The UK education system

To assist parents we have produced advice on the UK education system which has also been translated into Romanian, Polish, Russian, Arabic and Punjabi.

Apply for a school place or change an existing school place

If you pay your council tax to Southampton City Council then you must apply for schools through us, even those not in Southampton. If you are unsure, you can check whether we are your local authority for school admissions.

School place applications for September 2021 entry are now closed.

  • Applications for year R (infant/primary school) places closed on 15 January 2021 at 23:59
  • Applications for year 3 (junior school) places closed on 15 January 2021 at 23:59
  • Applications for year 7 (secondary school) places closed at 23:59 on 31 October 2020.

If you missed the deadline, you will need to make a late application.

Check before you apply

Otherwise you can apply through the portal below. Citizen Portal guidance is available to use when applying.

To apply for a September 2021 place, you will need to:

  1. Find and decide the order of your preferred schools. We strongly advise looking at the admissions policies for each school, so that you know how applications are considered and how the distance from home to school will be measured
  2. Register and apply through the Citizen Portal. This is a separate login to any other account you may have registered with us. Register for the portal

Additional supporting information is required if you are:

  • Applying to a faith school under the faith criteria
  • Applying to a particular school for a significant medical or psychological reason
  • Active members of the Church of England and require a Church of England controlled school

Applications are now closed.

Remember: Places are withdrawn every year because parents give a false address on their application. This includes cases where parents buy or rent a property solely to use the address in the application, without any intention of taking up permanent residence there.

We will investigate all allegations of false addresses and may monitor residency details if use of a temporary address causes concern.


Southampton City Council is consulting on the admission policies for community and voluntary controlled schools for admission in September 2022.

Please visit the consultation page for more information.

Frequently asked questions

What happens if I miss the deadline?

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

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?

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?

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?

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.

My child has already started school but I need to move them to another school, what do I need to do?

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?

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?

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.