School admissions and transfer guidance

children crossing a road

Co-ordinated admissions

The School Admissions Team are encouraging parents to apply for a school place online rather than completing a paper based application form.

We will no longer be issuing parents with pre-printed application forms or supplementary forms. Instead, parents will be sent a letter regarding the application process and a leaflet summarising the admissions process and how to apply online. They will also be advised of where they can get more information should they require it.

Supplementary forms can also be completed online and once submitted by the parent will be emailed directly to the city or church school applied for.

We would very much welcome any support schools can give the team and parents with this approach.

Why online?

We need parents to complete their applications online to save time, money and the environment. With the support of schools, we can persuade parents to have the confidence to apply online.

Some significant benefits for families to apply online:

  • It's quick and easy to use
  • There are simple step by step instructions
  • It's safe and secure
  • There's no need to rely on the postal service and applicants will receive an immediate email confirmation that their application has been submitted successfully
  • The system helps parents in completing the form correctly by using online validation and drop down lists
  • Parents can change their application right up to the time of the closing date
  • Parents will receive a decision on their applications by email on the national offer day, rather than having to wait for their decision to be posted to them

Benefits for the service

  • Fewer paper application forms being sent to schools will also reduce the workload for school staff
  • The move to encourage online applications is in line with many other Local Authorities both nationally and the East Midlands region
  • Research has shown that the average take-up for online admissions for transfer to secondary schools for those LAs that only issued a paper form on request was 83%
  • Nottingham is aiming to get 85% or more applications completed online

We recognise that there will be some parents who do not wish to apply for a school place online. Paper copies of the application form will be available from the School Admissions Team, and a supplementary form directly from the relevant church school.  Applicants will be advised to return the paper supplementary form directly to the church school they are applying for.

Parents can also visit libraries and Children's Centres or the School Admissions Team at Loxley House if they do not have internet access at home.

How can your school help?

As your school is at the heart of the community you can help us in the following ways:

Actively promote the online admission process and benefits to parents:

  • at parent's evenings and open evenings
  • in your newsletter for parents in the run up to and during the application period (see* below for suggested wording)
  • via your website - include a hyperlink that links through to the school admissions page
  • upload the online school admissions brochure and publicity material when we send it to you

Support parents without internet access at home by:

  • signposting parents to their nearest library or children's centre where they can use the facilities to apply online
  • directing them to school admissions reception service to complete online
  • opening up your IT suite for parents to apply online during parents' evenings, open evenings and sessions or bespoke application sessions. If you can provide this facility please email

School admission arrangements for the 2019/20 school year - On 20 February 2018, the City Council’s Executive Board approved the Local Authority’s admission arrangements for community schools for the 2019/20 school year. In summary, the admission arrangements have not changed from those determined for the 2018/19 school year. The arrangements are set out in full in the report which is attached for Head Teachers and school staff. 

A table setting out the timetable for the 2019/20 admission year is set out in Appendix 5 of the report. This information will also be reported to governing bodies at their summer term meetings. Please ensure that you include the admission criteria on your school’s website (and in your school prospectus if you have one). For a copy of the 2019/20 determined admission arrangements, please click here.

Suggested wording for newsletter:

"Parents/carers need to ensure they make their applications for school places in good time for next year. The deadline for applying for a secondary school place is 31 October 2016 and for an infant/junior or primary school place is 15 January 2017.  More and more families are applying online at as it is quick, safe and secure. You will then receive a decision on your application by email on the offer date rather than having to wait for your decision letter to arrive by post. If you need any help with the process you can visit the website or call 0115 841 5568."