School waiting lists

Information on waiting lists for a place at your preferred school.

Waiting lists must be ordered by the same criteria used to determine the allocation. The School Admissions Code prohibits waiting lists from being ordered by date of application or length of time on the list.

A child’s position may change on the waiting list as other children join or leave the list. If a place becomes available, the waiting list, and any new applications for the school, must be considered.

The place will be offered to the child with the highest priority based on the over-subscription criteria for the school at that time. We are unable to give any indication as to when this is likely to happen, if at all.

The Pupil Admissions Team will only contact you about a waiting list if a place becomes available that can be offered to your child. For this reason we ask that parents do not contact the Pupil Admissions Team regarding waiting list positions or request information about lists as this cannot be confirmed.

You can only request to be added to a waiting list for a community or controlled school if it was listed as one of your three preferences. You will need to submit a new application which is available from the Pupil Admissions Team to apply and then be added to an additional waiting list.

Waiting lists for community or controlled schools are held until 31 December each year, when they are cleared. You must contact us, in writing or by email, if you wish your child to remain on any waiting lists after this time.

Starting school (Reception), junior and secondary transfer

The waiting lists for all intake groups will be established 20 school days after the national offer date for that intake year group. 

If your child has been refused a place in writing at a West Sussex school they will automatically be added to the waiting list for that school.

All other year groups

If your child has been refused a place in writing for an existing year group at a West Sussex school you will be advised about the steps necessary to add their name to a waiting list for that school.

If you have been refused a place at an academy, church aided or free school you will be advised if you should contact the school directly about the management of their list.

Schools outside of West Sussex

If you were not given your preferred place at a school outside of West Sussex you will need to contact the relevant local authority for information on their waiting lists.

Offers made from the waiting lists

We will contact you if a place becomes available, using the contact details on your original application. If we do not receive a response to the offer within five working days your child’s name will be removed from the waiting list and the place reallocated to the next child on that list. You may wish to provide additional contact information to ensure we can contact you.

Unless you are advised of an alternative school place, or make alternative arrangements yourself, you should assume any offer made for your child remains available. Liaise with the school about their intake arrangements when they contact you.

Removing your child from the waiting lists

Notify us if you decide that you no longer want your child’s name on a waiting list. This will help prevent unnecessary delays in reallocating spaces should they become available.

Last updated:
1 July 2020
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