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School admissions frequently asked questions

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Can I apply for a school place online? Can I see my child's allocated school online?

Yes. We'll send you details of how to apply online with your child's application form. You'll need to register your details before you can apply online.

On the day that notification letters are sent, you'll be able to log into the website and see your child's allocated school.

What happens if I don't apply for a school place for my child?

We strongly advise that you apply.

If you don't apply, your child will be offered a place at the nearest appropriate school which has places left only after all other applications have been dealt with.

Can I apply for just one school?

We strongly advise that you apply for 3 different schools.

If you only apply for one school, and that school cannot offer your child a place, your child will be offered a place at the nearest appropriate school which has places left only after all other applications have been dealt with.

My child's sibling already attends my preferred school. Will I automatically be offered a place?

No, every child must apply for a school place. Everyone's preferences are then considered against each school's oversubscription criteria.

Which school admission zone (catchment area) do I live in?

To find out which school admission zone your home address is in, please call School Admissions on 01642 201890 or look at the school admission zones.

How are school places allocated?

Allocations operate an equal preference system. Each school has a set number of places available, and an admissions criteria. If there are less applications than the admission number, than all applications will be accepted and offered a place at that school. If there are more applications than places, the applications will be treated in the following manner:

  • All preferences for a school, whether they are first, second or third preference, will be considered equally
  • The published admissions criteria for the school is applied to all preferences to rank the applications in order
  • This ranked list of applications is then used to allocate places at the school up to the maximum admission number
  • Parents are then offered a place at the school with the highest preference that can be met

What are the admission criteria?

A school is classed as 'oversubscribed' if it receives more applications than the number of places it has available. If this happens, the admission criteria is used to decide which children get places at the school. The admissions criteria for all schools in Middlesbrough is given in the School Admissions Guide for Parents.

What does consider preference mean?

Each school has an maximum number of children it can admit. If the number of preferences exceeds the admission number, the admission authority will consider a parent's preferences against the school's published admissions criteria.

What happens if I'm not offered my first preferred school for my child?

Your child will be offered a place at your highest ranked preference school which has places available. You'll also have the right to appeal the decision. If none of your preferred schools have places available, your child will be offered a place at the nearest appropriate school which has places available.

What is a school admission appeal?

Every parent or guardian has the right to appeal against a decision not to offer their child a place at a particular school. Appeals are heard by independent appeals panels. The panel will make a decision based on the case presented by the admissions authority and the parent or guardian.

Is the school admission appeal decision binding?

Yes, both the admission authority and the parent or guardian must do what the panel says.

You can contact the Local Government Ombudsman only if you think that your child was refused a place at a school because of a mistake by the admissions authority, or if your appeal was handled incorrectly. Find out more about complaining to the Local Government Ombudsman.

What happens if I submit an application after the closing date?

All applications submitted late will be looked at after those which were submitted on time. If your application is late then your child may not get into one of your preferred schools. This applies even if you live in the school admission zone, or have another child already attending the school at the time of applying.

Who is the admissions authority?

For community schools, it is Middlesbrough Council.

For academies, foundation schools, and voluntary-aided (VA) schools, it is the governing body or trustee board.

Can I appeal for more than one school at one time?

Yes. You are entitled to appeal for every school your child has been refused a place at.

What happens if I am not offered any of my school preferences?

If we cannot offer your child your first choice of school, we'll try to offer them a place at your second or third choice of school respectively. This is why it's very important to submit 3 choices. If we're unable to offer a place at any of your 3 choices, we'll offer your child a place at the nearest suitable school to your home address which has places available.