Starting secondary or upper school
Apply for a secondary or upper school place to start in September 2021
The closing date for applications was the 31 October 2020. Any application or change made after this date will be classed as late. You will be informed of your outcome:
- if you applied on-time (before the 31 October), we will inform you of your outcome on the 1 March
- if you apply late (between 1 November and 28 February), we will inform you of your outcome on the 31 March
- if you apply after the 1 March 2021, we will inform you of your application after the 15 April
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.
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.
For other year groups you should make an in year application.
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.
- 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.