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

Current position relating to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you are a parent whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response and/or if your child is vulnerable (as defined by the Government) and:

  • you have recently moved into the area
  • your child does not have a school place
  • your child cannot be safely looked after at home
  • critical workers have confirmed with their employer that their specific role is necessary for the continuation of an essential public service

please email admissions.north@westsussex.gov.uk with full details. We will then contact you as a matter of urgency.

With effect from 1 June 2020 the In-year application process will re-open for other pupils. Please see the next sections for details about how and when to apply.

2 When you can apply

Due to the Covid-19 situation, the In-year application process has been temporarily suspended and will re-open with effect from 1 June 2020.

There is an expectation that primary schools will open for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children from 1 June. However, in order to support schools in managing receiving children back into school and to ensure that places are allocated fairly and to the children with the highest priority, the following system will be in place:

  • If you require an In-year place to start either in September 2020 or sooner, you can submit an application from 1 June. Applications received between 1 and 12 June are treated as if received on 12 June. We will endeavour to contact you by 26 June with the result of your application.
  • Applications received after 12 June will be considered in date order and applicants will be contacted as soon as possible with a result. Please be aware that we cannot give a guaranteed date for when your child will be able to start their new school, as each individual school will have its own arrangements for getting children back into school safely.

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: 

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

Members of the armed forces and 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. 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.

Applications from members of the armed forces 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.

For crown servants a United Kingdom address can only be used if there is confirmation of the address the child is returning to.

6 Applying for a place from outside England

If you are living in the UK, but outside England, please apply to a West Sussex school by completing the relevant moving school application form.

If you are living outside the UK and coming from abroad to the UK for the first time then the child must be in the country when you apply. However, if the child has previously lived in the UK, and you can prove that you are returning to a property which you own or rent in West Sussex, then you can apply in advance of the child arriving in the country. If in doubt please contact Pupil Admissions 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:
31 May 2020
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