Somerset County Council

Refused a place at your preferred school


This page contains important information if you have not been offered one of your preferences for your child to start at a new school in September 2018. 

What happens next?
These are your options, including if you have applied for a place at a school in another local authority area. You can:

What to do if you want to accept the school place you have been offered 
If you have been offered a school place in Somerset we will assume that you want this place unless you tell us otherwise in writing. You do not need to contact us to accept the place, and your child's new school will contact you in due course.  

If you have been offered a school in another local authority please contact that local authority directly to accept the place.

If you later decide you do not want this place, please confirm your decision in writing because another child may need the place. 

You can still appeal for a place at your preferred school if you accept the place you have been offered.

Somerset Choice Advice Service   
The Somerset Choice Advice Service is a free, impartial service to help families with school admissions and appeals. For more information please visit their website

How to appeal
You have a legal right to appeal against the decision not to offer your child a place at one or more of your preferred schools. If you choose to appeal, admission authorities must make arrangements for an independent panel to hear your appeal. Whatever decision the panel takes, neither the admission authority nor the school can reverse it. You can make an appeal for a place at one or more schools, even if you decide to accept a place at another.

If you are appealing for a secondary, middle or junior school place you can submit your appeal form online or you can download the Year of entry school admission appeal application form.

If you are appealing for an infant, first or primary school place you can submit your appeal form online or you can visit this page to find the pdf of the form you need. 

There is a leaflet which explains more about the appeals process. It may also be helpful to visit our 'Appeal a school admissions decision' page.

Refusal of a school in another local authority 
If you want to appeal for a place at a school in another local authority area, you need to contact the local authority concerned for the relevant form and return it to them by their deadline. If you have any questions about their process, please contact the local authority responsible for the school (contact information for Somerset's neighbouring local authorities).

Applying for a different school
If you do not want the place you have been offered, you can apply for another school. The place offered may be at your second or third preference school. Sometimes it may not have been possible to offer you a place at any of your preferred schools. In this case, you will usuallyhave been offered a place at either the catchment or nearest school to your home address with available places. 

If you would like to apply for a place at another school, you must complete a new application form. You can apply online on our admissions webpage. For secondary admissions we aim to send outcomes on 4 May for applications received by 23 March 2018 and for primary admissions we aim to send outcomes on 8 June for applications received by 4 May 2018. After these dates, applications will be processed in strict date order, based on when they were received. For a list of Somerset secondary schools that have places available please see our Secondary schools with spaces documents. For a list of Somerset primary schools that have places available please see our Primary schools with spaces document. There is also a list of Junior schools that have places available.To help you make your decision, we recommend that you visit any school you are interested in.

New applications for places will be considered in line with the admission arrangements published in the ‘Secondary Admissions Guide’ booklet or ' Primary Admissions Guide. If schools become over-subscribed, the published admissions criteria will be applied when allocating the remaining places.

Important note: We only offer one school place for each child. If you submit ‘new’ preferences and it becomes possible to offer a place at one of these schools, any place we have offered you previously will be withdrawn.

Turning down the school place you have been offered
You may decide to turn down the place offered and make your own arrangements for your child’s education - for example, your child may have been offered a place at an independent school or you may decide that you want to educate your child at home. If this is the case you must tell us in writing. If you decide to educate your child at home, you can register your child for ‘Elective Home Education’.

Waiting lists  
For every over-subscribed school, a ranked waiting list will be held until at least 31 December 2018, or longer depending on the admissions authority. Your child will stay on this list regardless of any new preference you may have submitted or any decision you have made to appeal for a place at another school. If a place becomes available within the published admission number, it will be offered to the highest ranked child on the waiting list. The waiting list will take account of applications received either as part of initial on-time allocations or subsequent allocation rounds. 

Please note: you must tell us about any change in circumstances so that your child is ranked in the correct place on the waiting list. It is your responsibility to let us know, by letter or email, if you move house. 

If a place becomes available for your child and you accept it, your child will be removed from the waiting list of any lower preference schools you were previously refused.

If you have been refused a place at a VC or Community School and you wish for your child to remain on the waiting list after 31 December you will need to email by the beginning of the Spring Term in order to request this.

Allocation summary
Find a summary of how places were allocated at the schools where it has not been possible to offer your child a place.

School Admissions Teams in Somerset's neighbouring local authorities

Bath and North East Somerset 
Phone 01225 394312

Phone 0845 1551019

North Somerset
Phone 01275 884078

Phone 01305 228509

Phone 01225 713010


Contact: Admissions and Entitlements Team
Address: County Hall, Taunton, Somerset, TA1 4DY
Phone: 0300 123 2224
Fax: 01823 356113

Opening Hours: Monday 8am to 6pm, Tuesday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm, Saturday and Sunday closed.


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