Apply for an in-year school place in Dorset

Reasons for moving school

Changing your child's school part way through the year is a big decision. There are some situations where you can't avoid it, like moving house. If there are other reasons for changing schools, you should:

  • discuss the reason you want to change schools with your child's current school
  • understand that in year places aren't always available
  • consider the impact on your child as they leave friends and a familiar environment
  • think about whether a new school can offer your child the courses or exams they want to take, particularly during GCSE or A level courses

You don't need to apply for in year admission if your child is due to:

Before you apply for a school place

Before you apply, you should:

Enter your postcode and find schools in your area under 'education'

View schools by catchment area.

Find schools in your catchment area

To view your schools in your catchment area we will need your address. You can select it by entering your postcode.

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Apply for an in year school place

List up to 3 schools in order of preference. One of these schools should be your catchment school. You'll receive a confirmation email once you've submitted your application.

Make sure you've sent any required medical or religious evidence to our schools admissions team. We can only consider your application based on the evidence you've submitted.

If you can't apply online fill you can apply using:

We process in year applications half a term before the start date. If you want an in year school place to start in September we will look at this from June. There is no guarantee that a place will be available at your preferred school.

School waiting lists

Apply to add your child to a school waiting list in Dorset.

Schools that process their own in year applications

Find out which schools process their own in year admissions in Dorset.

Moving into or within Dorset 

Make it clear on your application if you're applying from your current address or your new address. We can only base your application on a new address if you've given us evidence of your new address.

You do not need to be a Dorset resident to complete an in-year application. You can apply directly to us. 

If you're moving out of Dorset you apply to your new home authority; you do not have to apply through us.

Proof of address

Find out how you can forward your evidence to us during the coronavirus emergency.

If you're moving into or within Dorset and you want your application to be based on your new address you must give us proof of this address.

Proof of address can be any of these:

Type of house move Evidence
Property sale Solicitor's letter confirming exchange of contracts on your property sale and purchase.
Property rental Copy of your new tenancy agreement giving property address and date of duration of tenancy and notice to quit your current property. These must be signed by you and your new landlord. The new tenancy agreement must be signed and dated before the closing date, but can have a start date later than the closing date.
Moving to live with a friend or relative Letter from your friend or relative confirming the arrangements and the date that you'll be moving to live with them. Proof of their address, such as a recent Council Tax or utility bill. You can only base your application on this address once you're actually living there.
Child moving from one parent or carer to live with another on a long-term basis Written confirmation from both parents (or from parent or previous carer and new carer) explaining the new arrangements. Proof of the new address, such as a copy of a recent Council Tax or utility bill.
Armed services or crown servants Posting order or official letter stating the date you're due to move and the unit postal address or quartering area.
Domestic violence refuge Written confirmation from refuge staff that you're living in the refuge due to domestic violence.

Moving into Dorset from outside the UK

If you're a British citizen living abroad, or a citizen of the European Economic Area you need to send us:

  • copies of passports or citizen cards
  • proof of a UK address where you will be resident
  • a date of arrival in the UK for you and your child

We can process your application as soon as we've received these documents providing you want the school place within 6 weeks.

If you're a citizen from a country outside the European Economic Area you need to send us:

  • copies of passports
  • endorsed visa
  • proof of a UK address where you'll be resident
  • date of arrival in the UK for you and your child

We can only process your application once your child is living in the UK. You must show original passports and visas to the school when your child starts school.