Changing schools

In-year applications are when you need to apply for a school place at any time in the year that it is not part of the 'normal admissions round'. There are three main reasons for making an in-year application.

You might:

  • Be moving house
  • Be unhappy with your child's current school
  • Want your Year 2 child enrolled at an infant school to start Year 3 in a primary school

Moving home part-way through the academic year

If you are moving into Southampton (SO14-SO19) from another local authority or country part-way through the academic year, you will need to complete an in-year transfer application.

You can also change the schools named on your application if they are no longer appropriate.

Changing schools because you are unhappy with your child's current school

Changing schools is a big decision and should not be made lightly. If your child is having difficulties at their current school, discuss the reason you want to change schools with your child's current school to try and resolve the situation before making an application.

Changing school can be difficult for a child and rarely solves their difficulties. It is important to consider the emotional, social and academic consequences for your child connected with a change of school before making an application to another school. In-year places are not always available.

Please be aware that, unless there is a relevant safeguarding reason made known to us, we will contact your child's current school upon receipt of your in-year transfer application.


Before you apply, you will need to:

  • Register an account with the Citizen Portal. This is a separate login to any other account you may have registered with us
  • Find and decide the order of your three preferred schools. We strongly advise checking 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
  • Find out whether a school has a place available. You can contact the school directly or contact us

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
  • 2
  • Active members of the Church of England and require a Church of England controlled school

Make an in-year application

Citizen Portal guidance is available to use when applying.

If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan, you will need to contact the special educational needs team.

If you only intend to apply to an independent or private school, contact the school admissions team.

Important: Under no circumstances should you withdraw your child's place from their current school before an alternative school place has been allocated.


Fair Access Protocol

Some in-year transfer applications take slightly longer to proces if they need to be considered alongside the Fair Access Protocol. The admissions team will inform you if your child's case will be considered under the protocol.