There is a flood alert in effect. Please stay safe and follow the latest Flooding information and advice.



This page contains important information if you have not been offered one or more of your preferences for your child to start at a new school in September 2023. These are your options, including if you have applied for a place at a school in another local authority area.

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 email us 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.

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 wish to appeal for a school in another local authority area please see the section below called – ‘Refusal of a school in another local authority’.

If you are appealing for an infant, first or primary school place please first visit our Appeals for a place to start school in September page to find which form you need.

If your child is due to start at any of the following and you wish to appeal your school admissions outcome, please submit your appeal form online.

Submit a cyclical appeal

This form has 7 pages and will take approximately 7 to 10 minutes to complete.

  • Year 7 at a Secondary school in September
  • Reception at a Primary/First/Infant School in September
  • Year 3 at a Junior school in September
  • Year 5 at a Middle school in September
  • There is a leaflet which explains more about the appeals process, alongside an appeals timetable in the downloads section at the bottom of this page. It may also be helpful to visit our ‘Appeal a school admissions decision‘ page.

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.

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. You can find details of neighbouring authorities’ admissions teams under ‘School Admissions Teams in 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. You can apply online.

Apply for a school admission

This form has 3 pages and will take approximately 3 to 4 minutes to complete.

For secondary admissions, we aim to send outcomes on 2 May for applications received by 20 March 2023 and for primary admissions we aim to send outcomes on 5 June for applications received by 2 May 2023. After these dates, applications will be processed in strict date order, based on when they were received.

For a list of Somerset schools that have places available, please read these documents: Starting School – schools with spare places, Middle Schools with spare places and Secondary Schools with spare places. The documents are also in the downloads section of this page.

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’ or ‘Primary Admissions Guide‘. If schools become over-subscribed, the published admissions criteria will be applied when allocating the remaining places.


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 please email us at  

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 2023, 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, in writing, 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 Voluntary Controlled or Community School and you wish for your child to remain on the waiting list after 31 December you must email by the beginning of the Spring Term to request this.

If you have been refused a place at a school within another local authority, please contact that local authority directly about waiting lists.

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

Last reviewed: August 29, 2023 by William

Next review due: February 29, 2024

Back to top