Before you apply we encourage you to do the following:
- read the admission arrangements for the school(s) you are interested in applying for
- find out what different schools have to offer your child
- if possible, visit schools you are interested in
- know which school is the catchment school for your child’s address
- be aware of the school transport policy Home to school transport – it is important that you understand who will be responsible for transport before applying to a school
- find out where to send your application forms
You can use this In Year Application Form to apply for any state-funded school in Somerset, but you cannot use it to apply for a school outside of Somerset or a private school. Please return your application forms directly to your preferred school.
If you need to move your child to a mainstream school
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.
Decide which school
First of all, you will need to decide which school 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.
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’s year group at particular schools or academies.
Once you have made your decision, you will need to contact the relevant school 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 having difficulty securing your child a school place using the in-year application process, we advise you to contact the Admissions Team in the first instance. While you are welcome to discuss your case with your local MP, please bear in mind that they are not able to award school places, and neither an MP nor the local authority can overrule the decision of the Admission Authority.
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. You can find more details about School Admissions Appeals on the Appeal 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 moving into Somerset please refer to the information in the Primary or Secondary admissions booklet regarding Somerset’s policy on applications from service families. You can find the booklet on the pages Apply to Start School or Starting at a secondary or upper school in September.
If you have any difficulties finding a school for your child then please contact us immediately and we will help.
We keep waiting lists for all year groups for VC and C schools. If you are refused a place at one of these schools your child will automatically be added to the waiting list which runs until the end of the academic year the place has been requested for. We also maintain waiting lists for schools which are part of the Local Authority Coordinated Scheme.
The waiting list is kept in order of the over-subscription criteria and if a place becomes available it is offered to the child that is ranked the highest. It is your responsibility to let us know of any changes that may affect your child’s position on the waiting list.
If you would like your child to stay on the waiting list for the next academic year you would need to re-apply for that year group and if refused your child will be added to the waiting list. You can apply for a place half a term in advance so you can apply for a place in September from the June half term.
If you are applying for a school or academy that is not a Local Authority school or part of the Local Authority Coordinated Scheme, you will need to check with that school or academy if they hold waiting lists.