Filling in your application form

Read our advice on how to complete the application form including guidance for separated families, Looked After Children, exceptional social and medical reasons, armed forces families and children with special educational needs.

When applying to start primary, junior or secondary school, if your child lives in North Yorkshire, you should complete the North Yorkshire Council application form even if your school preferences are located outside North Yorkshire.

If your child does not live in North Yorkshire, you must apply for a place through the local authority you currently pay your council tax to. You can check who your local authority is on the government website.

If you are applying to change school, you should apply to the local authority where your preferred school is located.

Parent and carer information

We will only discuss the content or progress of any application with the applicant themselves unless we have formal permission to contact another nominated person.

By submitting an application for a school place, you are stating that you have parental responsibility for the child named on the form, or if you share parental responsibility, that you are in agreement regarding the preferences stated on the application for a school place. You can find out more about parental responsibility on the government website. In accordance with the school admission code (2021), we may only offer one school place per child.

For education purposes, according to section 576 of the Education Act 1966, any adult who has parental responsibility or day to day legal responsibility of a child may complete the application form. A person has care of a child if they are the person with whom the child lives and who looks after the child, irrespective of what their relationship is with the child.

What should I do if parents cannot agree on a school choice?

In the case of disputes between parents, we expect that parents will resolve these themselves and make a single application which both parents agree with. We cannot accept more than one application per child. If we receive conflicting instructions for a child, we will not be able to process the application or allocate a place for your child.

Where we are made aware that a parent disputes the choice of school, we require written confirmation from each parent agreeing on the school choice or a court order before processing the application.

Child details

You must use your child's full legal name on the application form.

My child is not known by their legal name. Which name should I use on the form?

You must use your child's full legal name on the application form. 

We can only accept a different name if you provide written evidence that everyone with parental responsibility for the child has agreed to the change of name.

A deed poll or statutory declaration is not sufficient to allow the local authority, or a school, to change a child's name, unless accompanied by written confirmation signed by all parties with parental responsibility agreeing to the change.

If all parties with parental responsibility do not agree, or cannot be contacted, the name can only be changed legally by a court order.

It is the responsibility of the parent or carer who wishes to change the child’s name, to obtain the consent of the other parties with parental responsibility.

Child's address

When filling in the application form, you should use your address at the time you submit the form. For further guidance, please refer to our page on which address to use when applying for a school place.

Other information

You must indicate on the application if any of the following circumstances apply to your child.

Special educational needs / SEND

The majority of children with SEND can have their needs met in a mainstream school but a proportion may need to access specialist provision.

If your child has an Education, Health and Care Plan, you should contact the SEN team for further information. The school admissions team do not process applications for these children.

If your child is currently undergoing assessment for an Education, Health and Care Plan, you should make an application to the school admissions team for a school place.

If your child has SEND but does not have an Education, Health and Care Plan, you should make an application to the school admissions team for a school place.

More information for parents of children with SEND

Please read our information about Education, Health and Care Plans.

You can also see our information about the North Yorkshire SEND local offer.


The SEND information, advice and support service website also has useful information.

Looked After Children

A Looked After Child - LAC - is a child in public care provided with accommodation by the local authority, for example fostered. The application form should be completed by the person or local authority with responsibility for the child. Please provide details of the local authority the child is in the care of, social worker’s name and contact details. This information can be added to the additional notes section of the online application form or emailed to us at


Previously Looked After Children

A Previously Looked After Child - PLAC - refers to a child who, immediately after being looked after by a local authority, became subject to an adoption order, a child arrangements order, a special guardianship order, or a child who was in state care outside of England prior to being adopted.

If you wish your application to be considered under category 1 of the Local Authority Admissions Policy, you will need to provide evidence. If your child was adopted, this will be a copy of the adoption order, in particular page 2 of the order which names the local authority your child was in the care of immediately prior to adoption.

If your child became subject to a child arrangements order or special guardianship order, you will need to provide copies of these and a confirmation letter from the local authority that last looked after your child. This does not apply if a child arrangements order is in place due to a custody disagreement between two separating parents

If you are unsure if your child can be considered under this category, please contact us for further guidance.

