School admissions arrangements consultations

School admissions arrangements consultations

Current consultations are listed below:

Newcastle Co-ordinated Admissions Scheme 2025-26

The consultation will close on 18 December 2023

What is the Co-ordinated Admissions Scheme?

All local authorities are required by the School Admissions (Co-ordination of Admissions Arrangements) (England) Regulations 2012 to have a scheme in place each year for coordinating admission arrangements for all maintained schools and academies (except special schools and nursery schools) within their area. The scheme has to comply with the provisions of the School Admissions Code 2021.

Co-ordination schemes are intended to simplify the admissions process whilst reducing the likelihood of any child being left without a school place. Co-ordination establishes a mechanism that ensures as far as is reasonably practicable, that every parent of a child living in a local authority (LA) who has applied to a state-funded school is sent a single offer of a school place by their LA.

The reason why we are consulting

The School Admissions Code 2021 states that admissions authorities must consult on their admissions arrangements once every seven years or if there are any proposed changes. These consultations are your opportunity to have your say about whether the policies are fair. The local authority must also consult on any changes they wish to make to the annual co-ordinated scheme which details how applications will be processed.

Local Authority consultation

The local authority annual co-ordinated scheme explains clearly how all admissions for reception, transfer and in-year applications will be dealt with. It is used in conjunction with individual schools' admission policies to ensure all applications are dealt with in line with the School Admissions Code 2021. The scheme should ensure that admission of students in different local authorities is compatible with each other.

All admission authorities must participate in co-ordination for the normal admissions round and late applications and provide the local authority with the information it needs to co-ordinate admissions by the dates agreed within the scheme

There are two changes that Newcastle City Council proposes to make to the existing Annual Co-ordinated Admissions Scheme. If accepted, these will be in place for applications for school places for September 2025 onwards.

The two changes proposed are:

  • removal of the first waiting list offering process
  • requirement for parents/carers to actively ‘opt-in’ to add their child(ren) to waiting lists for schools which have been unable to offer a place.

First waiting list process

Current arrangements:

The first waiting list process is completed two weeks after national offer day when parents/carers who have applied on-time have had an opportunity to accept or refuse their offered place. For the first waiting list run, no late applications or changes of preference are included and new offers are made to on-time applicants, using the same information that was verified in the initial application. As no late changes of preference are included, the process involves re-offering places at oversubscribed schools only, where a place has been refused by a parent/carer.

Proposed arrangement:

  1.  the late offer process will reallocate places that have become available since national offer day. Late applications and late changes to preferences are included at this stage.
  2. Following the late offer process, places will be re-allocated regularly.

All other post-national offer day offering processes to remain the same, although the late offering process for reception places will be two weeks earlier than was previously the case.

Reasons for changing:

  • This extra process delays adding new applications to the system. This means parents who have moved into or within Newcastle, or those who have not been able to apply on-time for other reasons, do not receive a response to their application for a considerable time.
  • If information has changed, such as sibling links have been established, children have moved schools since making the initial application, or more medical evidence is gathered, consideration of this information is also delayed.
  • This delay means some children miss induction or transition events at school (particularly in reception).
  • Removing the first waiting list run in the transfer process, means admissions authorities (schools and trusts) would be able to spend more time considering applications and give more time for parents to find and submit required evidence, such as faith or medical evidence. This enables schools to confidently rank new applications against the oversubscription criteria of the school to ensure the right offers are made.
  • For primary schools, the process of making offers for late applications would be moved forward. This would allow schools to plan their budget and staffing levels more effectively. Parents would also be able to attend induction and transition events more easily and plan for their children’s future education.
  • There are very few offers made in this process; in 2023 there were 44 new offers made across all admissions groups (reception, first to middle, primary to secondary, and middle to high). This means there is very little impact made on parents by removing the first waiting list run and combining all applications into one main waiting list process.
  • No neighbouring local authorities have a process run in this way.

Requesting to be added to a waiting list

Current arrangements:

Students are currently added to the waiting list for all higher preference schools which are unable to offer a place on national offer day, or from any new applications where schools cannot offer a place.  The two neighbouring local authorities which Newcastle co-ordinates with most frequently do not add students to a waiting list automatically and parents must request to be added to a waiting list.

