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The UK education system
Frequently asked questions
What happens if I miss the deadline? SHOW
If you are applying after the deadline, you will need to complete a late school place application. Please be aware that all on-time applications will be processed before late applications and schools may be filled by on-time applicants.
I want to make a change to my application SHOW
You can update your application up until the deadline. If you make any changes, you must submit your application again. Otherwise your application will not be considered.
After the deadline, you cannot change your application unless there has been a significant and material change in your circumstances, such as:
- Moving house
- A sibling has started, or has an accepted offer of a place, at your preferred school (or its linked infant or junior school, for primary phase applications)
If you wish to change your application for any other reason, such as changing your preferences, you will have to make a late application.
My child attends a link school. Will they get a place at the next school automatically? SHOW
No, you must still make an application. Community and voluntary controlled junior schools give priority to those attending the linked infant school.
If your child attends a primary or junior school, they may not be able to get a place at the linked secondary school. You must make an application for the secondary school if you want a place there.
My child attends a pre-school or nursery that is on the site of the school or is part of the school, will I be offered a place at the school? SHOW
Attendance at a nursery class or pre-school, even one based on the school site, or one that is part of the school, does not give you any priority for a place in the reception class at the school. There is also no automatic transfer. If you would like a Year R place in that school, you will need to make an application.
Am I guaranteed a place at my catchment school? SHOW
Neither the local authority nor the individual admission authorities can guarantee a place at any school. If you apply for your catchment school as one of your preferences, if there is one for your address, then the chances of being offered a place there are reasonably high. However, a place cannot be guaranteed. Please note that from September 2022 there will not be any catchment areas for our secondary schools.
My child has already started school but I need to move them to another school, what do I need to do? SHOW
These applications are known as in-year applications and can be made at any time in the year. They are not part of the 'normal admissions round'.
What if I'm not living in the Southampton city boundary in time for the application deadline? SHOW
You can still make an application for a school place but this will be through your current home local authority. You must use the address where you are residing at the time of submitting your application. We can only use the new address once your child is living there.
You will be able to list Southampton schools as your first preference and your waiting list position will be amended once you have confirmed and notified us of your new address, along with sufficient proof of this.
My child lives between two addresses, which do I use? SHOW
If your child spends part of their week with one parent and part with the other, only one address can be used. This must be the address where they spend most of their time.
How are applications processed? SHOW
If a school is oversubscribed (it has more applicants than spaces available), then each applicant is ranked according to the school’s oversubscription criteria that is published in their admissions policy. Places are then offered according to that ranked list.
If a child is eligible for a place at more than one school through this process, they are offered the highest preference eligible. The lower preference space is given to the next eligible applicant.
Please note that the oversubscription criteria for a school are the only factors which can be legally considered when ranking applications and allocating school places. Matters of childcare arrangements, transport arrangements and other social considerations cannot be given consideration. This ensures that the process remains objective.
When processing applications, all preferences are treated as equal applications for the chosen schools. All preferences are considered together in line with the oversubscription criteria of the school, rather than processing first preferences first before moving onto second and so on.
Where more than one school can be offered, the Local Authority makes the offer to the school with the highest preference rank for which they were eligible.
Why should I include three preferences on my application? SHOW
It is the advice of the Local Authority, that applicants use all of their preferences to increase their chance of being offered a school of preference.
Not using all preferences may mean that children are allocated places at schools further than the applicant would like, if closer schools, that are not given as preferences, oversubscribe from applicants.
Only stating one preference will not increase your chances of being offered that school
Doing this will potentially run the risk of not being offered your preferred school and with result in being offered an alternative.