Crown servants

If parent is a Crown Servant or a serving member of the UK military, please indicate this on the application. Please note this is not an oversubscription criteria and does not guarantee the offer of a school place at your preferred school.

It is our policy that infant classes - key stage 1 - should be restricted to no more than 30 children with a single school teacher in accordance with the school admissions code 2021. Additional children may be admitted under limited exceptional circumstances. These are referred to as 'excepted pupils'. A child of an armed forces family may, however, be able to be accepted into reception as an excepted pupil. These children will remain as excepted pupils while they remain in an infant class, or until the class numbers fall back to the current infant class size limit.

New arrivals to the UK

Please give details of your child’s arrival in the UK on the application. Please be advised, you will also need to provide a copy of your flight confirmation, or other travel ticket, confirming the date you will be arriving in the UK.

Fair access questions

This process only applies when you are changing schools. You can find more information on our changing schools page


If your child has been permanently excluded from two or more schools, you may still express a preference for a school place, but the requirement to comply with that preference is removed for a period of two years from the date on which the last exclusion took place.

This does not apply to:

  • children with a final statement of special educational needs or education and health care plan
  • children who were below compulsory school age when they were excluded
  • children who have been reinstated following a permanent exclusion
  • children who would have been reinstated following a permanent exclusion had it been practicable to do so

Your school preferences

The application form allows you to list up to five preferred schools. We strongly recommend that you list at least three and ideally five schools, and that you list them in order of preference. Listing only one school, or the same school more than once, will not increase your chances of obtaining a place at that school and may lead to you being allocated a place at a school you would prefer your child not to attend.

When adding preferences to your online application, we recommend that you only enter two or three characters into the search field. A list of schools for you to choose from should then appear. You may need to use the ‘advanced search’ option. We suggest you clear the ‘distance from child’s address’ field so that it shows ‘any distance’ and only type the first letter of the school’s name in the ‘school name’ field before selecting ‘search’.

You will need to use the ‘advanced search’ option and change the local authority if the school you are searching for is outside North Yorkshire.

Do I have to include my catchment school in my preferences at all?

We recommend that you do include the catchment school for your home address in your list.

If you do not list the catchment school as a preference it may fill up with children whose parents have listed it as a preference. If we are then unable to offer you your preferred school or schools, we would have to look at the next nearest school with places available, this may be further away from your home and you would be responsible for transport.

Find your catchment school

What are my chances of getting a place at my preferred school?

Each school has a limit of how many pupils it is allowed to take in each year group. If the number of applications exceeds this number, then the school is oversubscribed, and the oversubscription criteria will be applied.

One of the oversubscription criteria is catchment area. Find out more details about the oversubscription criteria and how they work.

As the number of applications varies from year to year, this can mean that even though an older sibling, or a neighbour's child, was offered a place at a particular school in a previous year, it does not guarantee a place will be allocated to your child.

The equal preference system

We operate an equal preference system and rank applications in line with the school admissions code. This is a national model designed to make sure, as far as possible, that parents' or carers' preferences for particular schools are considered fairly, equitably and consistently.

Equal preference requires the admission authority to consider all preferences - first, second, third, fourth and fifth - received for a particular school equally and, where the school is oversubscribed, apply the oversubscription criteria. Where more than one preference can be met, the local authority will offer the highest ranked preference.

Preference reasons

The following preference reasons will only be considered if the oversubscription criteria is applied to your application, that is, where the year group at the school you have applied for is full.


If your child has a sibling already attending the school you will be applying for, and they will still be in attendance at the point your younger child would start the school, please ensure you include this information on the application form. If you do not inform us of a sibling link, this will not be taken into consideration.

The term 'sibling' refers to a brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, half-brother or sister, step-brother or sister, or the child of the parent/carer's partner where the applicant child is living in the same family unit and at the same address as the named sibling.

Multiple births

If you have multiple birth children, for example twins or triplets, we will try, wherever possible, to offer all the children a place at the same school.

It is our policy that infant classes - key stage 1 - should be restricted to no more than 30 children with a single school teacher in accordance with the school admissions code 2021. Additional children may be admitted under limited exceptional circumstances. These are referred to as 'excepted pupils'. For example, a child whose twin or sibling from a multiple birth has been admitted in the normal way, may be able to be accepted as an excepted pupil. These children will remain as excepted pupils while they remain in an infant class, or until the class numbers fall back to the current infant class size limit.

