Moving school

Apply for a school place during the school year if you wish to change your child’s school (in-year admission).

1 Overview

This information only applies if you want to apply to move your child during the school year.

We aim to process applications within 10 school days but it can take longer at busy times, for example around school holidays or during the Covid-19 pandemic, or if the information required is delayed or complex.

If you are considering changing schools because you are not happy with how your child is getting on at their current school, you should discuss your reasons for the move with the current school.

If you remove your child from school and home educate for less than six months your child will be expected to return to their previous school, if there is space available.

In-year applications will only be considered under the exceptional and compelling criteria at the time of the original application, unless there is an unforeseeable change of circumstance after the application was made.

2 When you can apply

You can apply at any time of the year.

Places cannot be reserved in advance and normally have to be taken up within 10 school days of being offered. If you are moving house you can apply in advance of your move but your child must be able to take up the place within 10 days of the offer.

Be aware that there is no guarantee that a place will be available at your preferred school.

You do not need to apply for an in-year admission if your child is:

Before you apply make sure that you read the admissions policies.

3 Moving to, or within, West Sussex

If you are applying for a school place in West Sussex the process depends on the school you are applying to, as some schools manage their own admissions.

Before applying

You must read the relevant guidance pages below before applying:

You should also read the document below which has more information about the in-year admission process:

Apply to a school where we manage the admissions

To apply for a place at a community or controlled school where we manage their admissions, complete the online form:

Online application form

If you are not able to apply online: 

We are currently receiving a large number of in-year applications. You will receive confirmation that your online form has been submitted. Please do not chase up your application for at least two weeks after submission. This will allow the team to concentrate on statutory work, processing applications and making offers as quickly as possible.

Apply to a school where the school manages the admissions

To apply for a place at a school that manages its own admissions please contact the school direct.

Supplementary information forms

Regardless of who manages their admissions, some schools may ask you to complete a supplementary information form as well as an application form.

4 Applications for vulnerable children

In accordance with the School Admissions Code, a Fair Access Protocol exists to ensure that un-placed children, especially the most vulnerable are offered a place at a school as quickly as possible.

You will be contacted after you have returned an application form if your application is to be processed under the Fair Access Protocol.

5 Applications from service personnel and crown servants

Service personnel

Members of the armed forces with automatic right of entry to the UK who are able to provide evidence of their relocation may apply for a school place ahead of a move.

An application can be made as soon as confirmation of the relocation is available, with no restriction on how far in advance the application can be made.

Armed forces applications must be supported by an official letter that declares a relocation date and a unit postal address or quartering area address. It is this address that will be used when considering the application.

There is no guarantee that a place will be available at a preferred school; each application will be considered in line with the school's admissions criteria. Please note that only applications made from the unit postal address or quartering area address can be processed in advance.

Crown servants

Crown servants with automatic right of entry to the UK who are able to provide evidence of their relocation may apply for a school place ahead of a move.

An application can be made as soon as confirmation of the relocation is available, with no restriction on how far in advance the application can be made.

For crown servants, a United Kingdom address can only be used if there is evidence of the address the child is returning to. There is no guarantee that a place will be available at a preferred school; each application will be considered in line with the school's admissions criteria.

6 Applying for a place from outside England

Please apply to a West Sussex school by completing the relevant moving school application form.

If a child is coming from abroad to the UK, certain conditions must be met. Before applying for a state-funded school place it is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that they and their child have a right of abode in the UK, or that the conditions of their immigration status otherwise permit them to access a state-funded school.

You must provide evidence that your child is arriving in the UK within four weeks of the application (usually a copy of your child’s flight ticket) and the address where they will be living, if known. Acceptable proof of address includes proof of current ownership, proof of exchange of contracts on a new purchase or a signed and dated rental agreement on a rental.

If a UK address is not provided, the child’s current address abroad will be used, which will generally give the lowest priority for a school place. All required evidence must accompany the application. Please do not send original documents as these cannot be returned. If you have any queries, please contact Pupil Admissions Team for advice.

7 Moving out of West Sussex

If you are moving out of West Sussex you will need to apply direct via the new local authority for the area you are moving to, and in some cases direct to the school.

You can find out who your local authority will be on GOV.UK.

Last updated:
10 September 2021
Share this
Share this

Do you have any feedback about this page?

Help us improve this website

Let us know if this page was helpful so we can make improvements. Add a star rating and leave your feedback below to show how useful you found this page.

Rate this page:
Clear star rating...
  • West Sussex County Council will only use this email address to respond to any issues raised.