Somerset County Council

In year school admissions


In year school admissions relate to a child changing school outside of the usual transfer cycle. This page applies to admissions for mainstream schools and academies only. Applications for special schools need to be made through the Special Educational Needs department.

Most commonly, this will happen where the family moves house and it is no longer practical for the child or children to travel to their current school on a daily basis. The house move may be in-county (moving from one Somerset address to another, and one Somerset school to another) or the family might be moving from elsewhere into Somerset.

This page tells you how to apply for a school place if you need to move your child to a mainstream school in Somerset. 

If you wish to move your child to a school in another local authority area please contact them or visit their website to find out how to make an application.

It is important to consider the following points carefully before making the decision to change your child's school.

If your child is experiencing difficulties at their current school and you are considering moving them, it is important you contact your child's teacher for a meeting to try to resolve these issues before moving your child which should always be a last resort.

The attainment of pupils who make in-year moves is markedly lower than their peers, and lower still among pupils who make multiple in-year moves. Only 27 percent of pupils who move schools three times or more during their secondary school career achieved five A* to C grade GCSEs, compared to the national average of 60 percent. (2013 RSA report on in year admissions).

If your child is at a critical stage of their education (in year 10 or 11) it is likely that the school you wish to transfer your child to will not use the same exam boards as your child's current school. If this is the case, any work your child has already done towards their GCSEs may not be able to be used. This could have a seriously damaging effect on your child's exam results.

Only 27 percent of pupils who move schools three times or more during their secondary school career achieve 5 A* to C GCSEs, compared to the national average of 60 percent. Results in English and maths for children at Key Stage 2 dropped 12 percent following one in year move, 17 percent for two moves and 25 percent for three moves (2013 RSA report on in year admissions).

Please note that you will be responsible for transporting your child to any school you name as a preference unless you have a statutory entitlement or qualify for discretionary transport under exceptional circumstances.

If it is the school holidays and you are waiting for the result of an in year application you will need to wait until there is somebody available at the school, the Admissions and Entitlements team will be unable to advise you of the outcome.

About this service
First of all, you will need to decide which school(s) you would prefer your child to attend. Information on the different types of school and how to find out which is which can also be found on the School Admissions Policy page in Related services.

For general advice visit our Find a school page. Please contact us if you would like to check whether there are places available in your child(ren)'s year group(s) at particular schools or academies.

Once you have made your decision, you will need to contact the relevant school(s) for an application form which must be filled in and returned to the school. You may need to provide proof of address if the application is a result of a house move.

In some areas of Somerset, especially urban areas, a number of the local schools may be over-subscribed. It is advisable to consider applying to a number of schools at once, in case you are unsuccessful in securing a school place at your preferred school, so that your child is not out of education for any prolonged period. 

Please note, if you are unable to secure a school place for your child within a reasonable distance, they may be entitled to school travel assistance to an alternative school. If this is the case, we will identify the school that travel assistance will be provided to. This will usually be the next nearest school to your home address that has places. If you choose to put your child in an different school without first consulting us, school travel assistance will not be provided.

If you are providing supporting evidence for your school place application such as proof of regular church attendance for example, you will need to provide it on a Supplementary Information Form (SIF) which can be obtained from the school website. For VC schools only the religious proof SIF can be downloaded from the right hand side of this page.

If a place is not available in the appropriate year group, you will be refused and notified of your right to appeal to an independent panel against the decision. More details on School Admissions Appeals can be found on the Appeal against a school admissions decision page.

To apply for a school place from a country outside the European Economic Area you will need to provide your child's passport complete with visa and proof of a Somerset home address.

If you are a service family then please refer to the primary or secondary admissions booklet for information on the policy regarding applications from service families.

If you are a service family moving into Somerset please refer to the information in the Primary or Secondary admissions booklet regarding Somerset's policy on applications from service families. The booklet can be found on the pages Apply to Start School or
Apply to Transfer School.

If you have any difficulties finding a school for your child then please contact us immediately and we will help.

The In Year Admissions policy for VC and Community schools can be found on our
School Admissions Policy page. For Academies, VA, Foundation or Free Schools you will need to visit the individual school website in order to view their policy.

Contact Admissions and Entitlements Team 
Address County Hall, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 4DY 
Phone 01823 355834

Opening hours Monday to Thursday 8.30am to 5pm, Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm, Saturday and Sunday closed.


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