Parents urged not to delay in applying for secondary school places

If your child is due to start secondary school in September 2019, then it’s time for you to apply and you have until the closing date, Wednesday, October 31 this year, writes Coun Philip Owen, chairman of the children and young people’s services committee at Nottinghamshire County Council.

Nottinghamshire residents need to apply to Nottinghamshire County Council, even if their preferred schools are in other areas such as Nottingham City or Derbyshire.

Coun Philip Owen, chairman of children and young people's committee at Nottinghamshire County Council

Coun Philip Owen, chairman of children and young people's committee at Nottinghamshire County Council

Your child may have strong ideas about which secondary school they want – or don’t want – to attend, and their ideas may not be the same as yours.

The good news is that, last year, more than 97 per cent of families who applied for a secondary school place on time were offered one of their preferred schools.

So the message here is applying within the deadline is key.

The easiest way to apply is online


Parents who apply online will receive email confirmation that their application has been received.

As well as applying on time, parents are strongly advised to use all four preferences, check the school’s oversubscription criteria and include at least one school within the four preferences where their child will have high priority within the admission oversubscription criteria and will therefore be most likely to get a place.

Information about the criteria can be found on the council’s website.

All secondary schools in Nottinghamshire are now own admission authority schools and have their own oversubscription criteria.

This can vary from school to school.

It’s also advisable to include other relevant information such as if you’re moving house as this may affect how the application is considered.

It is important to read the relevant sections in Admissions to schools: Guide for parents 2019-20.

Please visit

I cannot stress strongly enough that by applying late or selecting only one or two preferences, parents may substantially reduce the chances of getting their child into one of their preferred schools.

Last year, of the 212 families that were not successful for any of their preferences, 69 per cent had expressed only one preference.

Secondary school offers will be made on Friday, March 1 2019.

If parents apply online an email will be sent on this day and parents can log in to the online application service to view the outcome of their application.

For parents who apply by telephone or by completing a paper application, the outcome of preferences will be posted second class on the same day, Friday, March 1, 2019.

For more information about the application process, schools, the number of places available or how places are allocated, please visit the website at or call 0300 5008080.