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How we allocate in-year school places

An in-year application is an application for a school place made during the school year or, for admission to a school for the start of the school year for any year group other than the normal year of entry (Reception in Primary or Infant school, Year 3 in Junior school or Year 7 in Secondary school).

We co-ordinate in-year applications for the majority of schools in West Northamptonshire. In-year places at these schools are allocated according to our in-year co-ordination scheme.

Own admission authority schools (academies, free, voluntary aided and foundation schools) can choose to manage their own in-year applications. See the list of the schools that manage their own in-year applications. In-year applications for places at these schools should be made directly to the school.

Checking if there are places available

On receipt of an application, we will follow the process outlined in our in-year co-ordination scheme

First, we will contact the schools named as preferences to check if there is a place available.

If a place can be offered at one of the preferred schools, parents will be sent an email or letter confirming the name of the school which has been offered. This will be the highest preference possible.

If it is not possible to offer a place in the child’s year group at a preferred school, parents will be informed by email or letter of their right to appeal against refusal of a place.

If the child does not currently have a school place at the time of application (or has moved house) and it is not possible to offer a place at one of the preferred schools, an alternative school will be offered. This will be the closest school to the child’s home address that has a place in the child’s year group at the time.

If the child already has a place at a local school, an alternative will not be offered.

Taking up your place

Once a school place has been offered, parents should contact the allocated school to arrange a start date. It is expected that the child should start attending the school within 10 school days of receipt of the allocation letter.

Fair Access Protocol

Each local authority must have a Fair Access Protocol (FAP) to ensure that vulnerable children, and those who are having difficulty in securing a school place in-year, are allocated a school place as quickly as possible. You can read more about our FAP below.

Last updated 19 December 2023