When to apply

You can apply to move schools at any point, but we only process in year applications half a term before the date you would like to start. If you want an in year school place to start in September we will look at this from June.

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
  • consider the effect of changing schools. Any change could disrupt your child's education, 
  • 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

Find schools in your catchment area

Find schools

Or view schools by catchment area.

You can also enter your postcode and find schools in your area under 'education'

Read our parents guide

Read our parents' guide for information about the different types of schools, the evidence we require and information you need to know before applying.

Check if you can apply directly to the school

Check which schools process their own in year applications

Read the admissions policies

Read the admission policies for the school you're interested in

For children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

You have to apply for a school place in a different way. Find out what to do if your child has an education, health and care (EHC) plan.

Moving into or within Dorset

Make it clear on your application if you're applying from your current or your new address. 

You do not need to be living within Dorset to complete an in year application and if you are moving out of Dorset, you can apply to your new home authority.

Proof of address

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. The new tenancy agreement must be signed and dated by yourself and your new landlord
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. 

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.

Start now

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

If you can't apply online you can fill out a paper application:

Once you've applied

Make changes to your submitted application

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

You must not make any changes via your online account.

How we tell you about your in year offer

You will be informed of your outcome within 10 school days. If you have been refused you can go on the School waiting lists and you can appeal a school place 

Contact us

Contact the School Admissions Team if you have any queries.