Applying for a place under the exceptional and compelling category

How to request priority for a place at your preferred school.

Some schools have a criteria where priority will be given to applicants if there is a strong medical case or exceptional need for the child to attend the school named first on their application. 

You should be aware that the criteria for this category are rarely met. Issues such as difficulties with childcare arrangements or the child’s ability/school performance are not covered by this category.

All schools can cope with special educational needs such as Asperger Syndrome and dyslexia, and are experienced in managing common childhood complaints such as asthma and allergies. 

Applying under the category

You can only apply under this category for the school listed as your first preference. You are advised to still name three different preferences and doing so will not mean the first preference is treated with any less consideration.

To apply under this category, you must complete the 'Additional information' field for your first preference on the online application. You must state what independent professional evidence you are submitting to support your application.

The independent professional evidence should be from a qualified professional (such as a medical consultant or a psychologist) and must explain clearly why it is essential for the child to attend the school named as your first preference. It must detail fully the child’s needs and address the reason why these needs can only be met at the preferred school.

Letters from parents alone are not sufficient, nor are letters that do not address the question of which school the child must attend. Letters from teachers at the child’s current school will not normally be taken into account.

You must send the evidence to the Pupil Admissions Team by recorded delivery and it must be received by the application deadline. 

If the evidence to support your application is not received, your application will not be considered under the exceptional and compelling category, but will be considered against the remaining admission policies

The Pupil Admissions Team will not contact third parties to obtain information relating to an application.

What happens next

For all West Sussex community and voluntary controlled schools, a panel of senior officers will consider the supporting evidence and make a decision. Applications or evidence submitted late will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. 

Last updated:
1 July 2020
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.