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 and are processing them as quickly as possible. You will receive confirmation that your online form has been submitted. Please allow 4 weeks for processing before chasing the progress of your application.

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:
24 May 2021
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