Children of school staff

If you are applying for a place at a school where a parent is a member of staff, you should tick ‘staff’ under preference reasons on the online application and enter the staff member’s full name and position at the school in the notes.

Please check the school’s admission policy for details of their staff criteria. In some cases this can apply to all schools within an Academy Trust rather than an individual school.


If you are applying for a school on the basis of religion, please indicate this on the form and check with the school to confirm whether a Supplementary Information Form is required in addition to your application.

Exceptional social and medical reasons

This applies if your child has exceptional social and/or medical needs that can only be met at one school.

It is important to note that this only applies to starting primary/junior and starting secondary school applications. The social medical priority group is non-statutory and not all schools offer this as a priority. Community or voluntary controlled schools do apply the priority.

For schools which are their own admission authorities, it is the parents' responsibility to check whether the schools' oversubscription policy includes a social medical category and what sort of documentary evidence is required.

If you feel that your highest preference school is the only school which can meet your child's needs, and that your child would encounter difficulties if they had to attend another school, you should complete the relevant section of the application form to request consideration under the exceptional social and medical criteria.

You will need to provide current supporting evidence from an appropriately qualified professional.

Evidence should be submitted to the school admissions team at It is your responsibility to make sure you have sent us all the required evidence by the deadline.

We can only consider your application based on the evidence you have submitted and we will not chase you for additional information.

What reasons and evidence qualify as exceptional?

Social reasons do not include domestic circumstances such as parental work commitments, childcare arrangements or separation from your child's friends.

Medical evidence must be current and demonstrate the exceptional nature of your child's conditions. A confirmation of diagnosis is insufficient on its own as all mainstream schools are able to cope with a wide range of medical needs encountered by children.

What if I live outside North Yorkshire?

You will need to apply via your home local authority. However, your exceptional social and medical evidence will need to be submitted to North Yorkshire by the deadline. Please contact school admissions for further information.

When is the deadline for submitting my evidence?

The closing dates for providing evidence of exceptional social or medical reasons are the same as the normal application closing dates. These are 31 October for starting secondary school applications and 15 January for starting primary or junior school applications.

Failure to provide this independent professional evidence by the closing date will mean your application will not be considered under criterion 2 - social medical reasons. Instead the normal oversubscription criteria will apply. 

What happens next?

In respect of applications for places at community and voluntary controlled schools, the evidence you provide is reviewed and considered by a panel of qualified professionals. We also do this on behalf of academy schools that use our admissions criteria.

Following these meetings and prior to National Offer Day, you will be informed whether or not your child's school place will be considered under criterion 2 - social medical reasons.

You will have the right to an admission appeal at a later date if you are not offered a place at your preferred school.

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to submit a form?

If you would like your child to attend a school which is state funded, the law states you must make an application for admission.

Neither the local authority nor the school will assume you want a place and reserve one for you, even if you have an older child attending the same school, your child attends a nursery class at the school or you live next door to the school.

How do I add my child's current school when I apply online?

If you are adding a new child to your account, in the ‘create child’ section you can add the current school. If it is a school outside North Yorkshire you will need to change the local authority as appropriate, to search for the school. If the current school does not appear in the list please do not worry, leave this field blank and add the current school details in the preference notes further along the application.

If your child has been previously added to your account, you should use ‘account management’ to edit their details, including current school as needed.

I do not have access to the internet. How do I apply for a school place?

If you are unable to access the internet or have poor reception in your area, paper copies are available on request. Please be aware that if you apply using the paper copy, notification of a school place will be posted 2nd class on National Offer Day which, allowing for postal times, means that you will find out your allocation a day or two later than online applicants.

There are a number of benefits to applying online:

  • it is quick, safe and secure
  • it is available 24/7
  • you can use a computer, a tablet or your mobile phone
  • you will receive an electronic acknowledgement once you have submitted your application
  • you will be able to find out which school your child has been offered on national offer day

Free access to the internet is available at all North Yorkshire libraries. Find your local library.

If you need help completing the school application form, or cannot complete it online and need a paper copy, please contact school admissions.