Proposed arrangements:

If a parent wishes their child to be placed on a waiting list, they must request this in writing to the local authority’s School Admissions Team. That child will be kept on the waiting list, as long as it is a higher preference to the school which they have been offered. For example, where a parent has been allocated a place at their second preference school, they may request to be placed on the waiting list of their first preference school but not their third.

Where a parent has been offered a place at a school that they did not express a preference for, they may request their child is be placed on the waiting list of all their preferred schools and considered for places at those schools if any become available. The School Admissions Team will contact these families to provide advice about the waiting list process.

In all cases, parents must request their child(ren) be added to any waiting list.

Waiting lists will be kept by all admission authorities until at least 31 December 2025. The waiting list will be maintained strictly in accordance with the oversubscription criteria and if a place becomes available this will be offered to the child ranked highest on the list. Places on waiting lists will change over time as new applications are received.

All parents/carers who are refused a place in a school have a right to appeal the decision, and the removal of an automatic place on a waiting list will not have any impact on this. Parents/carers would still have this right even if they chose not to be added to the waiting list.

Reasons for changing:

  • Students should only have one offer of a school place at any time
  • The local authority makes offers as part of the transfer and reception processes until 31 August each year.  If a new offer is made, the current offer of a school place is automatically removed, even if it has been accepted. 
  • Although parents and carers are reminded of this throughout the process, the onus is on the parent to contact school admissions if they no longer want to stay on a waiting list. In some cases, students have been to transition events at one school but can be automatically transferred to a higher preference over the summer holidays if a place becomes available and they are top of the waiting list.
  • Due to the high number of offers made from waiting lists, it is not feasible for the School Admissions Team to contact all parents/carers about each offer and await a response before back-filling their removed place. 
  • Actively requesting to be added to a waiting list would mean parents/carers have made a decision to opt into this process and are less likely to be in a position where they had a place removed without considering this possibility carefully. 
  • There are likely to be shorter waiting lists for schools and the local authority to manage through the process and some reduction in late and unexpected changes to pupil intakes.

To respond to the consultation, please complete the form using the below link:

Consultation form

If you have any other queries or difficulties accessing the on-line consultation form please email:

The consultation will close on 18 December 2023.

A full copy of the draft co-ordinated scheme is on the following link:

Draft Newcastle Co-ordinated admission scheme 2025-26 - for consultation.docx

Archibald First School - now closed
Key consultation informationConsultation details
Changes to policyNo proposed changes but some changes to wording within the policy
Reason for consultation7 years with no consultation
Link to consultation documentsStatutory Consultation for 2025/2026 Admission Policy - Archibald First School
Consultation closing date20 November 2023
Who to respond to

Write to: The Governing Body, Archibald First School, Archibald Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE3 1EB

Or email: 

St Paul's C of E Primary School
Key consultation informationConsultation details
Changes to policy

Reduction in published admissions number (PAN) from 35 to 30

Simplified oversubscription criteria

Increased nursery PAN

Reason for consultationSignificant changes to policy
Consultation documentsSt Pauls PAN reduction consultation.pdf
Consultation closing dateMonday 21 January 2024
Who to respond to

Complete the online form: 

Or write to: 

Sarah Aiken, c/o St Paul's CofE Primary School, Victoria Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 7JU

Or email:

Callerton Academy
Key consultation informationConsultation details
Changes to policyInclusion of feeder schools as an oversubscription criterion
Reason for consultationSignificant changes to policy
Consultation documentsAdmissions consultation letter - Callerton Academy - November 2023.pdf
Consultation closing dateMonday 8 January 2024
Who to respond toEmail: with the subject heading of Admissions Consultation.
Richard Coates CE Primary School - Not a Newcastle School
Key consultation informationConsultation details
Changes to policyReduction in published admissions number (PAN) from 60 to 30
Reason for consultationChanges in oversubscription criteria
Link to consultation documentsPele Trust admissions consultation - RCPS PAN change for (October 2023).pdf
Consultation closing dateThursday 30 November
Who to respond to


Or write to: 

Clare Barker, c/o Ponteland High School, The Crescent, Callerton Lane, Ponteland, NE20 9EG