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 2020. These are your options, including if you have applied for a place at a school in another local authority area.
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.
What to do if you want to accept the school place you have been offered
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.
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 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. You can then submit your appeal form online.
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.
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.
Applying for a different school
In the current circumstances, please do not send a paper application form as the Admissions Team may not receive this before the deadline. Please complete the online application form
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 usually have 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 1 May for applications received by 20 March 2020 and for primary admissions we aim to send outcomes on 5 June for applications received by 1 May 2020. 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 document. 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’ 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’.
For every over-subscribed school, a ranked waiting list will be held until at least 31 December 2020, 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 must email firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Find a summary of how places were allocated at the schools where it has not been possible to offer your child a place.