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Starting secondary or upper school

Apply for a place at a secondary school in Christchurch

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

Apply for a place at a secondary or upper school place at a Dorset school

Apply for a secondary or upper school place to start in September 2020

You can apply from 1 September 2019. The closing date is 31 October 2019.

Before you apply:

  • if your child has an education, health and care (EHC) plan  contact our 0 to 25 SEND assessment team 

  • if you live in Dorset (not Bournemouth, Christchurch or Poole), and pay your Council Tax to Dorset Council, apply to us for a Dorset school secondary or upper place. You can check your  local council area
  • if you live in Dorset and pay your Council Tax to Dorset Council and you want to apply for a school place in another local authority area, you still need to apply to us at Dorset Council
  • 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 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 secondary or upper 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 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.

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 closing date, make sure you include proof of posting:

Apply for a place at upper school

Apply for a place at secondary school

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 2 March 2020.

We will:

  • tell you about your transport entitlement by letter only, not over the phone 
  • get the information to you by email if you applied online
  • only discuss the information with the people listed on the application
  • let you know your outcome, unless your application is late 

We can't discuss available places at school as the number changes frequently.

What to do when you have a school place offer

We automatically assume acceptance, but we do ask parents and carers to respond to the school place offer by 16 March 2020 for on-time applications, and 13 April 2020 for late applications. We only ask you to respond if you wish to either:

  • decline the place offered, you must give us the reason why
  • ask for your child to go on a waiting list

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.

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 give in your application. This means if you change your address after 31 October 2019, we'll process your application using the address you were living at on the closing date. Your change of address will be considered in our late round.

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