Secondary school places

Apply for your child to start Year 7 at secondary school in September 2021.

1 Overview

This information only applies if you want to apply for your child to start Year 7 at secondary school in September 2021 as they are in Year 6 at a primary or junior school.

If your child needs a school place in a different year group or at another point in the year, you need to apply to move schools.

2 Find your catchment area school and other local schools

Before applying for your child's secondary school place:

3 Before you apply

You must read the Information for parents booklet, the appendix and the additional guidance pages before applying.

It is the responsibility of parents or carers to apply for a school place. You do not need to have a letter from the County Council.

Follow our checklist to ensure you have completed all the necessary steps before applying.

4 Preferences

  • You can apply for up to three different schools. Rank the schools in order of preference - the first school listed should be the one you would most like your child to go to.
  • We advise that you use all three preferences and enter your catchment school as one of your preferences.
  • Please be realistic with your preferences. If you chose an oversubscribed school, the further away you live the less likely you are to be offered a place.
  • If you select a school as a preference that is not your nearest/catchment school, this may impact on your eligibility for transport. Please see the school transport pages for further information.
  • Do not include a school that you do not want as a preference as you may be offered this school.
  • If you apply after the closing date you are far less likely to get a place at one of your preferred schools.
  • After the application deadline you cannot change your preferences unless there is a genuine unforeseeable reason for doing so, for example, if a sibling changes school.

5 Apply for a place

You can apply for a secondary school place from 9.00am on Monday 7 September 2020 until 11.59pm on Saturday 31 October 2020.

To make an application online you will need:

  • an email address
  • to create a user ID and password.

All applications require a new account to be set. If you applied for a place in a previous school year, your details will have been removed from the online system. 

Apply online for secondary school place (external link)

Saving and editing online applications

  • Your User ID must be between 6 and 16 characters long and must contain only letters or numbers (do not use special characters).
  • Your password must include all the following rules:
    • be at least 8 characters long
    • have at least one character that is UPPERCASE
    • have at least one character that is lowercase
    • have at least one special character (such as: * ! $)
    • have at least one number.
  • Online applications open at 9.00am Monday 7 September 2020 and close at 11.59pm on Saturday 31 October 2019.
  • You can save your application, and return to it to make amendments, before submitting it. You must ensure that you submit the completed application before the deadline.
  • If you need to edit your child’s details, or make any other changes to your application after you have submitted it, it must be re-submitted.
  • An email acknowledgement of your application is automatically sent by the system so you know your application has been received. Check your junk folder if you don't receive an email.
  • We strongly recommend you keep a copy of the email. It will contain a unique application reference number, which will be your only proof that you applied. We cannot investigate any issues with your application without this.

Applying using a paper form

  • If you have no option but to apply on a paper form, please contact the Pupil Admissions Team.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that the completed form is returned to your local West Sussex secondary school by the application deadline.
  • Parents are not encouraged to return their paper forms directly to the Pupil Admissions Team unless they use Recorded Delivery post.
  • Claims regarding missing forms will not be investigated unless you can provide evidence that it was received by the Pupil Admissions Team. West Sussex County Council is not responsible for forms lost or delayed in the post. We recommend that you keep a copy of the form and evidence of posting.

6 Offer dates

You will be notified of the outcome of your application by email or letter, depending on how you applied. No information will be provided over the phone.

Applications received before 11.59pm on 31 October 2020

If you applied online we will email you the outcome of your application on Monday 1 March 2021. Emails will be sent throughout the day so we can't give you an exact time.

If you applied by paper form you will be emailed the result later that day if an email address was provided with the application.

The admissions office will contact you to request an email address if one is not specified on the form. If you do not have an email address you will receive a letter in second class post.

Applications received after 11.59pm on 31 October 2020

If your application was received between 1 November 2020 and 27 November 2020 it is out of time, and your preferences will only be considered after all the applications received on time. You will be sent an email with your allocation on Monday 1 March 2021 if an email address was supplied with the application. 

Applications received after Friday 27 November 2020 are late and outside the normal admissions round. They will not be processed until after 26 March 2021. You will be contacted after this date.

7 Applying after the closing date

Applications close on Saturday 31 October 2020. Information about applying after the closure date will be available on this page after this date.

Last updated:
9 September 2020
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  • West Sussex County Council will only use this email address to respond to any issues raised.