School waiting lists

If we are unable to offer you a place at a school we will place your child's name on the waiting list.​

How waiting lists work

Waiting lists do not work on a first come, first served basis. By law they are organised and maintained according to the school's admissions arrangements.

This means your child will not be added to the bottom of the waiting list. He or she will move up and down the list on a daily basis as other children join and leave the list.    If a school has a unit for children with special education needs, there will be a separate waiting list for children who have been identified as having special needs.

When a school has an available place, we will offer it to the child who is at the number one position on the day it becomes available.

In-year applications

School waiting lists open on the first day of term and are closed and cleared on the last day of each term. If we receive your application on, or after the first day of the month in which a school holiday begins, we will automatically move your application to the following term.

Reception and Year 7 applications

School waiting lists for the next academic year begin on national offer day and end on the last school day in the autumn term of the next academic year.

Your child’s place on the waiting list

If we cannot offer your child a place at any of the preferred schools on your application, he or she will be automatically added to the waiting lists for each of the named schools.

If we offer your child a place at one of your named schools, but you would prefer a school higher up in your list, your child will only be put on the waiting lists of those higher ranking schools.

Your child will stay on a school waiting list until:

  • he or she is offered a place at a school ranked higher; or
  • he or she is offered a place at a school and you turn it down; or
  • you ask for your child to be removed from the list, in writing; or
  • you submit a fresh application and do not name the school as a preference; or
  • we find your application to be fraudulent or completed to deliberately mislead.

Find out your child’s waiting list position

If you gave us your email address when you applied for a school place, we will send you a weekly email update, every Thursday, during the school term that your child is on a waiting list.

We do not look after waiting lists for schools not under our control. You will need to contact the school directly for an update on your child's position.

If you have not given us your email address and would like to receive weekly notifications, you can tell us online. You should also get in touch if your email address has changed.

Sign up to receive weekly waiting list updates or update your email address