advice?

If you have a question that isn’t answered here, you may find the information you need in the frequently asked questions section. If you have any further questions after reading our website, please contact us directly.  We will respond as quickly 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”)

Writing to
Admissions and Information Service
Newcastle City Council
Room 225 Civic Centre
Barras Bridge


Page last updated: 
24 February 2016
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