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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice, including help if you are struggling financially

Starting secondary or upper school

Apply for a secondary or upper school place to start in September 2021

The closing date for applications is 31 October 2020. If you apply after this date your application will be late. 
Before you apply:
  • if you live in Dorset (not Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole), and pay your Council Tax to Dorset Council, apply to us for a secondary or upper school place, even if you want to apply for a school in another local authority area
  • check your local council area if you're not sure which local authority area you should apply to
  • read our parents' guide for information about the different types of schools and how to apply
  • read the admissions policies for schools you're interested in; you can also find these on a school's website
  • check Dorset's Local Offer for information on support for children with special educational needs and disabilities

Or view schools by catchment area.

You may have to complete an additional form if you want to apply to religious schools. This is an extra form which should be sent to the schools themselves, unless stated differently, and is not instead of an application form.

For other year groups you should make an  in year application.

Apply for a school place

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

Make sure you've sent any required medical evidence to our school’s admissions team. We can only consider your application based on the evidence you've submitted by the relevant closing date.

Apply for a school place if your child has an educational, health and care (EHC) plan

You have to apply for a school place in a different way. Find out what to do if your child has an EHC plan.

If you can't apply online

If you can't apply online, fill in and return a paper application form, this should be posted by the relevant closing date. Make sure you include proof of posting:

Apply for a place at upper school

Apply for a place at secondary school

Making changes to your submitted application

If you want to make changes to your submitted application, you need to complete a change of preference form:

We process applications based on the information you provide in your application. This means if you change your address after 31 October 2020, we'll process your application using the address you were living at as of the closing date. Your change of address will be considered in our late round.

Apply for a place at a secondary school in Christchurch

Go to the BCP Council webpageto apply for a place at a secondary school in Christchurch if you're a BCP Council resident.

How we tell you about an offer of a school place

We send out offers for all on-time applications for children starting secondary or upper school by email if you have applied online or by second class post on 1 March 2021.

We will:

  • tell you about your transport entitlement by letter via email 
  • only discuss the information with the people listed on the application
  • let you know your outcome, unless your application is late 
  • send late application offers by email on 31 March 2021

We cannot discuss available places at school as the number changes frequently.

What to do when you have a school place offer

We automatically assume you want to accept a school place.

If you want to turn down a school place or you want us to add your child to the waiting list, you must respond to the school place offer by:

  • 15 March 2021 for on-time applications
  • 31 March 2021 for late applications

You must provide the reason as to why you are declining your offered school place. You can only request for your child to be added to a particular school's waiting list if you've already applied for this school and been refused a place at it.

Find out more about school waiting lists.

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